Let’s face it: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably don’t know what actually lives there. That’s where iNaturalist comes in. The crowdsourced website and app, founded in 2008, directs users to wield their smartphones to document and identify every critter, flower, fungus, bug, varmint and pest they come across in the world.
Today, iNaturalist’s surprisingly vibrant community of about 150,000 has tagged almost 120,000 species on every single continent. Many users are amateur or professional naturalists, but there are also more casual participants, ranging from nice old ladies identifying their azaleas to teenagers trolling us with countless tags of Homo sapiens.
We delved into the local iNaturalist looking for unusual finds and discovered one truth: While Houstonians are eminently interesting, our surroundings have us beat.