Sea Urchins Wearing Tiny 3D-Printed Hats Are The Cutest Thing Ever, And Apparently, It Makes Them Feel Safer

Sea Urchins Wearing Tiny 3D-Printed Hats Are The Cutest Thing Ever, And Apparently, It Makes Them Feel Safer

If you’ve ever seen a sea urchin—you know what a peculiar, cool-looking little dude this echinoderm is. There are a whopping 950 species living on the seabed, making themselves at home in virtually all oceans and depth zones. But it turns out, these little spiky balls also exhibit covering behavior, which means that they use their tube feet and spines to move objects like shells, stones, and other ocean goodness around. And this is just one part of the story.


One Twitter user and biologist posted on Twitter that “I was today years old when I learned that sea urchins naturally use shells as hats to make them feel safer and camouflaged so some aquarists had the genius idea to make them tiny hats,” and it blew up with 18.6K likes and 4.1K retweets.


You heard it right. Tiny, 3D-printed hats for sea urchins are a new must-have among echinoderms, which make them look ten times more stylish, and a thousand times cuter. Some even say they protect their spiky bodies from UV rays, so it’s a win, win, and win!


This Twitter user has recently posted about the tiny hats for sea urchins and it blew up on social media



Image credits: ok_girlfriend


And they look like the most stylish spiky balls out there



Image credits: ok_girlfriend



Image credits: ok_girlfriend


To find out more about this cute project, Bored Panda reached out to the Reddit user u/VanillaBean5813 who shared it on the r/crafts subreddit. “Our sea urchins like to cover their heads, so we 3D-printed them some hats,” the redditor posted the photos of their sea urchins sporting hats 3 months ago.


u/VanillaBean5813, who preferred to stay anonymous, said that this is their family project. “My dad is the real aquarist (and also a redditor), I modify 3D models from the internet, and my mom runs the 3D printer.”


Meanwhile, sea urchins in the wild are sporting makeshift coverings of shells and stones



Image credits: ok_girlfriend



Image credits: ok_girlfriend


The idea was initially posted in this subreddit by a person claiming they 3D-printed some hats



Image credits: VanillaBean5813


The redditor explained that the project started when the family got their first baby corals and the “sea urchins started carrying them away, which is damaging to them.”


After the initial hat designs, they had several improvements. “We went through a few iterations of hats—we learned that hollow structures were too floaty and that caused them to lose the witches hat we made.”



Image credits: VanillaBean5813



Image credits: VanillaBean5813



Image credits: letsgetsalty


u/VanillaBean5813 said that it’s not entirely clear why sea urchins like to cover their heads. “We think it’s either a defense mechanism for their vulnerable backsides or protection from tank lights.”


And it turns out, sea urchin hats come in all shapes and sizes



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: riosouza



Image credits: commander-ledi



Image credits: www.reef2reef.com


People on social media just couldn’t get enough of this cute idea



Image credits: jenndesalle



Image credits: Miss_Jasbutts



Image credits: Miss_Jasbutts



Image credits: thegallowboob


One commenter pointed out their cool hats make a rather poor camouflage



Image credits: TeacherMorrison



Image credits: TheJayTucker



Image credits: thereisnorule6



Image credits: tjlavoie



Image credits: shrimpliker



Image credits: Elvaphant



Image credits: AmyWasp