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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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De herinacio (on the hedgehog)

2 minutes

A whimsical take by 13th-century scientists on why the hedgehog has spikes

Based on a passage from the Rochester Bestiary, a richly illustrated 13th-century text on real and mythical animals, De Herinacio (On the Hedgehog) is a stop-motion animated glimpse into Medieval thought. Relaying a creative interpretation about why hedgehogs have spines in its original Latin, this charming short video from the Polish animator Ala nunu Leszyńska and Discarding Images illuminates a time when animal mythology was used to reinforce Christian morals.

Director: Ala nunu Leszyńska

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau