Planet Earth

Twelve Months, Eight Arms, Three Butts

InkfishBy Elizabeth PrestonDec 29, 2017 4:11 PM

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It's the end of the year and we're still swimming! So Inkfish is taking a moment to reflect on 2017 and enumerate some noteworthy posts. Don't worry—it won't take long, since octopuses can only count to eight. Most unexpectedly popular post:Agar Art Contest Winners Grow Masterpieces with Microbes. People like microbial art? Noted. Does anyone want to come scrub my shower? Most popular post:Beluga Living with Dolphins Swaps Her Call for Theirs. Relatedly, the ACTUAL most-popular item this year was a post from 2012 about a beluga imitating a human, which I linked back to in the newer post. (This reminds me of a former boss who said that putting out a magazine is like building a car every month and driving it off a cliff, which is a very poor analogy, but his point that old content can still be valuable was true.) Least loved post:Boo! Lost Salamander Reappears, Dressed for Halloween. Was the holiday tie-in a turnoff? This little bub is so cute! The species was missing for four decades before a security guard rediscovered it! Whatever; I still like this story. Most niche topic:The Snail That Only Lives in a Hole inside Another Hole under a Sea Urchin. Number of times butts appeared in headlines: Only three, you guys. I'm maturing? Grossest post:Worms Eat Impenetrable Sea Urchins by Crawling into Their Mouths. This finding is both fascinating and ecologically important, but I didn't share the video with you all because it is legit nightmare fuel. Cutest post:Why Some Bird Babies Ride Piggyback. Ducklings follow their parents around, but other waterbirds carry their babies in a snuggly heap on their backs, and it's adorable. (Runner-up: Stuffed Animals Help Scientists Learn How Sea Lion Moms Recognize Their Babies. This was in the lead until one of the stuffed sea lions got murdered.) Posts with inkfish:This Squid Gives Better Side-Eye Than You: why do cockeyed squid have mismatched eyeballs? Also, Dead Squid Moms Are a Gift to the Ocean Floor. What do you want to see more of next year? Do you have a favorite post that didn't make an appearance here? Leave a comment and let me know. Or just say hi and balance out the climate trolls. Thanks for swimming along!

Image: by Jeff (via Flickr)

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