Cypress Hill Played Through a Squid: Insane in the Membrane, Indeed

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Finally, an answer to that question we’ve all been mulling for years: What happens when you blast early-90s hip hop through the nerves of a squid?

A group called Backyard Brains — two scientists who perform hands-on experiments to expose the wonders of neuroscience — conducted its latest experiment to test the effects of music on squids’ pigmented cells known as chromatophores. Because really, you know, why not?

According to the group’s website, the squid in question — a Longfin Inshore — has three varieties of chromatophore colors: red, brown and yellow. Each cell is surrounded by several muscles that, when stimulated, contract to reveal the pigment within the cell. The scientists used an iPod nano as the stimulator, connecting the headphones — minus the ear buds — to the squid’s nerve through a suction electrode. Next, they scrolled to Cypress Hill’s 1993 hit “Insane in the Brain,” turned up the volume, and hit play.

The video provides a zoomed-in view, through a microscope, of the dorsal side of the squid’s fin. As the song plays, and the sounds are converted by the iPod into vibrations, the experiment reveals the chromatophores’ bizarrely beautiful reaction, almost akin to an iTunes visualizer. Except, you know, with more science. And more squids.

MORE: Alien Autopsy: Inside a Big Squid

5 comments
The Sanity Inspector
The Sanity Inspector

Maybe someday there will be tattoo technology that will let people's skin do this.

cheeflo
cheeflo

poor squid. hope it doesn't hurt.

ronchris
ronchris

 It'll be fired calamari in a while.

Antonis Michael Arocho
Antonis Michael Arocho

To da one on da flamboyant tip. I'll just toss that ham in the fryin pan like spam, get done when I come and slam. Damn, I feel like the Son of Sam-C.H.