+
upworthy
Most Shared

This tongue-in-cheek hashtag is spreading knowledge and delight on social media.

Every once in a while, a hashtag comes along that is so pure and delightful, you wonder how you survived on the internet without it.

#RateASpecies is that hashtag.

It's a tongue-in-cheek hashtag that zoos, aquariums, and wildlife centers have been using to write humorous Amazon-style "reviews" of different animals. It's a silly, carefree way to learn real facts about the amazing creatures around us.


And in the vein of Dog Rates, every animal receives four stars because every animal is pretty much perfect. Trust and believe — this is koala-ty content.

Here are some of the animals coming out on top, including a few endangered, vulnerable, and otherwise surprising species.

1. Am I the last person to learn of tree kangaroos? And, if so, why didn't any of you tell me about these delightful but vulnerable creatures?

2. The tree kangaroo is not to be confused with this cuddly cutie: the red panda.

Bonus points to Minnesota Zoo for the excellent wordplay.

3. If you give a hoot about owls (and you should), consider doing something about light pollution.

4. This big cat is a gentle giant most of the day. I'm not lion.

5. Don't be alarmed. This is a mola mola, not a swimming nightmare come to life.

And if you stare long enough, it's actually kind of cute.

6. Because even creepy-crawlies deserve love. Four stars (and four terrifying screams) for your local scorpion.

7. If super floofs are more your scene, look no further than the snow leopard.

8. Or better yet, this seafaring floof: the penguin.

9. If you need something that hauls, climbs, and rests like no other, maybe a bear is more your speed.

10. This well-dressed epaulette shark has a unique look that can go from day to night.

And from water to land. Seriously!

11. I don't know how this made the list. This list is for animals — not very happy plant life!

12. Now jellyfish. This is more like it. Did you know they're 95% water?

13. Finally, an animal that's Instagram ready.

14. "Bats off" to these late-night party animals.

I'm so sorry about that attempt at wordplay. I will never be the Minnesota Zoo, and I recognize that now.

15. Nothing but respect for my predator.

Even after some ice cold seals left a pretty damning review.

16. Have you ever seen an unhappy bonobo? Probably not. And you probably never will.

17. Ain't no party like a lake sturgeon party cuz a lake sturgeon party has been going on for 150 million years.

Did your favorite fauna not make the cut? Join the party, and rate it yourself.

Because every now and then, it's possible to find pure, unadulterated delight on the internet. And if you can learn a few things along the way, it's as close to a four-star experience as you can get.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pets

What it’s like to adopt a dog, as told through a 14-part comic

Moscow-based comic artist Bird Born explains why adopting a dog changed his life.


Rescuing a pet is an amazing and heroic undertaking.

7.6 million pets go into shelters each year, according to the ASPCA. And of those pets, about 2.7 million pets are rescued by humans who give them forever homes.

Moscow-based comic artist Bird Born experienced firsthand the power of welcoming a pet into your family when he adopted a dog.

Keep ReadingShow less


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

5 things I didn't want to hear when I was grieving and 1 thing that helped

Here are my top five things not to say to a grieving parent — and the thing I love to hear instead.


In 2013, I found out I was pregnant with triplets.

Image via iStock.

My husband and I were in shock but thrilled at the news after dealing with infertility for years. And it didn't take long for the comments to begin. When people found out, the usual remarks followed: "Triplets?! What are you going to do? Three kids at once?! Glad it's not me!"

After mastering my response (and an evil look reserved for the rudest comments), I figured that was the worst of it. But little did I know I would be facing far worse comments after two of my triplets passed away.

On June 23, 2013, I gave birth to my triplets, more than four months premature.

My daughter, Abigail, passed away that same day; my son, Parker, died just shy of 2 months old. Before then, I didn't know much about child loss; it was uncharted territory. Like most people, I wouldn't know how to respond or what to say if a friend's child passed away.

Image via iStock.

But two years later, I have found that some things are better left unsaid. These comments come from a good place, and I know people mean well, but they sure do sting.

Here are my top five things not to say to a grieving parent — and the thing I love to hear instead.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

A husband took these photos of his wife and captured love and loss beautifully.

I feel as if I were right there with them as I looked through the photos.

Snuggles.

When I saw these incredible photos Angelo Merendino took of his wife, Jennifer, as she battled breast cancer, I felt that I shouldn't be seeing this snapshot of their intimate, private lives.

The photos humanize the face of cancer and capture the difficulty, fear, and pain that they experienced during the difficult time.

Keep ReadingShow less

Remember Brendan Fraser? 10 years ago, he was one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Then, he suddenly disappeared.

If you were a kid in the late '90s and early '00s, chances are you saw a Brendan Fraser movie. The comedy and action star catapulted to fame behind blockbusters like "The Mummy" franchise, "George of the Jungle," "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," and the Oscar-winning film "Crash."

But after 2008, he largely disappeared from major starring roles. His absence wasn't due to drugs, a sex-scandal, or illness — despite memes and even reported articles speculating about his career arc, with many blaming it on poor career choices.

Keep ReadingShow less