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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?

Family

Married couple swears by the '3-Hour Night' as a relationship game changer

"If you’re stuck in a rut with your evenings — try this!"

@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.

According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.

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Health

Trying to guess which twin smokes is the perfect way to help you quit

Nobody would call smoking “glamorous” after seeing these comparisons.

Image via Wolters Kluwer Health.

Which twin smoked?

It's not revolutionary news that smoking wreaks havoc on your body in different ways. More often than not, however, the focus of anti-smoking campaigns is on your internal health, citing emphysema, heart disease, and lung cancer, to name just a few consequences.

While the superficial effects may not be as lethal, appealing to people's sense of vanity can have a powerful effect as this clever gallery below shows. Twins, only one of whom smokes, sit side by side, showing the profound damage smoking can cause to your face, hair, and teeth.

The twins' circumstances vary in each set of pictures, but the differences and effects are undeniable. In some instances, one of the twins never smoked. In others, the "smoking" twin had smoked for at least five years longer than the other "non-smoking" twin.

Though they're not common knowledge, the effects of smoking on your appearance are predictable and consistent. You can identify a smoker with ease if you know what you're looking for. Harmful smoke, dehydration, and even the heat from a burning cigarette can damage your complexion, hair, and eyes. The photos below helpfully point out the symptoms and effects on the smoking twin.

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Community

Train station custodian's act of kindness makes father traveling solo feel seen

Taking your young daughter to a public bathroom as a dad can be tricky.

Kier Gaines|Instagram

Dad thanks train station attendee for validating act of kindness

Any time you travel with a small child it ups the ante a bit. Did you bring enough stuff to entertain them? Did you pack the right snacks? Should you have brought an extra change of clothes just in case? Is it now customary to hand out small bags full of ear plugs and treats for all of the passengers for daring to leave your house to use a public form of transportation?

It's enough to stress you out before you even get down the street. But one of the trickiest parts of traveling with small children of the opposite gender is figuring out public bathrooms. It's usually fairly simple for moms, bathrooms for women have changing tables installed for babies and disabled individuals. They're also usually kept fairly clean and women visiting the facilities think twice about a little boy going into the women's bathroom with his mom.

Dads on the other hand aren't always comfortable bringing their daughters into the men's room with them. Plus rumor has it that men's rooms aren't always the cleanest for girls to go potty.

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Identity

When a man asks people to translate a hate message he's received, their response is unforgettable

Reading the words would be one thing. Having to think about what they mean is almost too intense.


As part of an experiment, a man asks for help translating a Facebook message he has received.

There's a man in Lithuania who speaks only English. The message is in Lithuanian. He can't read it, so he asks some locals to translate it for him.

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Pop Culture

A comic about wearing makeup goes from truthful to weird in 4 panels.

A hilariously truthful (and slightly weird) explanation of the "too much makeup" conundrum.

Image set by iri-draws/Tumblr, used with permission.

A comic shows the evolution or devolution from with makeup to without.

Even though I don't wear very much makeup, every few days or so SOMEONE...

(friends, family, internet strangers)

...will weigh in on why I "don't need makeup."

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Health

Women are shocking their boyfriends by showing them how tampons actually work

The viral videos are a great way to educate men on a sensitive topic.

via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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