As anyone who's ever read the timeless classic Everybody Poops is already aware, the world is a reckless, whirling maelstrom of animal feces. That's because Mother Nature has seen fit to institute the "If you put something in, something worse is gonna come out" rule as standard policy among nearly all living things. But it's not always a simple matter of walking in a circle three times, grunting while looking around sheepishly, and unloosing your bowels. Sometimes it gets downright bonkers, like when ...
6So Much Penguin Crap Accumulates That It's Visible From Space
MemoryCatcher / pixabay
We've all learned from documentaries and mediocre animated features that penguins congregate in absurd numbers when it's time to get their egg on. We also know, from that time we left our car parked under a tree over the weekend, that birds can produce an equally absurd amount of shit. Well, turns out that when these two forces of nature team up, it can produce a feculent stain on the landscape that's actually visible from space.
Peter Fretwell et al.
Crappy Feet would have been the more accurate title.
The penguins actually found a way to make that wanton crapulence work for them, though. Their incessant turd production helps to melt the surrounding snow so that the ground is suitable for nesting. It's not just the direct contact that does it -- the contrast of brown-on-white absorbs heat from the sun faster than the surrounding snow. They seem to have it down to something of a science, too, as you can see sort of a pattern forming in this bit of time-lapse filthiness:
Oxford Science Blog
Also known as "Satan's Slurpee."
But as unsanitary as all that is, the penguins nonetheless don't want to wallow in their own sardine squeezings any more than they have to. So, they came up with another handy adaptation for when they're stuck in one spot for lengthy periods: projectile feces. In one of the most critically important uses of research grant money of all time, a study called "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations On Avian Defecation" found that certain penguins have developed an extraordinary ability to launch their dook with enough gastrointestinal force to send it well clear of their developing eggs. That's certainly a handy skill for the bird that's trying to keep its own area tidy, but what about the unfortunate neighboring penguin, seal, or wildlife photographer at the other end of the hepatitis trajectory?
The "splash zone" at the penguin exhibit isn't nearly as fun as the one at the killer whale show.
5Hippos Can Use Their Ass Like A Snowblower
Voilia / pixabay
Hippos are considered some of the most dangerous animals in Africa, and not just because they can kill you in a variety of snap-you-in-half, skewer-you-like-a-cocktail-weenie sorts of ways. Just standing behind one of these immense beasts can be hazardous in and of itself, because they do this:
Set In The West / YouTube
Mother Nature's version of the shit hitting the fan.
It's spectacularly gross, to the point that you'd almost think it was malicious. However, hippos have a good reason for whirlygigging their tails like mini propellers and spraying feces around in the fashion of an exploding colostomy bag: It's the most efficient way of marking their territory. Their colonic snowblower routine can send shit flying as far as two meters in every direction.
Jim White / iStock
The monkeys in the enclosure next door can only look on in solemn admiration.
Usually, it's only the male hippopotamuses that put on such rectally extravagant displays. The females and the calves content themselves with defecating profusely around and straight into the water in which they live. Apart from nauseating the crocodiles, this also serves the purpose of returning important restorative nourishment to the aquatic food chain. For special occasions, though, the females may take part in a "dung showering" of their own -- when a lady hippo gets excited by a male's whirlypoops during mating season, she'll return the favor and express her interest very directly. As in, by shitting all over his face.
Deborah Durand / YouTube
Something tells us they didn't meet on ChristianMingle.com.