The Chilling Image Behind Every Vaccine You’ve Ever Had

The Chilling Image Behind Every Vaccine You’ve Ever Had
At just about 300 million years old, horseshoe crabs are about 200 million years older than the dinosaurs. This almost mythical animal has survived mass extinction events that wiped out zillions of other creatures. The females can lay 90,000 eggs, which feed countless species of shorebirds and bolster whole ecosystems. Only 10 of those eggs survive.
And, if you live in the U.S., the brilliantly blue blood of these animals has been used to test every vaccine you’ve ever had.
Half a million horseshoe crabs are caught and bled each year in laboratories linked to pharmaceutical companies. The animals are strapped in while their blood is extracted for 24 to 72 hours. Bottles fill up with their blood, a stunning shade of blue, which will be used to test vaccines for harmful bacteria.