Speed Reads

Not the penguins!

Scientists suggest Antarctica tourism could be making penguins sick

Sure, traveling to Antarctica sounds cool, but visitors may be leaving behind a tough time for the region's adorable inhabitants, The Atlantic reports.

A paper published in the journal Polar Biology notes that penguins are highly susceptible to infectious agents such as salmonella and E. coli. And previous studies have found that tourist boots may leave behind dozens of dangerous pathogens. As tourism to Antarctica increases — more than 10,000 people now visit each year — so may the dangers for wildlife.

However, ecologist Norman Ratcliffe said tourism companies are very careful not to pollute the region, and that there is likely some other reason behind Antarctica's sickly penguins.

Fine, Norman, but I think I'll stick with a closer-to-home trip, just in case.