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    Turns Out Sea Urchins Like To Use Shells As Hats

    Bored Panda – If you’ve ever seen a sea urchin—you know what a peculiar, cool-looking little dude this echinoderm is. There are a whopping 950 species living on the seabed, making themselves at home in virtually all oceans and depth zones. But it turns out, these little spiky balls also exhibit covering behavior, which means that they use their tube feet and spines to move objects like shells, stones, and other ocean goodness around. And this is just one part of the story.

    One Twitter user and biologist posted on Twitter that “I was today years old when I learned that sea urchins naturally use shells as hats to make them feel safer and camouflaged so some aquarists had the genius idea to make them tiny hats,” and it blew up with 18.6K likes and 4.1K retweets.

    You heard it right. Tiny, 3D-printed hats for sea urchins are a new must-have among echinoderms, which make them look ten times more stylish, and a thousand times cuter. Some even say they protect their spiky bodies from UV rays, so it’s a win, win, and win!

    This Twitter user has recently posted about the tiny hats for sea urchins and it blew up on social media

    Image credits: ok_girlfriend

    And they look like the most stylish spiky balls out there

    Image credits: ok_girlfriend

    Image credits: ok_girlfriend

    To find out more about this cute project, Bored Panda reached out to the Reddit user u/VanillaBean5813 who shared it on the r/crafts subreddit. “Our sea urchins like to cover their heads, so we 3D-printed them some hats,” the redditor posted the photos of their sea urchins sporting hats 3 months ago.

    u/VanillaBean5813, who preferred to stay anonymous, said that this is their family project. “My dad is the real aquarist (and also a redditor), I modify 3D models from the internet, and my mom runs the 3D printer.”

    Meanwhile, sea urchins in the wild are sporting makeshift coverings of shells and stones

    Image credits: ok_girlfriend

    Image credits: ok_girlfriend

    The idea was initially posted in this subreddit by a person claiming they 3D-printed some hats

    Image credits: VanillaBean5813

    The redditor explained that the project started when the family got their first baby corals and the “sea urchins started carrying them away, which is damaging to them.”

    After the initial hat designs, they had several improvements. “We went through a few iterations of hats—we learned that hollow structures were too floaty and that caused them to lose the witches hat we made.”

    Image credits: VanillaBean5813

    Image credits: VanillaBean5813

    Image credits: letsgetsalty

    u/VanillaBean5813 said that it’s not entirely clear why sea urchins like to cover their heads. “We think it’s either a defense mechanism for their vulnerable backsides or protection from tank lights.”

    And it turns out, sea urchin hats come in all shapes and sizes

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: riosouza

    Image credits: commander-ledi

    Image credits: www.reef2reef.com

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