Massive Spontaneous Pig Shit Explosions
The expression "happy as a pig in shit" is a bit of a misnomer. Pigs probably aren't any happier rolling around in their own excreta than we are, or at least most of us. In the wild, pigs move around and graze like any other animal, and a poop in the woods here and there is par for the course. It's only when we started farming them, keeping large numbers of pigs in a small space, that their dung started piling up. And exploding.
"You want to run that last part by me again?"
You read that correctly. See, pig poop is useful stuff for farmers. They let it collect in manure pits for an entire year so they can spread that yummy juice all over the fields come fall. And it should just stay there, getting bigger and bigger but sitting safe, 'til the shit harvest comes. But sometimes something a little extra happens. From deep within the shit bank, for reasons that remain unclear, comes the Mysterious Foam.
David Schmidt, Iowa State University
Wow. That's gross even by "ocean of shit" standards.
It's gray. It's bubbly. It piles up several feet thick. It pulsates like something alive. Worst of all, scientists still don't know what it is, just that it's filled with weird bacteria that have no right to be there. It contains poisonous gases like hydrogen sulfide. Most notably, it's extremely rich in methane, which, as anyone who has been drunk enough at a party to try to light a fart knows, is super flammable. So what happens when a spark lands on the foam?
An hour at 350 degrees becomes six seconds at 4,000 instead?