Scientists Set the Record Straight on How Far Penguins Can Shoot Their Poop


Apparently some scientists really want to learn about penguin poop.

While people have received an indirect lesson on fluid dynamics via COVID-19, one group of researchers has turned its attention to the physics of penguin feces.

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In a new study, researches have taken a closer look at a 2003 paper concerning penguin poop. Hiroyuki Tajima and Fumiya Fujisawa, from Japan’s Kochi University and the Katsurahama Aquarium, explained their findings in “Projectile Trajectory of Penguin’s Feces and Rectal Pressure Revisited.”

“The flying distance of penguin’s feces reaches about 0.4 m even on the ground.

Since a typical height of a Humboldt penguin is given by 0.4 m, this distance corresponds to the situation that if a human being whose height is 1.7 m tries to evacuate his/her bowels, the object could fly to 1.7 m away.”

They even included an illustration!

Seems like useful information, right?

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Well if you’re wondering how far off our backdoor thrusting power is from penguins (don’t everyone raise their hands at once), the answer is quite clear. For us to match penguins’ pooping power, we’d have to project waste matter nearly six feet.

Perhaps a trip to Taco Bell could fuel that type of propulsion, but who’s really interested in finding out?

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The researchers obsessed with penguin poop took things to the next level with a new analysis on what happens when a penguin releases waste from a greater height.

Utilizing a product logarithm known as the Lambert W function, the team calculated that the expulsion pressure of penguin poop is actually higher than what was published in the 2003 study.

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Just don’t try and tell Tajima or Fujisawa that their work doesn’t matter.

“We expect that our results would also be a useful example for teaching classical mechanics in the undergraduate course.

One can recognize that fundamental physics and mathematics we learn in schools describe interesting aspects of various things surrounding our daily life.”

Were you ever interested in physics or science in school? What were you favorite subjects?

Tell us more in the comments below!