Spend Two Minutes Rooting for a Pill Bug to Roll Back Onto His Feet | Smart News | Smithsonian
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Spend Two Minutes Rooting for a Pill Bug to Roll Back Onto His Feet

You know that feeling where you’re stuck, and you can’t quite get unstuck? So does this pill bug.

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You know that feeling where you’re stuck, and you can’t quite get unstuck? Maybe you’re in a bad relationship, or lost in the midst of a big project for work. Maybe you’re trying to get out of bed, or trying to get started on a particularly unappealing cleaning task. Whatever it is, you totally know how this pill bug feels. And now you can watch it struggle for about two whole minutes. By the end, if you have a soul, you’ll be cheering for the little thing to right itself. 

As for what exactly you’re looking at, it’s a pill bug. Or roly-poly. Or armadillo bug. Or whatever else you might call it based on where you’re from. Its scientific name is a woodlouse (which is way less cute-sounding than roly poly bug). These little bugs are actually a whole suborder of crustacean. In fact, they’re the only known crustacean that lives inland and away from water habitats. There are more than 3,000 different species of woodlouse in the world, so the ones you played with as a kid might not be the same species as this little one above. But there are a couple of characteristics that these species share: they all have twelve visible plates and seven pairs of legs. 

The average woodlouse also lives longer than you might expect: about two years. Some make it to four. How many times they get stuck like this in their lifetime is unknown. So as you go on through the week, remember, if this little pill bug can get turned ride side up, so can you. 

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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