Filed under: Animals & Nature, Issues & the Environment, Strange & Bizarre | Tags: environment, john goodman, poop, science, the big lebowski, whales
Have I got a whale of a tale for you today, dear reader. (And I assure you, that is only the first of many, many whale-based puns to come).
Whales, those gentle giants of the sea, are pretty goddamn wicked. Don’t deny your love for these underwater behemoths – we all love whales. They’re huge, they’re intelligent, and they’re surprisingly friendly. (Which is awesome, because they could totally eat you and everyone you care about in about one horrible gulp).
John Goodman was phenomenal in The Big Lebowski, wasn’t he? Also, Roseanne.
But enough about Goodman. We’re talking about whales. And, more specifically, whale poop.
Yes, it seems as though there is a new ally in the fight against global warming. And it’s disgusting.
Whales, due to their immense size and apparent asthma or something, actually expel about 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Wait a sec there, Lu, you inevitably sputter. That doesn’t sound very helpful at all! In fact, that sounds the opposite of helpful! That sounds downright UNhelpful!
Very good points indeed. But as it turns out, the whales feces (or poop for those of you who are five, in college, or male) helps to remove over 400,000 tonnes of carbon each year, not only negating their own negative impact, but also helping to take some of the pressure off us as well. (200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions are roughly the equivalent to that of 40,000 passenger cars). Not too shabby.
So why is whale poop so environmentally friendly, you no doubt ask? Well, I’ll tell ya. Brace yourself, reader…for some SCIENCE!
Whale poop, it seems, is LOADED with iron. And iron, it also seems, is a favorite food of thephytoplankton that inhabit the sea. Phytoplankton are plants that live near the surface of the ocean. They gobble up irony whale poop like it’s Thanksgiving morning turkey burgers and then suck up all the CO2 they can muster through photosynthesis. In short, whale poop is the fertilizer of choice for carbon dioxide killing plants. And the circle of life continues.
So what does this mean for us?
Not much, really. Just because whales are shouldering a big hunk of the work doesn’t mean the rest of us can just get lazy and rest on our laurels. We still have to think green and treat the earth with better respect – especially when it comes to energy conservation.
And, hey, oh yeah…maybe we should stop killing these awesome creatures while we’re at it, huh?
Just a thought.
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