It’s time to talk about penises. Specifically, polar bear penises.
If you didn’t think you needed to worry about them before, there's a new study (via Vice) that proves they’re in legit danger -- and it’s all because of man-made pollution.
A team of scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark studied the penile bones -- also called "bacula," or "baculum" singular -- of 279 polar bears in Canada and Greenland. The baculum is a bone found in mammals like bats, mice, and raccoons, and it basically helps the penis do its thang during reproduction.
The researchers focused on a really harmful pollutant called PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and found that there’s a link between high levels of the chemical and low bone density in the baculum.
They wrote that “reductions in penile BMD [bone density] could lead to increased risk of species extinction because of mating and subsequent fertilization failure as a result of weak penile bones and risk of fractures.”
Translation: These pollutants are breaking the bears’ penises and making it hard for them to make cute little polar bear babies.
Polar bears already have rough lives because of the climate change that’s constantly threatening their habitats and, um, entire existences, so this whole penis-breaking news just feels like kicking them while they’re down.
Consider this a public service announcement that polar bears are way too cute to be suffering like this, so stop polluting! Do it for the penises! Right, Liam?