At best, my relationship with science is about the same as my relationship with an alcoholic friend.
Sometimes, Science shows up with a case of beer and a solid plan for a great adventure. Other times, she'll (that's right—in this scenario science is a lady, because I'm a feminist who firmly believes that even women can be dismal alcoholics) show up drunk with a warm bottle of vodka and throw up on all my stuff.
For example, every once in a while, Science will stop by my place, get a buzz on, and say something cool like, "Hey man, do you wanna go to the moon? Because I can totally get us to the moon." And then we'll go to the moon, have a great night, collect some rocks, and spend the rest of the weekend convincing jealous assholes that it really happened and that Stanley Kubrick had nothing to do with it.
But just as I start to think that Science and I should start hanging out more often, she shows up to my house wasted at 4am and shouts, "CHEESE IS BAD FOR YOU, THERE'S A NEW TYPE OF CHOLESTEROL, EVERYTHING'S MADE OUT OF STRINGS, AND WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!"
Despite our strained relationship, the recent hullabaloo surrounding the March for Science convinced me to give her another chance. And you know what? I actually learned some pretty cool stuff. Most notably, I learned a lot about poop.
A recent study found that all mammals, no matter how big or small, take about twelve seconds to take a dump.
The study (which was published in the appropriately titled scientific resource Soft Matter) also revealed facts regarding the mucus coating that surrounds excrement (finally, a scientific excuse to use the term 'poop-mucus'!), rectum-to-feces measurement, and, as with most scientific research, a whole mess of other useless information that I'll never need to know.
Fun pooping tidbits aside, my favorite part of this study is that it probably required a decent amount of funding, which means that someone had to write a grant proposal. And that means that a rich person read that proposal and was like, "Oh hell yeah! Here's a few thousand dollars. Go buy yourself a stopwatch and see how long it takes a platypus to empty its bowels."
(It's likely that a zoological organization funded the study, but it's way more fun to imagine there's a pervy billionaire out there with a ton of spare cash and a lot of unanswered questions about how monotremes shit. It's also fun to imagine that said pervy billionaire is named Eric Trump.)
I'm not well versed in the scatting habits of animals, but twelve seconds sounds reasonable for every mammal but humans. We seem to take a lot longer. Though, to be fair, the only reason other mammals shit so quickly is because they haven't invented cell phones or scented candles. Because if you gave a hippopotamus a Yankee Candle and some Wi-Fi, she (that's right—in this scenario the hippo is a lady, because I'm a feminist who firmly believes that even women can be shitting ungulates) might finish in twelve seconds, but she'll stay in there for at least fifteen minutes just to enjoy the leisure time.