In "Yeah Science" Malibu Einstein covers all the weird, twisted parts of science they won't talk about on PBS.
Here is what your sex life would look like if you were a clownfish: if you are the biggest one in the group, congrats! You get to be the girl. The second biggest character in the room is now the boy. Everyone else doesn't develop gonads. Now, you and second-largest-what'shisface retire to some cozy sea anemone to breed and the rest of the school just hangs out, contemplating what it might be like to have real genitals. Now, if something happens to you, as the only breeding female, no sweat! One of those non-breeders will gain weight until they are as big as you, and presto change-o; this anemone is less of a sausage fest than it once was. Every time I see Finding Nemo emblazoned across some young student's backpack I can't help but think about what a beautiful and fertile female Nemo might have grown up to be some day with just a few more ounces of weight on his frame.
Imagining what life would be like if everyone at the office was suddenly subject to the anatomical laws of clownfish is definitely fun. Imagining what life would be like if everyone at the office mated like bedbugs though eugh. There are no words. Let me just say that bedbugs lend a terrible new meaning to the term, "pork sword."
Bedbugs engage in "traumatic insemination," which means that they literally stab a female through her torso and ejaculate into her abdomen. Sometimes the female bedbugs develop infections or die as a result of these wounds, marking the only instance where I've ever pitied a bedbug. Males release a chemical that tells other males not to stab them with their junk, but apparently they do it to other males all the time anyway. Maybe in the future they will all dick-stab each other out of existence and I can resume buying furniture at second-hand shops without fear.
And speaking of other animals I'm thrilled to have no physical relationship with, may I direct your attention to the ignominious practices underway at the duck pond.
Have you ever heard the term "explosive eversion?" Unfortunately, I have. It's a term used to describe the fact that a duck penis, within a fraction of a second, can go from being stored inside-out inside a male duck's sac to being right-side out and fully erect. When I say fully erect, though, I mean fully corkscrewed. It unrolls and inverts and then hangs like some kind of terrifying crazy straw.
But why on earth would a duck have a penis that resembles a firmer, longer, and significantly less adorable tail of a pig? Well my friend, evolution and natural selection. Most duck males are very aggressive, and they will try to mount other duck's mates when they are not looking. Yes, I said it: Scrooge McDuck is probably a rapist.
If you're a duck and you were born with a curvier, longer penis, you automatically have a better chance at penetrating and impregnating other duck's ladies. However, if a female duck is born with a curvier vagina, with lots of twists and dead-ends, she can escape the male offender's attempt to impregnate her, and even save the perp's sperm in one of those dead-ends to be expelled later. So female ducks with curlier and windier vaginas are more likely to have control over which sperm fertilizes their eggs, and therefore tend to mate, consensually, with their choice of duck. These offspring will have their father's warm eyes, and their mother's almost-impenetrable vagina. This whole process repeats over and over, with evolution favoring the female ducks that have even more circuitous vaginas, and then favoring males with longer and more convoluted johnsons until finally it is 3 AM and I am watching a YouTube video of a corkscrewed duck penis, a full 25% of the duck's body length, shoot out of it's sac. It's like it was downloaded straight from my nightmares.
The one positive of having the term "explosive eversion" branded into your brain and your lexicon is that it's a tangible (figuratively tangible!) example of evolution in every day life. The next time someone says something inane to you like, "There isn't enough physical proof to support the theory of evolution," you can tell them that you have an example to share with them. Give them a bag of breadcrumbs and suggest they take a seat on that nice bench over by those preening Mallards, because this is going to be a long explanation. Like seven inches long. Make sure they know there is a video accompaniment online. In fact, it's right here.
Stock photos from Shutterstock .