Need More Penis Fish In Your Life? A California Aquarium Has a Livestream

jkirkhart35, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0
jkirkhart35, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Last week, the internet was flooded with seemingly not-safe-for-work images of Urechis caupo, a.k.a. the penis fish. Known as the fat innkeeper worm by marine biologists, thousands of penis fish were found littering shores in Northern California in early December. A storm likely unearthed the marine worms from their burrows in the sand and dumped them onto Drakes Beach near San Francisco, where they scandalized visitors. Now that the existence of the phallic annelids has been brought to the public's attention, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is capitalizing on their viral fame by livestreaming one.

The video below, which was streamed live by California's Monterey Bay Aquarium on December 16, shows the penis fish up close. Despite the provocative, and fitting, nickname, the penis fish is neither a penis nor a fish. It's a spoon worm that releases mucus from its top end to capture organisms like plankton and pumps water to suck prey into its burrow. They grow to be about 10 inches long and live along the Pacific coast.

Fat innkeeper worms spend most of their time buried in the sand, which is why the sight of them covering Drakes Beach this month was so rare. If you weren't able to see them in person, you can get a good look at the elusive critter in the video above. It shows a penis fish squirming through the tunnels of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's exhibit hall while aquarium staff members provide commentary.

Amazingly, Urechis caupo isn't the only marine animal resembling an adult novelty gift found on the West Coast. The geoduck—a huge mollusk native to the Pacific Northwest—is also famous for its risqué appearance.

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer


If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

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Researchers Just Unearthed ‘Lost’ Footage of the Extinct Tasmanian Tiger—Watch It Here

A Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, in captivity circa 1930.
A Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, in captivity circa 1930.
Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

For 85 years, the last known footage of the now-extinct Tasmanian tiger sat forgotten in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), until it was recently unearthed by researchers from a Facebook group called the Tasmanian Tiger Archive.

The NFSA’s newly digitized 21-second clip is part of a nine-minute travelogue called Tasmania the Wonderland from 1935, presumed to be the work of Brisbane filmmaker Sydney Cook (though the film is missing its credits, so that remains unconfirmed). It shows a striped, dog-like creature named Benjamin—the last of his kind ever in captivity—pacing his cage at Tasmania’s Beaumaris Zoo, which shut down in 1937.

Tasmanian tigers aren’t actually tigers—they’re carnivorous marsupials called thylacines. TreeHugger reports that the species died out in mainland Australia about 2000 years ago, but they managed to survive in Tasmania until the 20th century. Though thylacines were officially declared extinct after Benjamin died from suspected neglect in September 1936, the status has been highly contested to this day.

“Do I think the animal is extinct?” Neil Waters of the Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia told HowStuffWorks. “No, because I have seen two and been coughed/barked at by one in South Australia in 2018. There have been more than 7000 documented sightings of thylacines (or animals that appear to be thylacines), with the majority of those sightings on mainland Australia.”

Considering that fewer than a dozen known clips—a total of just over three minutes—of film footage showing thylacines exist today, Benjamin’s 21 seconds of fame in Tasmania the Wonderland is a monumental rediscovery. And, since thylacines were exhibited in zoos in Washington, New York, Sydney, Berlin, and other cities after the advent of film, the NFSA is optimistic that more footage could turn up in time.

[h/t TreeHugger]