By Josie Decemner 3rd, 2023
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.
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.
The process is nothing short of a spectacle. But it’s also a difficult one; they often try many times before being successful.
An aquarium enthusiast called Wilson Souza noticed their propensity to cover themselves and decided to experiment with 3D-printed hats.
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.