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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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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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Sea urchins pull themselves inside out to be reborn

3 minutes

If a sea urchin survives the incredible tumult of youth, it’s nearly immortal

Sea urchins are members of a tube-footed sea creature family that includes sand dollars and starfish. To reach maturity, they must brave treacherous, extraordinary journeys. Conceived in the open sea from sperm and eggs released by adults, sea urchin larvae develop small, spaceship-shaped exteriors to help them float to a more permanent home. When the time is right to settle down, the spherical larvae turn themselves inside out, revealing a small, many-legged adult that has been growing inside. Part of KQED’s science documentary series Deep Look, this stunning high-definition video chronicles one of nature’s most spectacular transformations.

Producer: Josh Cassidy

Video by KQED Science and PBS Digital Studios

Narrator and Writer: Amy Standen

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