Carnivorous plant has ultra-cool oceanic look-alike

Venus flytrap anemone: an even cooler version of the Venus flytrap?
Flyrtrap Sea Anemone Cool or creepy? Maybe a little bit of both? (NOAA/MBARI)


*Note to all Karens: for the sake of this article, pretend your name is something else. Maybe Joanna, or Markus, or Therese. Things will make way more sense that way.

"Hey, Karen, long time no see!"

Imagine a stranger walking up to you with a big smile on his or her face, excited to see an old friend. He or she looks like a perfectly nice person, and would probably make a fine friend, but there's a catch: your name's not Karen. They've got the wrong person.

Maybe you go home and ask your parents if you have a long-lost twin named Karen. Nope, they say.

A cousin Karen? An aunt Karen? A secret agent Karen who's had to hide her identity from her entire family for their own protection?

Nope, nope, and nope. Whoever this mysterious Karen is, you're not related to her in any way.

It's okay: sometimes unrelated people randomly look similar. Just ask Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran.


Ed Sheeran, left, and Prince Harry, right. Or is it Prince Harry, left, and Ed Sheeran, right?

Venus flytrap and Venus flytrap anemone: twinsies!

Turns out not only humans have this problem. Remember the Venus flytrap we talked about in the September issue of OWL Magazine? Even this carnivorous plant has a surprising look-alike.

Venus flytrap
Venus flytrap, or Dionaea muscipula. Found in the subtropical wetlands of North and South Carolina. (© Bobbrooky | Dreamstime)

Flytrap sea anemone
Venus flytrap anemone, or Actinoscyphia sp. Found deep in the ocean. (NOAA Photo Library)

The Venus flytrap and the Venus flytrap anemone aren't actually related. I know, right? Those dangly tentacle-things certainly fooled us!

They're actually about as far apart as two organisms can get. Not only does the oceanic version of the Venus flytrap live, well, underwater... it's also technically an animal.

So what do these organisms have in common, besides their superior sense of style? They're both carnivores that can open and close their "jaws" to catch prey. Check out the anemone version in action below.

Awesome, right?

*Note to all Karens: you can go back to being Karen now. Thanks for playing along!


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