Why Does This Shrimp Cost More Than A Car?

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Some aquarium hobbyists will pay $10,000 or more for a single shrimp because of the rarity of their colors or patterns.

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
Chromatophores: pigment-containing cells in the deeper layers of the skin of animals like shrimp
Restricted availability theory: a commodity is available or perceived to be available only for certain individuals
Reactance theory: unavailability of a commodity is perceived as a threat to an individual’s freedom to posses that commodity, making it more desirable.
Scarcity heuristic: a mental shortcut that places value on items based on how easy it is to miss out on them.

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This video was produced by:
Julián Gustavo Gómez (@thejuliangomez) | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Sarah Berman (@sarahjberman) | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

Feedback on drafts by:
David Goldenberg, Alex Reich, Henry Reich, Peter Reich, Ever Salazar and Kate Yoshida

MinuteEarth is produced by Neptune Studios LLC

Henry Reich | Executive Producer
David Goldenberg | Production Manager
Melissa Hayes | Business & Legal Counsel
Kate Yoshida | Chief Editor
Ever Salazar | Creative Director
Julián Gustavo Gómez | Community Manager

White Painted (Kai Bai) Shrimp photo by Demin Wong
Blue Bolt Shrimp photo by Jeffrey Kelley

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Bauer, R. T. “Color patterns of the shrimps Heptacarpus pictus and H. paludicola (Caridea: Hippolytidae).” Marine Biology 64.2 (1981): 141-152.

John, Maria, et al. “The preference for scarcity: A developmental and comparative perspective.” Psychology & Marketing 35.8 (2018): 603-615.

Lukhaup, Chris. “Freshwater Shrimps: The next Generation.” Practical Fishkeeping, 14 May 2019,

Lynn, Michael. “The psychology of unavailability: Explaining scarcity and cost effects on value.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology 13.1 (1992): 3-7.

Verhallen, Theo MM, and Henry SJ Robben. “Unavailability and the evaluation of goods.” KYKLOS-BERNE- 48 (1995): 369-369.

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