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11 Surprising Uses For Pee and Poop

Ocean fertilizer

(Image credit: Dr. Louis M. Herman/NOAA/CC BY 2.0)

Whales are among the largest living creatures on Earth — as such, they generate enormous quantities of pee and poop. And that's a good thing, as their waste provides critical nutrients for a variety of marine creatures.

Whales typically relieve themselves at the sea surface before they dive, leaving behind a "fluffy" effluvia plume. This fecal feast releases nutrients that originated in ocean depths and nourish phytoplankton — tiny marine plants — which live close to the surface, and play an important part in ocean food webs.