Poop of penguins in Antarctica emit too much laughing gas making anyone go a little “cuckoo,” research shows.
A study published in Science of the Total Environment explored the of relation penguin’s activity and the greenhouse gas in Antarctica.
In the research, the nitrous oxide from the bird guano is 100 times higher than a recently fertilized Danish field.
Professor Bo Elberling said the smell of the poop of penguins was enough to make people have a terrible headache.
The team investigated the relationship between the bird guano and fluxes in soil greenhouse gases.
The nitrogen oxide released from a penguin’s poo came from its diet of fish and krill, which also eat phytoplankton from the ocean.
When released, soil bacteria converts the poo into nitrogen oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. Professor Elbring said nitrous oxide is 300 times more polluting than CO2.
The effect of nitrous oxide is similar to the sedative laughing gas used at the dentist’s.
While the penguin’s guano is not strong enough to affect the earth’s atmosphere, it may be noted that this can influence its local environment, which is especially significant as the colonies grow.