We go to the beach to see its natural beauty. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll see a dolphin flopping off in the distance, or a whale exploding plumes of vapor above the surface near the horizon. We never go to the beach to see trash — and yet it’s always there. Obviously, the garbage is full of stuff people don’t want, like old toothbrushes, flossers, cigarette lighters, shopping bags, popped balloons — I could go on an on. As you know, most of this junk is made of plastic.

Most of the disposable plastic can’t get recycled, it just sits…


About a quarter of a century ago, a band called King Missile came out with a song called “Detachable Penis” — its weirdness developed a cult following. The song is very creative but seemingly meaningless — unless the writer was a marine biologist describing octopuses, in which case removing one’s genitalia is a common part of a very odd lifecycle.

Before we explore these weirdities, let’s talk about what all octopus species consistently have in common: eight sucker-lined arms with a beaked mouth in the middle plus lots of intelligence.

One thing that’s NOT consistent with the world’s smartest invertebrate…


If you read my comics, you know I’m a big fan of interesting life cycles. The joy of learning about how animals develop from birth to death started when I saw a documentary about parasites. It featured a snail with eyestalks that looked like they were about to blast off to the moon. The film was narrated by David Attenborough, no less.

The memory of the snail with pulsating eyes stuck with me. And it’s a good thing too, because I was commissioned to write a book for 4th graders about parasites. …


When I was a kid in Pennsylvania, my parents would take us to a dairy farm down the street. They had a little market that sold some delicious ice cream. You could even go behind the store and watch the cows grazing in the pasture. Sometimes the cows would come up to the fence, munching their cud, to visit people. “This ice cream came from you,” I said to them, holding up a scoop of chocolate chip — noticing the same pattern on the cowhide as what was on my cone. Little did I know what these cows go through…

Rob Lang

I make a comic strip about nature called Underdone. The best place to see it is on Instagram/UnderdoneComics

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