Scientists Make Surprise Discovery About Penguins

Scientists Make Surprise Discovery About Penguins

( – There’s always been something strange about penguins. Birds are supposed to fly, but our little black and white friends prefer to live in the sea, where they give seals and dolphins a run for their money. They live in some of the coldest places on Earth, and carry their eggs around on their feet. Penguins are just weird.

And now, scientists say they’re even weirder than they look. A team from Imperial College, London, is currently studying gentoo penguins in the Falkland Islands, and they’ve made an unusual discovery. Analysis of penguin poop has found a chemical that’s rare on Earth, but seems to exist on Venus.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean penguins are actually aliens. Phosphine is rare here on Earth, but it’s not unknown. Badgers have it in their digestive systems, and it can be found in some bacteria. Now, it seems penguins also contain phosphine. The researchers don’t know why yet, but they’re hoping to study penguins to get some clues about life on other planets.

Phosphine is a colorless, flammable and highly toxic gas made of phosphorus and hydrogen. It played a role in the hit TV series Breaking Bad, when chemistry teacher and meth cook Walter White used it to kill a rival drug dealer.

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