Whales are a diverse and widely distributed group of marine mammals. They are an unofficial suborder of Cetacea, which usually excludes dolphins and porpoises. However, whales, dolphins, and porpoises are members of the order Cetartiodactyla, which includes even-toed ungulates. Hilariously, there was a whale that sprayed an insanely large amount of poop all over some divers.
A group of divers in the Caribbean were engulfed in massive amounts of whale poop after a giant sperm whale flipped onto its side and began spinning in circles, engulfing the divers in feces, resulting in what one of the divers dubbed a “poopnado.”
Are There Benefits to Whale Poop?
Scientists believe the massive colon cannonballs fired by sperm whales are as extraordinary as the animal from which they originate. They have discovered that whale waste may act as a massive environmental regulation system in recent years. Full of iron and other vital nutrients, concentrated up to 10,000,000 times their natural occurrence in seawater, when released, these turds serve as the foundation for plankton blooms. These massive creatures, in turn, pull hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere each year through photosynthesis, fueling increases in fish populations as a food source.
As a result of whaling’s decimation of the species, the lack of natural environmental engineering power of whale poop may be one of the major causes of oceanic depopulation.
Ambergris, a fatty lump developed to cover and pass squid beaks along with all the other excreta, is also produced by whales’ alimentary tracts. Ambergris is an underground and little understood product regarded as a status symbol and component of traditional perfumes, bringing $1,000 to $5,000 or more per pound. Some whales only spit it out, and it kills others through intestinal blockages. (Source: How Stuff Works – Animals)
Was the Whale Poonado Considered as a Defense Mechanism?
Many animals, such as the Komodo dragon, cover themselves in their own feces to ward off predators. The baby Hoopoe, in addition to secreting a repellant and antibacterial fluid from a gland near its anus, can literally squirt its feces into the face of an attacker. The Chrysomelidae beetle, on the other hand, covers its back in a self-shit shield scented with noxious nightshade to act as dual chemical-fecal gross-out armor.
If this poonado was a previously unknown defense mechanism, the divers made a significant discovery. It’s difficult to say what the truth is. Even if it’s the latter, they got some great shots and got to see one of nature’s most prolific and fascinating dumpers in action. Not a bad price to pay for a brief brown shower.
Even if we haven’t seen many whales use their filth as a defense mechanism, it wouldn’t be an unusual phenomenon when compared to its use as an aquacultural regulator and luxury good repository. Whales would not be the only animals to use their toilet orphans as a defense mechanism. (Source: Daily Mail)