Horseshoe Crab – one of my favorite animals. Had no idea this was happening. Wish I still didn’t 🙁
A still from the PBS Nature documentary Crash ( PBS )
I don’t know about you, but the idea that every single person in America who has ever had an injection has been protected because we harvest the blood of a forgettable sea creature with a hidden chemical superpower makes me feel a little bit crazy. This scenario is not even sci-fi, it’s postmodern technology.
The only problem is that the companies need a large supply of the blood of live crabs. Horseshoe crabs live on the seafloor, near the shore. When they want to mate, they swim into very shallow water, and horseshoe crab collectors wade along, snatching the crabs out of their habitat.
Horseshoe crab harvest for fertilizer production, 1928 (Delaware Public Archives)