Hermit Crabs Looking For Hot Single Microplastics in Their Area
Those little freaks are constantly excited, researchers found
Looks like Andrew Cuomo isn’t the only profoundly sexual being around. Hermit crabs near England’s Yorkshire coast are also getting their rocks off at weirdly inappropriate times, in this case becoming sexually “excited” by plastic toxins in the ocean, researchers at the University of Hull found in some kind of pervert study.
I’m no freaky-deaky scientist, but I’ll try to explain: Oleamide, an additive released by plastics that is “known to be a sex pheromone” for some marine life, was found to prompt elevated respiration rates that signify “behavioral attraction” from 40 hermit crabs, according to a statement published by the University of Hull.
If you’re approaching this from a sex-positive sort of mindset, you might think to yourself, “Okay, good for the horny little fuckers? Like, if we have to live with oceans piled high with plastic pollution, at least these randy crustaceans are getting some enjoyment out of it?”
Unfortunately, it is not a good portent. According to the researchers, the aroused sea creatures may also mistake the oleamides for food, meaning they run the risk of not only getting off on but also digging into microplastics. Furthermore, the attraction to these contaminants could confuse breeding cycles and affect reproduction rates. Heed this lesson, little crabs: lust is temporary, love is eternal.
Correction: The attraction that hermit crabs harbor towards oleamides appears to be platonic. The researchers behind the study told Futurism that the University of Hull press office had a “misunderstanding” that led to the original press statement — and subsequent headlines — suggesting that the crabs’ attraction was sexual. We regret the error of calling the hermit crabs “horny little fuckers.”