Time-Wasting Tip #6 for the Overworked Grad Student: WTF, Evolution?

Graduate Division

Got a long incubation time to kill? Waiting for your cells to spin? Bored in between classes? In class?  This week, we suggest a new tumblr, “WTF, Evolution?,” for some educated time-wasting.

For those of you who remember your comparative anatomy classes from your pre-med college days (a crystallizing moment for me, as I discovered I never wanted to memorize anatomy again and promptly applied to PhD programs), evolution often creates seemingly bizarre adaptations to a complicated world.

As the website explains, “Honoring natural selection’s most baffling creations. Go home, evolution, you are drunk.”

Take last week’s feature, the flounder, for example: a fish that sits on the sea bottom would find little use for an eye constantly covered in sand, looking downwards. So what does evolution do? It could make the fish flat, like a stingray — that would make sense, right?

But no, that would be too simple. Evolution moves that eyeball right over to the other side of its head. Thanks a lot, evolution, now that fish looks ridiculous. Check out a growing list of evolution’s most bizarre creations at wtfevolution.tumblr.com.

Check next week for another grad-student approved distraction — suggestions are welcome!