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Science

Seahorses have one of the coolest origin stories of all life on Earth

One of the ocean's worst swimmers has managed to adventure across the world.

seahorse
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

How did seahorses spread across the globe if they can't swim well?

We all know that seahorses are some of the most unique and fascinating creatures that Mother Nature has to offer.

For one thing, they’re gorgeous. Who has ever looked at a seahorse, with all its vivid colors and delicate, otherworldly shapes and gone, meh? No one, I tell you.

Plus they’re basically the mascot for cool, supportive dads everywhere. Not every creature in the animal kingdom can say that.

Yet, for as much as we know about the seahorse, there are even more thrilling stories swimming around—particularly when it comes to how it got here in the first place.

A video published by PBS Eons explains that today, seahorses are found in all of the world's oceans. And yet, they are pretty terrible swimmers. So how on Earth could they have traveled such far distances to spread across the globe?

As it turns out, the answer is possibly hiding even further below the surface.


Throughout at least the last 55 million years, the ocean floor around southeast Asia has been whirling with tectonic plate activity, with the most important shift happening at the end of the Cenozoic era.

As deep channels between continents became more shallow and surfaces were thrust upward toward the sun, more aquatic plant life was able to grow and expand. Experts think that meadows of seagrass in particular helped ancient seahorses travel away from the waters of the Indonesian region (where they likely originated) and across the world. Yep, just like land horses, seahorses wildly gallop into unknown terrain. Actually, they prefer to simply hold onto traveling seaweed and raft into unknown terrain. Still majestic though.

You can watch the full video here:

How Plate Tectonics Gave Us Seahorses

The surge in seagrass might have even caused seahorses to trade in the long, horizontal shape of most traditional fish for their signature upright posture. As the video explains, the grass beds might have supported their ambush hunting technique, allowing them to obtain a longer reach and blend in with the grass blades before striking. Ambush hunting seems OK for a seahorse, but kind of terrifying if you think of land horses doing the same thing. Thank goodness the latter are herbivores.

PBS Eons is a virtual treasure trove of lesser known evolutionary stories. Its YouTube channel covers everything from the domestication history of cats to why we have 10 toes. If you’re looking to go down the coolest educational rabbit hole ever, you can check out its videos here.

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One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

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Pop Culture

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Stephanie Beatriz singing "The Family Madrigal."

Disney’s “Encanto” brought us a magical house, an iconic family and some serious bops. The only thing that could possibly make it more enchanting would be to see it all in real life.

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Back in November 2022, the original voice cast reunited to perform a live concert performance of “Encanto” at the Hollywood Bowl in California, complete with a full orchestra and 50-person ensemble as the film played on giant screens.

For those of us who weren't able to attend this epic concert, luckily the internet provides. A video posted to YouTube shows Stephanie Beatriz singing the movie’s hit song “The Family Madrigal,” where her character Mirabel introduces us to her family and their special powers—all except hers, of course.
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A 20-minute video by RealLifeLore explains how topography and rainfall have created what appears to be a straight line down the middle of the country on the 98th meridian that dictates population density. Eighty percent of Americans live on the east side of the line and just twenty percent to the west.

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Jameela Jamil shows off her 'elastic' skin to shine a light on Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

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Jamil was diagnosed at 9 years old with the rare tissue disorder.

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Recently, Jamil used her platform to discuss her Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)—a group of inherited disorders that affects connective tissue, primarily the skin, joints and blood vessel walls. While very rare, EDS causes significant problems, especially for those without a proper diagnosis.

In a video posted to TikTok, Jamil is seen stretching out her cheeks while quipping, "Jesus Christ, that is not an app, that is not a filter, that is just my face. Look how elastic that is." This stretchiness, she explains, is a symptom of EDS.

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"Fit check" is something you've probably heard multiple times if you've spent any amount of time on social media over the past year. It's something like the red carpet question of "who are you wearing?" which prompts the celebrity to rattle off their designer labels for the night. Except now it's a trend for regular folks to share info about their outfits.

It's pretty helpful if you see an influencer wearing something cute. But this grandpa has got to have the sweetest "fit check" ever and people on social media agree. Liam Ryan , who's 86, made a guest appearance in his granddaughter's TikTok, where 24-year-old Grace Pettit coaches her gramps through the process.

The video is filled with giggles from Pettit as her grandpa tries to make sure he hits all his articles of clothing. The people need to know where Gramps got his fit. When the video starts, Ryan stands in front of the camera and says, "Hi, I'm Gramps. We're doing a fit check."

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Film critic Roger Ebert perfectly explained why the story resonated with people in his 2005 review. "'Brokeback Mountain' has been described as 'a gay cowboy movie,' which is a cruel simplification,” he wrote.

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