5 Reasons Horseshoe Crabs, Not Himbos, Are the True Kings of the Beach
The beach. The domain of the muscular, the tanned, the perfect human specimens that flex and rub their lack of moles in your face. Even the terrain itself is built to be kicked in the face of unfortunate indoor kids who have since become indoor adults. This is the kingdom of the coordinated modern Adonises with salt-kissed hair.
Or is it?
Perhaps, there is one other being you might see on the beach that I would argue is even more impressive than the human sculptures counting their Instagram sponsorship money. One with talents and traits that put any six-pack to shame. A creature that existed back when svelte surfers were just twinkles in the dull eyes of homo erectus. In reality, there is only one true King of the Beach, and it is, of course, the horseshoe crab.
They’re 445 Million Years Old
Look, you may not want to admit it, but this is what peak performance looks like. Horseshoe crabs have existed with minimal changes since long before even dinosaurs came about, and literally used to co-exist with trilobites. The combination of carapace, tail and an unpleasant amount of legs might not look quite as calendar-ready as a hot hunky bod, but it’s held up for almost half a billion years.
Those glamour muscles might get the girls, but how do you think they’d fare in a global extinction event? Because you’ll be praying for a hard carapace when we enter another ice age and you’re left saying goodbye to your species while the horseshoe scuttles along into the next era unbothered. They’ve been through multiple extinction events that have left nothing more than notches on their metaphorical belt, even the ones that killed the dinosaurs. But sure, you’re the tough guy.
They Have 10 Eyes
Before that meathead shoves a nerd down off their beach towel and tosses their glasses in the sand, maybe they should consider that they’ve got far from the best vision on the beach. If they were capable of it, the horseshoe crab would laugh derisively at their puny amount of eyes, allowing them to see only during the day, and only in one direction. Meanwhile, the horseshoe is rocking 10 eyes, including two lateral compound eyes that contain an amount of photoreceptors that make our retinas look like a school project pinhole camera.
Why do they need so many eyes that are so incredibly effective at seeing in any light condition? So that they can fuck as much as they want, whenever they want, of course. Studies have found that their wealth of ultra-sensitive eyes allow them to perfectly pick out other horseshoe crabs for mating even in pitch-black environments. Meanwhile, human Casanovas are stubbing their toe on nightstands and laundry hampers looking for an unfamiliar bathroom. Nice one, idiot!
Their Blood Is Magical Medicine
Horseshoe blood is basically a magic potion. It’s blue and filled with incredible medicinal properties. Any time horseshoe crab blood is exposed to the endotoxins that bound the walls of dangerous bacteria, unique cells called amoebocytes clot the blood, protecting the horseshoe crab. This incredibly effective clotting mechanism keeps the horseshoe crab healthy not only from microscopic dangers but large-scale physical injuries, too. It indirectly saves human lives as well, since it’s used to test vaccines for bacterial contamination, including a pretty important recent one you probably received unless your doctor is a Facebook page.
Meanwhile, how many lives is some muscle-bound summer crush saving? Probably zero. Unless they’re a lifeguard, in which case, maybe, like… three? They almost definitely had nothing to do with curing major diseases though, so another win for horseshoe crabs.
They Glow Under A Blacklight
So the sun’s going down, and the sun and surf have been replaced with a beach rave. All eyes aren’t on the dance moves of some yoked-out jock, though: They’re on a cool-ass horseshoe crab that’s now glowing an intoxicating blue under the blacklight. Why? We’re not completely sure, which just makes it cooler, man. Now our little spiny friend is grooving their way across the sand like a prehistoric beacon, whipping their tail, also known as a telson, back and forth in tempo with the beat.
Forget your body paint or fluorescent T-shirts, the horseshoe has been prepared for this exact party since before the Ice Age. Don’t question it, don’t be threatened by it, just accept it.
They Won’t Steal the Love of My Life
Horseshoe crabs, like many animals, may have procreation as one of their main goals, but unlike local surf instructors, they’re not looking to do it with my wife. They’ll never sidle their way up to the mother of my children while I’m in the public bathroom trying to deal with the allergic reaction I’m having to my new sunscreen, making her laugh and pretending not to see her wedding ring. They’re definitely not going to make fun of me for wearing a wide-brimmed hat because I’m worried about melanoma, or that I won’t go in the water because I’m afraid of a jellyfish stinging me specifically on my perineum like that one time on our honeymoon.
Every day, I wish I’d meet a new horseshoe crab, and every day, I wish my ex-wife had never met Brody.