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Penguin poop creates a buttload of laughing gas, researchers find

Enlarge / Royaume Uni, Iles de la Georgie du Sud, Plaine de Salysbury, Manchot royal (Aptenodytes patagonicus) United Kingdom, South Georgia Islands, Salysbury plains, King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus). (Photo by Sylvain CORDIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) (credit: Getty | Sylvain CORDIER )

We could all use a good laugh about now—and a whiff of penguin poop is certainly one way to get it.

Gobs of guano from king penguins in the sub-Antarctic give rise to comical clouds of nitrous oxide—aka laughing gas—according to a recent study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

And—as if the wobbling, forever formally attired birds weren’t already amusing enough—the force of their farcical feces is enough to knock someone down with a tail feather, the researchers say.

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