Hermit Crabs Get Wound Up For The Nasty By ... Ocean Pollution?
Well, readers, if you have ever lamented over your trash taste in dates, somehow finding yourself attracted to d-bag after d-bag with seemingly no end in sight, I'm here to let you know you're not alone: Hermit Crabs, too, find themselves inexplicably drawn to the most trash beings they possibly can – literal garbage. Yep, according to researchers at the University of Hull in England, it seems the oceans aren't the only things getting hotter and hotter as a result of pollution – Hermit Crabs off the coast of Yorkshire are also evidently getting very hot and bothered by plastics littering the ocean – specifically oleamide, an additive in some plastic littering the ocean that is considered a marine pheromone for some species, per The Hill.
“Found to increase the respiration rate of hermit crabs – indicating excitement and attraction,” per a news release from earlier this week detailing the finding, oleamide can “be mistaken for food by scavengers, meaning hermit crabs may travel a distance in search of a meal, only to discover plastic instead." Ouch.
“Our study shows that oleamide attracts hermit crabs. Respiration rate increases significantly in response to low concentrations of oleamide, and hermit crabs show a behavioural attraction comparable to their response to a feeding stimulant,” wrote one researcher of the finding. “This research demonstrates that additive leaching may play a significant role in the attraction of marine life to plastic,” she concluded.