Giant Sperm Whale Unleashes Secret Defense Technique “Poonado” on Photographers

If it's under water, is it a waterspoop? Poo vortex?
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How did the sperm whale get to be the world’s largest toothed predator with a name that probably got it mercilessly bullied and picked on by the Earth’s other animals, you ask? It could be that no one wants to eat anything while surrounded by a cloud of whale waste.

Smaller pygmy and dwarf sperm whales have been known to use the defensive technique of soiling themselves, which works a lot better when you and your would-be attackers already live in your own toilet bowl. However, photographer Keri Wilk—who’s got some really amazing sea photos—recently caught a full size sperm whale making use of the same technique to ward off the pooparazzi in what he could only describe to New Scientist as a “poonado.”

Wilk told them,

Like a bus-sized blender, it very quickly and effectively dispersed its faecal matter into a cloud.

I’ve experienced lots of interesting natural phenomenon underwater, all over the world, but this is near the top of the list. As long as you didn’t take your mask off, you couldn’t really smell anything. Taste is another matter…

For the ocean’s predators who might actually be breathing that cloud, it’s an effective defense. And hey, those “we don’t swim in your toilet” signs people put up on their pools were fair warning. Wilk and his team were swimming in the whale’s toilet, and they got what was coming to them.

(via New Scientist, image via Rie H.)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.