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WATCH: Coral Sex is Pretty Freaky

When it comes to sex, coral is like that straightlaced-looking neighbor with a Fifty Shades-style dungeon downstairs. It's full of surprises.


When it comes to sex, coral is like that straightlaced-looking neighbor with a Fifty Shades-style dungeon downstairs. It's full of surprises.


By day, coral looks more like a plant than an animal: It's stationary and silent, whole communities of individual polyps looking like one big organism.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Adona9

But at night, these creatures, who are part of the same phylum as jellyfish, start to get busy — in more ways than one.



The many species of coral have different methods for getting the job done. Some are asexual and reproduce by budding — or in other words, sprouting a clone and setting it free.


Others are "broadcast spawners," which is about as gross and TMI as it sounds: Females release eggs; males release clouds of sperm ...


... and these ingredients meet in the water, where they produce planktonic babies called planulae.


But the weirdest of all are the hermaphroditic species who, simultaneously female and male, produce packets of egg "pre-wrapped" in sperm.


And we don't want to ruin your milk tea or anything, but when this happens, it looks a lot like a zero-gravity boba machine.


What other round foods could coral sex spoil for you? Find out in this clip from "The Blue Planet":

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