+
Most Shared

The marine iguana is a super-chill mini-Godzilla. You're gonna love it.

True
Earth Day

Five minutes ago, we did not realize we needed marine iguanas in our lives.

Image from Brian Gratwicke/Flickr.


Then we watched this mesmerizing video of a marine iguana doing the things marine iguanas do. It changed us. Forever.

And now the only thing we want to do is make marine iguanas happen.

We could tell you about how the marine iguna's ancestors may have drifted over to the Galapagos on logs from South America and how it has protected status thanks to the Ecuadorian government, but ... it's really hard to write intelligently about this special sea-traversing lizard without being completely mesmerized by how freaking cool they are.

Five minutes ago, we didn't know that marine iguanas walk along the ocean floor like mini-Godzillas.

But now we do. And our lives — and yours — are better off for it.

All GIFs from Steve Winkworth/YouTube.

Look at those claws! They're like natural, built-in rock-climbing gear. Those currents are wildly strong sometimes, but it's not even fazed!

It's at the bottom of the ocean, strolling along like it's walking down a hallway at the DMV or something, until ... boom! Takeoff!

It moves like a freaking sea ninja and paddles around like it's no big deal.


Marine iguanas can dive down to 80 feet into the water to find food.

Of course, ocean water is really, really cold, so marine iguanas catch some rays from the sun and warm up between dives.

Yes, that's its natural color. Image from Benjamint444/Wikimedia Commons.

They have also evolved special glands to get rid of extra salt in their bodies.

They actually sneeze it out.

They sneeze out salt.

And then right back into the water they go.

Despite looking like the type of creature that would devour you and your entire family for looking at it the wrong way...

...the marine iguana's actual diet consists of algae and...

...well, even more algae.

Just algae. That's it.

Not to diminish how frightening this must be for the algae. You do start to feel a little bad staring at the marine iguana's eating habits in pure, amazed delight while algae Cloverfield is happening.

It's kind of endearingly menacing as it looks at each bite before taking another one, isn't it?


Did we mention marine iguanas have razor-sharp teeth that they use to rain down holy, chompy terror on poor, unsuspecting algae blooms?

But once the marine iguana has eaten its fill, it's time for some major chill time.

So zen.

What we're trying to say, really, is this: It's hard not to love marine iguanas.

Image from Andrew Turner/Wikimedia Commons.

How can you not love a face like this? It has a permanent smile!

Like a happy, little Godzilla. Image from Jan Hazevoet/Flickr.

That kind of love is important, 'cause honestly? Sometimes it feels like there's a lot to not to love about the Earth these days. Global warming. Ocean acidification. "Dance Moms." Terrible, all of them.

But watching these guys do their thing makes us want take a second to marvel at the sheer ridiculousness and wonder of this planet we've found ourselves on.

Maybe today we should take a cue from the marine iguana and relax, catch some of that good, good sun, and take a moment to just ... be zen today.

Image from Maros Mraz/Wikimedia Commons.

The world is an awesome place. Let's take a moment to appreciate it.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

YouTube star MrBeast sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery to help them see again

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up."

YouTube star sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery

Blindness touches people's lives around the world and YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, more popularly known as MrBeast, is trying to do something about it. Donaldson made it his mission to help 1,000 people regain their eyesight with the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida.

Levenson has been operating a program called "Gift of Sight" for over 20 years. The program provides free cataract surgery to uninsured people who are legally blind for free, so long as they meet certain criteria. Levenson had never heard of Donaldson, and he almost hung up on him when the YouTube star called to ask about a partnership.

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up," Levenson told CNN.

After figuring out that Donaldson was indeed a real person who wanted to help others, the duo called around the Jacksonville area to determine the people who needed help the most. They got their list of clients from free clinics and homeless shelters, which covered the United States portion of the surgeries.

Keep ReadingShow less

A mom makes sensory sand by putting Cheerios in a blender.

A parenting influencer who goes by the name @ellethevirgo on TikTok has shared a brilliant hack that can turn a simple box of Cheerios into a fun sensory sand experience. The great part is that the sand is edible, so you don’t have to worry if your child puts some in their mouth, which they will inevitably do.

The recipe for Cheerios sensory sand is pretty simple:

Keep ReadingShow less

Gaël Monfils makes tennis a must-see.

Tennis isn't always the most entertaining sport to watch, especially if you're not particularly interested in seeing a ball get slapped across a net at 1,000,000 mph approximately 17,000 times. You could probably get whiplash or eye strain if you focused too hard on it. While some people love the sport, others need a little more than grunts and sneaker sounds to capture their attention.

If you're in the group of people who need to be entertained, look no further than Gaël Monfils, a professional French tennis player that has earned the nickname, "The Entertainer." Monfils turned pro in 2004 and has multiple championship matches under his belt, and yet he still takes the time to be...extra while playing.

In a compilation video uploaded to TikTok, we see the 36-year-old tennis player dancing after hitting the ball across the net just out of his opponent's reach. But of course, he also doesn't hit the ball like your average player, either. In one part of the video, Monfils jumps up extremely high and bicycle kicks as he hits the ball with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

Keep ReadingShow less