It's a Dr. Yeti tradition, the recognition of the day Charles Darwin emerged from his mother's vagina in blazing fury of hellfire and amniotic fluids.
This week, knee deep Darwin hoopla, I started thinking about barnacles. For Dr. Yeti's legions of fans, barnacles probably conjure up memories of the infamous Barnacle Bill the Sailor and his psychopathic antics. You probably never heard of Barnacle Chuck the Sailor but that's probably because I just made it up.
After sailing around the world, riding giant tortises, chucking iguanas into the ocean, and knocking out hawks with a the butt of gun, Darwin made it back to England a much wiser badass. He began formulating his ideas about natural selection but put all of that on hold and dedicated 8 years to studying barnacles. You might be thinking to yourself, "Barnacles are boring as hell!" but you'd be as wrong as the Yeti in a thong. In honor of Darwin's day of birth, here are just a few examples of how barnacles are experts at badassary.
First: Dwarf, parasitic males. Darwin discovered that some species of barnacles have males that are tiny dwarfs compared to females. They literally live inside the shell of the female and latch on. The males basically live off the female and do only one thing; make sperm. Not a bad life strategy if you ask me. In hermaphroditic species, these dwarf males are called "accessory males", presumably because the hermies wear them out when they go out partying.
Two: They turn crabs into cross-dressers. One particular group of barnacles are parasites on crabs. With ninja-like moves, the larvae of the barnacle slips off it's shell and wiggles into a crab through one of it's joints. It then grows inside the crab only to bust out where the female crab normally holds it's eggs. The crab then takes care of the barnacle and it's eggs as though it were her offspring. As if that wasn't fucked up enough, if this barnacle gets into a male crab, the barnacle screws with his hormones and actually changes the body and behavior of the dude crab so he looks and acts like a chick crab. The male crab grows a wider tail, which is pretty much the boobs and uterus of the crab world. He also starts doing woman's work like caring for the "eggs", doing laundry, and now takes too long in the bathroom in the morning.
C: Biggest. Dicks. Ever. The barnacle has the longest penis relative to it's body size in the entire goddamned tree of life! Some barnacles have schlongs that are forty times their body length!
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