Check Out These Adorable Sea Urchins Wearing Tiny Hats
The photos were shared on Reddit by user VanillaBean5813, who Explain, “Our sea urchins like to cover their heads, so we 3D printed hats for them.” They then shared the original hat prototype, a sharp witch hat. But how do they pick up the hats to put them on their heads? Well they have tubular feet with which they can grasp objects.
Bored Panda was able to interview Reddit user VanillaBean5813, who explained that making sea urchin hats is a family business: “My dad is the real aquarist (and also a redditor), I modify 3D models on the internet and my mother runs the 3D printer.” bored panda goes on to provide more information:
The redditor explained that the project started when the family had their first baby corals and “sea urchins started taking them away which is detrimental to them.”
After the first hat designs, they had several improvements. “We went through a few hat iterations – we learned that the hollow structures were too buoyant and that caused them to lose the witch hat we made.”
u/VanillaBean5813 said it’s not entirely clear why sea urchins like to cover their heads. “We think it’s either a defense mechanism for their vulnerable buttocks or protection from the tank lights.”
VanillaBean5813 is probably right about why their sea urchins cover their heads. In this video created by Dr. Klaus Stiefel, we can see the sea urchins in action, covering themselves with various objects. He explains that they do this for many reasons, including to camouflage their bodies from predators and to protect themselves from UV rays. Check out some of the images from the Bored Panda article – the sea urchins look pretty dapper in all their fancy hats!