"Let's build a civilization," we said. "It'll be great and also easy," we said. Then we plunged blindly into this whole mess, altering nature in ways none of us could have imagined. Just an oil refinery here, a coal mine there, and before we knew it, we killed the Bramble Cay melomys. (Guess what kind of animal that is. You're wrong.) Well into the 21st century, these changes keep getting weirder and more unpredictable. For example ...
Our Hair Is Disfiguring Pigeons
Is there anything better than passing a warm spring afternoon feeding pigeons in the park? You know, aside from sex, video games, corn dogs, and everything else that is better than that? Well, unless your hair care routine is particularly religious, it's likely that you're hurting those little buddies more than you're nourishing them.
Have you ever noticed that most pigeons are missing a toe or two? So did a group of concerned researchers in France. What's going on there? Weird aviary beauty fad? Retaliation from the pigeon mafia? Nope. It's strands of human hair. They tend to be floating around on the ground where pigeons gather because it's also where people gather, so they get all tangled around the pigeons' li'l toesies. Pigeon wings are uniquely ill-suited for untying millimeter-thin lengths of fiber, so they just keep wrapping tighter and tighter until the toe in question succumbs to necrosis and peaces out.
"Well, those layabouts should get proper jobs and quit pecking up our scraps to begin with," you might say if you have an especially high tolerance for animal mutilation. But that's our fault, too. We killed off the vegetation they would otherwise eat to build our condos, forcing them to adapt to scavenging food on the nasty, hairy ground. If there's any upside here, it's that at least these birds get to taste the glory of a Cheeto before it kills them. In that sense, we're kind of all in the same sodium-rich, trans-fatty boat.
It's So Hot In Spain That Chicken Shit Caused A Wildfire
In June 2019, the whole-ass Europe and specifically Spain suffered from a major heat wave. This wasn't any normal "put your bra in the freezer for a minute and you'll be fine" situation. Forget frying an egg on the sidewalk -- it was so hot that you'd get a highly undesirable flambe before that egg even made it to your croque madame. We know because that's what happened to something else that comes out of chicken butts.
The good thing about a heat wave is that it dries up things quickly. The bad thing about a heat wave is that those dried things -- in this case, a huge heap of Spanish chicken shit -- easily catch on fire. With the not-so-friendly help of warm air and dry winds, the fire quickly spread. In no time, 10,000 acres of land were up in probably smelly smoke.
That alone gave the event the right to be labeled the worst wildfire in Catalonia in the past two decades. Thankfully, only 53 people needed evacuation, but they needed 350 firemen, dozens of fire engines and water-containing vehicles, seven aircrafts, two hydroplanes, heavy machinery, and emphatically not a partridge in a pear tree to contain the fire. It was the first time ever the French national weather authority, which you'll recognize as a completely different country, issued a "red level" alert due to a heat wave. All because of a pile of chicken shit.
Drugged Livestock Killed 99% Of Vultures In India
For a long time, vultures in India had it pretty good. The second-largest livestock industry in the world kept them rolling in fresh corpses, and they don't really have any natural predators, so they just lived the dream. Then they started dying. By the millions. Suddenly, 99% of the vulture population was gone, and nobody knew why.