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Science

Video of a horseshoe crab struggling to rescue its flipped-over friend is surprisingly riveting

People are finding themselves tilting their phones to try to help them out.

horseshoe crab

A horseshoe crab works hard to help flip over another that has overturned.

Horseshoe crabs are fascinating creatures, and not just because they look like some kind of shelled alien.

First of all, horseshoe crabs aren't crabs at all. They're actually more closely related to spiders and scorpions than crabs and lobsters. Secondly, they are ancient—even predating the dinosaurs—which is why they're often referred to as "living fossils." Third, their blood contains a unique substance called limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) that humans have relied on for decades to test the safety of medications, vaccines and medical equipment. (A synthetic version of LAL is increasingly being utilized instead, which is good news for horseshoe crabs who probably don't appreciate the bloodletting.)

Oh, and they also glow also under ultraviolet light (blacklight) like scorpions do, and nobody knows why.



But one of the most interesting recent discoveries about horseshoe crabs is that their brains haven't evolved much at all in over 300 million years. In 2021, a 310-million-year-old horseshoe crab fossil was discovered in Illinois with a beautifully preserved brain. Scientists compared it to a current species of horseshoe crab and found that while their external characteristics had changed over time, their brains were pretty much identical.

That discovery makes a viral video of one horseshoe crab seeming to go all out to help another one all the more remarkable. Horseshoe crabs usually use their tails to flip themselves over if they end up upside down, but a video shows a horseshoe crab clearly exerting sustained effort to help a buddy who is flailing on its back. Such behavior seems to indicate some combination of planning and altruism, which are characteristics we usually associate with highly social or evolved creatures. If horseshoe crab brains haven't evolved in hundreds of millions of years, what would compel one to to help another with no obvious benefit to itself?

Maybe horseshoe crab brains were just perfect for their species' purposes from the get-go—10/10, no notes—and this video is just a fluke. Or perhaps what we're witnessing is biological altruism, which is a behavioral reality of some species of animals, usually among those with complex social structures. Scientists debate whether biological altruism differs from human altruism since our motivations to selflessly help others frequently go beyond our species' survival, and research on that front is ongoing. While the "why" here may be a mystery, it doesn't make it any less heartwarming to see an animal that we think of as purely instinctual go out of its way to help another.

Plus, in this case, the rescue is truly riveting. People have commented that they keep tilting their phones to try to help them out. Watch:

If a creature whose brain hasn't evolved in 310 million years can do this for one another, surely we can treat our fellow humans with care and compassion, no?

Health

Psychologist explains why everyone feels exhausted right now and it makes so much sense

Psychologist Naomi Holdt beautifully explained what's behind the overarching exhaustion people are feeling and it makes perfect sense.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

It seems like most people are feeling wiped out these days. There's a reason for that.

We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.

Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.

But why?

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Joy

People share the quirkiest things their pets do and it's both hilarious and heartwarming

We asked our people to share their pet's weirdest antics and our audience delivered.

Silly doggo.

Pets are good for many reasons, from companionship and comfort to security and snuggles. But they can also be highly entertaining members of the family.

One saving grace during the pandemic was getting to spend lots of time with our pets and witnessing all of their silly, quirky antics all day long. How many times have you wished you could hear what was going through your cat or dog's brain as they do things that defy logic. The cat who likes to chew on people's hair while they sleep—why? The dog who spins around in a circle ten times before relieving themselves—why?

The reason animals do what they do may be a mystery, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable to hear about their silly habits. We asked our Upworthy audience to share the quirkiest things their pets do, and people delivered big time.

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Our home, from space.

Sixty-one years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to make it into space and probably the first to experience what scientists now call the "overview effect." This change occurs when people see the world from far above and notice that it’s a place where “borders are invisible, where racial, religious and economic strife are nowhere to be seen.”

The overview effect makes man’s squabbles with one another seem incredibly petty and presents the planet as it truly is, one interconnected organism.

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Internet

The interesting reason British and Australian people sing in North American accents

It happens to other English speaking people from other countries too.

The reason British and Australian people sing in American accents

Music is something that crosses all barriers, including the language barrier. It's so much easier to learn songs in a foreign language than it is to actually learn the language itself. But there's something interesting that happens for people who normally speak with an accent when singing. Suddenly their accents are gone.

Some of the biggest singers in America didn't grow up in the United States and yet when they sing, they do so with an American accent. Lewis Capaldi, Ed Sheeran, Adele and Harry Styles to name a few, are all from England with the exception of Capaldi, who hails from Scotland. They're some of the most popular singers in the world but their speaking accents are drastically different than their singing accents. But why is that?

Dave Huxtable, a language coach explores why singers who aren't from North America, sing as if they are in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel.

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Family

Woman fed up with wasteful holiday 'giving' proposes a new way to celebrate the season

"Gifting in America has become insane. So I’m changing my ways."

A woman buying gifts for her nephews.

After becoming fed up with the material nature of the holiday season, a Redditor who goes by Somanycatsinhere, shared how she is putting her money towards things that matter rather than mindlessly buying gifts. Even though everyone's situation differs, the post is an excellent reminder that we don’t have to give someone a store-bought gift reflexively. Instead, we can focus on getting something they actually need.

“I’m over buying gifts to be thrown away or donated,” she started her post. “I decided I’m done.”

The Redditor explained she usually visits her family a few weeks before the holidays for a joint Thanksgiving and “Early Christmas” celebration, and this year, she took a different approach to gift-giving.

“I made a visit to my sister with my 3 amazing nieces. … The kids have everything they can need or want: toys and clothing-wise—and it’s all so overwhelming. The kids don’t even play with most of it. It’s just piled up everywhere,” she wrote.

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Democracy

The night before his murder, JFK became the first president to meet with Latino leaders

The historic meeting was overshadowed by the horrors of November 22, 1963.

via Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy greet attendees of a dinner held by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas. Master of Ceremonies, John J. Herrera, stands at far right; Mariachi musicians play at left.

November 22, 2023, will mark the 60th anniversary of one of the most horrific moments in American history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The anniversary has been greeted by a host of new documentaries and renewed interest in the conspiracies surrounding the assassination.

One historic moment from Kennedy’s short but consequential presidency occurred on the last night of his life, Thursday, November 21, 1963. That night, Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and his wife, Lady Bird, visited a formal dinner in Houston, Texas, held by LULAC — the League of United Latin American Citizens. The event featured a welcoming party of Mexican-American World War II veterans, including Medal of Honor recipient Macario García.

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