The monsoon season runs from June 15 – September 30 in Arizona. The 2021 monsoon season was the seventh wettest on record. If folks in the western U.S. were wondering where it was raining this summer, it was Arizona.
Due to this moisture, ultra-rare creatures called “triops” hatched at Wupatki National Monument north of Flagstaff, Arizona. These creatures are also known as “three-eyed shrimp” or “dinosaur shrimp” According to an article in IFL Science, hundreds of these creatures were hatched from eggs that can lay dormant for decades at a time. Under the right conditions, like ample amounts of moisture/standing water, the dinosaur shrimp hatch. This is such a rare occurrence that staff at the Wupatki National Monument took to the google machine to identify them.
These creatures look a bit like a three-eyed horseshoe crab. Unfortunately, they don’t actually have three eyes, just two eyes, and a black ‘pit organ’ much like a snake. They have a short lifespan and only live up to 90 days. On the bright side, these triops will lay eggs that will hatch after another super wet monsoon in the coming decades.
Images from: Earthly Mission Facebook Page