Building a hunter-killer robot that is programmed to terminate an entire species is normally the job of the bad guys. But when said species is the crown-of-thorns starfish, which feeds off coral, that robot is actually fulfilling a vital mission.
There’s a plague currently afflicting starfish along the North American West Coast. Called sea star wasting disease, it’s a terrifying affliction that causes echinoderms to tear themselves apart. Now, for the first time ever, the disease has been spotted in northern waters—a possible consequence of global warming.
For the last year and a half, sea stars all along North America's Pacific coast - from Baja California all the way to Alaska - have been withering away into nothingness. Today, researchers announced they've found the culprit: it's a virus.
A mysterious illness has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of starfish on North America's west coast, and its symptoms are horrifying. Dubbed "sea star wasting syndrome," the arms of an infected individual will twist into knots, develop lesions, and finally crawl away in opposite directions until they tear away…
Starfish may be flexible, but they're also tough. Yet a mysterious "wasting syndrome" is making starfish from Southern California to Alaska decay while still alive. Populations are being decimated up and down the west coast.
It is in fact... the rough surface of a starfish, snapped by zoologist Alexander Semenov. He explains:
Personally I've always been a shower guy, but this Starfish Bath Sensor may make me switch it up once in a while, if I could get past the "soaking in my own filth" aspect. The Starfish has a water sensor so you can let your bath water go while you're getting your bubbles, music, and booze ready for a long soak. When…