By Josie  Decemner 3rd, 2023

These Sea Urchins Wearing Cowboy Hats Is More Than Just Fashion

The cowboy style is currently trending in human fashion, but did you know it’s become a trend with a certain sea resident as well?

Starting as a fun experiment by an aquarium enthusiast, this new-found fashion of sea urchins wearing hats has been adopted by various aquariums around the world.

In the wild, sea urchins are known to cover themselves with rocks, shells, and other objects.

The Science Behind the Fashion

They do this as a form of camouflage, as a shield against harmful UV rays, and top not get swept away by currents.

Sea urchins possess hundreds of tube feet, each ending in a suction cup, which they skillfully use to manipulate objects.

How Can They Lift Things?

The process is nothing short of a spectacle. But it’s also a difficult one; they often try many times before being successful.

How the Trend of Sea Urchins Wearing Hats Started

An aquarium enthusiast called Wilson Souza noticed their propensity to cover themselves and decided to experiment with 3D-printed hats.

The urchins seem to take to these hats readily, often moving them toward light sources. In other words, they use the hats much as we humans do: as protection against UV rays.

Disneyland's EPCOT center has joined in on this trend, with sea urchins in their tanks donning small Mickey Mouse ears.

This playful addition educates visitors about the behavior of these creatures in a fun and accessible way.

It’s a unique intersection of nature and popular culture, illustrating how even marine life can become part of our shared cultural experiences.

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