How Blue Whale Poop Changed This Scientist’s Life

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

When was the last time you felt a paradigm shift in your life?

The kinds of discoveries that change our understanding of the world around us don’t come very often, but sometimes the come from humble origins. Today, we take a look at how whale poop is changing the way we think about some of our oceans most important and majestic creatures!

Image: The image of a Blue Whale swimming from above
Source: NOAA Photo Library // Flickr

Shifting paradigms with whale poop is more than just an interesting factoid. What we learn from these types of studies can cause major ripple effects that could help preserve a species, change the way we think about scientific research, and give us the tools to enact real change!

In her hilarious and wonderful talk at National Geographic Live, marine biologist Asha De Vos takes us on a paradigm-shifting journey that began with Blue Whale poop!

Celebrating Discovery

Looking at the past and saying to ourselves “Why did we do that?” feels like an all too regular occurrence. From little decisions we made at home, to much larger historical “Whys” (think the use of DDT, or the over hunting of now endangered or extinct species), science so very often gives us the insights to change our behavior. It is clear that we need more paradigm shifting science, and perhaps, more importantly, we need to celebrate that science!

When we neglect to celebrate the incredible scientific breakthroughs in a way that can captivate the general public, we make it impossible for that science to have a ripple effect and truly make an impact.

Our collective mission for the future must be two-fold. First, we have to inspire budding minds around the globe to pursue their scientific passions. The more we cultivate a diverse scientific community on this ever closer connecting planet, the better our questions will become, and the bigger our discoveries will be.

Collage ANIMALS no textSecond, we must support and celebrate the remarkable research of science. If we do not ask to learn more or clamor for answers to bigger questions, we will never give critical discoveries the spotlight they need to have a major impact!

These are not over the top steps to make the world a better place for ourselves and future generations. They are the beginning of a conversation that we can all take part in to change the dialogue about our world!



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Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge