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June 22, 2021, 2:10 p.m.
LINK: www.nytimes.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   June 22, 2021

Two weeks into their science fellowship with The New York Times, Sabrina Imbler wrote what media Twitter has unofficially but overwhelmingly deemed the world’s best headline.

Imbler, 26, who is also writing a book about sea creatures for Little, Brown, stressed that the headline’s format was a joint production with Michael Roston, the Times’ senior staff editor for the science section. Roston was “the memelord who came up with the format,” Imbler told me via DM.

Roston explained that he’d come across Times columnist Carl Zimmer’s retweet of one of the eel videos, and “because I’ve been on the internet too long, I immediately started thinking of ‘that’s a moray’ tweets to go with it, and I even tweeted one last week.”

When they filed the story, Imbler had written “When an eel climbs a ramp to eat squid from a clamp, that’s a moray” as the dek. Roston decided it should be the headline, and then he and Imbler wrote more Dean Martin-inspired rhymes to caption the photos in the story.

“I triply checked that the forceps were technically clamps, so as not to introduce any errors in pursuit of the bit,” Imbler said.

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