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#ReignTheSwamp: Scientists Defend Swamps Against Trump

The #DrainTheSwamp hashtag has inspired a new online movement to reclaim the real swamp's good image.

Before becoming our president-elect, Donald Trump promised to "drain the swamp," or, in his words, "break the cycle of corruption" that plagues national politics. So, this is what the bottom of a swamp looks like: Nervous scientists and political appointees with questionable experience and dangerously unscientific views.

That was a rude move, considering that the actual swamp, marshes and wetlands—and the menagerie of life they contain—are crucial to a healthy ecosystem and watershed. They serve as flood protection, water quality improvement, and are "biological supermarkets" for wildlife.

David Steen, Assistant Research Professor of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at Auburn University, turned the #DrainTheSwamp hashtag from a Trump supporters' rallying cry into a chance to fill our feeds with the most adorably mud-covered creatures the swamp has to offer. "Show me your swamp monsters," he tweeted last week with the hashtag #ReignTheSwamp, and holy shit did Wetland Ecology Twitter deliver.

Here are a few of the best beasts, feathered, furry, scaled or and shelled, that this beautiful hashtag gift has dredged up:

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