It’s a question scientists have been trying to address for some time about a phenomenon you probably didn’t even know existed: Why do wombats poop in cube form?
One researcher, Dr. Patricia Yang, finally has an answer, which she presented to the world at Sunday’s Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics. Apparently, wombats’ intestinal walls are uneven, which causes the feces to assume the unique shape when it turns from liquid to solid in the final stages of the two-week digestion process, according to CNN.
“In the built world, cubic structures are created by extrusion or injection molding, but there are few examples of this feat in nature,” the study’s abstract explains.
In addition, Sky News reported that producing cubes actually has “evolutionary benefits” for the marsupial, which has horrible eyesight and therefore stacks feces as a way to mark its territory. A cube structure prevents the dung from rolling away and makes it more visually distinguishing to other animals.
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According to Australian Geographic, wombats, native to the land down under, poop 80 to 100 cubes per night.
Researchers believe this study could have important implications for manufacturing processes.