“Weirdest creature[] we’ve ever seen” basically vindicates Disney

Almost two years ago, Grist published a piece piggy-backing off another piece in Scientific American, alerting readers to the incontrovertible fact that “crazy living rock is one of the weirdest creatures we’ve ever seen“:

The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it. It’s also completely immobile like a rock — it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms — and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare element called vanadium. Also, it’s born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together. Nature, you are CRAZY.

. . .

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be looking more carefully at rocks in the future. Also possibly trees and dirt. Who knows what apparently inanimate objects might be filled with innards and holding perverse “selfing” orgies right in front of our noses? Thanks for keeping us on our toes, nature.

But can Grist really claim to be surprised by the discovery of a living rock? After all, Disney alerted us to the possibility almost twenty years ago (I am so old):

In the words of the greatest Disney princess ever animated, “I know every rock and tree and creature / Has a life, has a spirit, has a name.”

I suppose the unsurprising part is that Disney opted to leave out all the other details.


Credit for dredging this creature up to JJK.


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