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INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE —

This is What Happens When a Squid Listens to Cypress Hill

This just completely blew my mind. Okay, let’s get this out there first: squids do not possess ears. However, the same electrical impulses created when audio is converted to an electrical signal, like what happens inside a microphone, can actually be applied to tissues. Joe Hanson over on It’s OK to be Smart explains this better than I ever will. The video above comes from the team over at Backyard Brains that did some tests at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA where a squid was hooked up to a special iPod playing Cypress Hill’s 1993 hit Insane in the Brain.

During experiments on the axons of the Woods Hole squid (loligo pealei), we tested ourcockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid’s chromatophores. The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the caudal fin of the squid. We used a suction electrode to stimulate the fin nerve. Chromatophores are pigmeted cells that come in 3 colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore is lined with up to 16 muscles that contract to reveal their color.

A number of incredibly smart people even wrote a scholarly paper on the phenomenon aptly titled Neural Control of Tuneable Skin Iridescence in Squid! (via brainpicker)

—via thisiscolossal

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