Saturday Night Social: Introducing 1.5 Million Penguins

A group of scientists who stick out like a sore thumb has casually announced that a couple years back they discovered Penguin Party Central, no big deal.

The hip-sounding group of previously-unknown 1.5 million penguins, referred to as a “supercolony” (very rad) hang out in their “hotspot” (woot), the Danger Islands (intriguing).


They were detected by their poop (tracked by “telltale guano stains” in NASA satellite imagery) and lo and behold, here they are, shitting all over. Doing their thing. Based on NPR’s description of the smell of guano, I imagine something of a morning-after vibe at a nightclub on the Jersey Shore: “The best way to re-create the experience for yourself is to take some old cigarette tobacco, soak it in ammonia, mix in some rotten shrimp, and let it sit out in the sun for a few days...That’s the smell of penguin guano.”

This is also cool because the Adélie penguin population has been sharply declining on the western side of Antarctic Peninsula over the past several years due to climate change, the scientists write in Scientific Reports, and this mysteriously thriving section may provide keys to the species’ survival.

Anyway, they’re surrounded by treacherous waters, so travel logistics are crazy.

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About the author

Whitney Kimball

NYC-based freelance writer