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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.

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