Did you know that wombat poop is cube-shaped? Well, you do now, and scientists have finally figured out why it is such a strange shape.
Poop. No matter how much we might try to deny it and don't necessarily want to talk about it, it is something we all do. In fact, it is one of only a small handful of things we all do. Eat, drink, pee, poop, sleep, breathe, and then die. Those are the big seven right?
Back to the poop. For many of us, it is not a topic we broach very often. However, we recently learned something that perked our interest. Wombat poops are cube-shaped. According to BBC, they are the only known species to do so. It is something that has baffled scientists for years as they haven't been able to figure out the how and the why.
Well, some savvy researchers in the US finally have answers. First of all, the reason behind the square poops: wombats actually use them to mark their territory and can apparently produce as many as 100 in a single night. The reason they need their waste to be cubic is so that it doesn't roll away. Pretty clever, huh?
Why wombats poop cubes wasn't the part that puzzled researchers, though. It was how they do it. A team led by Dr. Patricia Yang of the Georgia Institute of Technology compared wombat intestines to those of a pig. To the layman, both types of intestine look the same. However, upon closer examination, Dr. Yang and her colleagues discovered the key difference. The final 8% of a wombat's intestines have a varied elasticity. It is there that the poop is shaped into cubes.
So there you have it, mystery solved. Probably not something that was keeping you up at night, but certainly an interesting topic. Plus, believe it or not, Dr. Yang explained how the discovery can help us in the manufacturing world. We currently make things into cubes one of two ways, by cutting them or molding them. The way in which a wombat's intestines work has now introduced us to a third way. How about that?