Marble crayfish

MP cz/Shutterstock (Licensed)

The internet is ready for an all-female species of crayfish to take over the world

Mutant female crayfish inherit the earth?

 

Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Published Feb 6, 2018

Usually, news of a mutant species that can clone itself would freak everyone out. But the internet responded with optimism and excitement to a study released Monday in Nature that said the marbled crayfish, which didn’t exist until 25 years ago, was popping up in large numbers around the world. The marbled crayfish is a unique species; because of a mutation, it can clone itself. The clones it reproduces are all female.

Carl Zimmer’s New York Times report on the study was widely shared in a popular tweet about the all-female crayfish:

The report inspired tweets welcoming our future female crayfish “overlords.”

And cheers for mutant females.

https://twitter.com/jpbrammer/status/960900146916724736

A couple of people made jokes that referenced Beyoncé songs.

https://twitter.com/bookie_bee/status/960949723929677824

The mutant crayfish really gave people hope for the future.

https://twitter.com/dvntae/status/960902858685255680

And human women wondered how we could clone females like the marbled crayfish.

https://twitter.com/sanaali_/status/960926059272261633

https://twitter.com/glosswitch/status/960933703420665858

You’re probably still wondering how these mutant crayfish have thrived. According to the Times, “about 1 in 10,000 species comprise cloning females. Many studies suggest that sex-free species are rare because they don’t last long.”

So far, the marbled crayfish have lasted only a couple of decades. Scientists are monitoring how long this species will survive. Maybe the crayfish will survive long enough to briefly take over the world—or at least inspire a sci-fi film about it.

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 6, 2018, 2:28 pm CST