- Science! July 7
Blue whales can eat up to eight tons of krill per day, and that krill is then turned into a sensational amount of, um, whale waste. Gross, right? Well, consider this: Whale poop may actually play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change, according to University of Vermont researchers.
In a paper published this month in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the biologists write that large whales stabilize ocean ecosystems by helping to "recycle nutrients." More specifically, they feed deep in the ocean and then swim toward the surface to go number two. The process, to borrow the science community's euphemism, is known as a "whale pump."
The deposited nutrients feed a new crop of plankton, which in turn feeds the lower rungs of the ocean's food chain — while also absorbing copious amounts of carbon dioxide. It's the circle of life. The gross, stinky, circle of life.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- 5 tricks to making a mind-blowing burger
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
Subscribe to the Week