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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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Praying mantis love is way weirder than you think

5 minutes

When is it worth sacrificing your life for the next generation?

The tempestuous sex lives of praying mantises have long been fodder for cartoons and trivia nights, but what really happens when these wonderfully weird insects procreate? Yes, the female sometimes eats the male during or after sex, but that’s not where the intrigue ends. Captured in astonishing (and occasionally harrowing) detail, this video from the science and nature documentary series Deep Look probes the latest in mantis-mating research, detailing why their seemingly strange ritual is actually a remarkable example of evolutionary efficiency. Read more about the video at KQED Science.

Video by KQED Science and PBS Digital Studios

Producer and Writer: Josh Cassidy

Narrator and Writer: Lauren Sommer

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