A whale and the planet earth.

Scoot over Captain Planet, a new planetary hero is in town

Whale poop, scientifically known as fecal plumes or whale feces, can indeed have ecological value and contribute to the health of marine ecosystems. The primary reason for this lies in the important role that whales play in nutrient cycling.

CNN recently sent a crew out with research scientists, that are studying a group of Humpback Whales.

Whale poop can help save the planet

Poopbale is generally one of the first outlets to break a story in the world of poo. In the past, our Poo Guru reported on the Earthly benefits of whale poop. Thankfully, others are taking notice to the unsung heroes of the ocean.

The frequency of whale defecation can vary among different species of whales and there is limited research information available on the exact number of times a whale poops each day. Factors such as the whale’s size, diet and individual physiology can influence their bathroom habits. However, we can assume, the dumps are likely pretty epic.

In general, whale feces is often a shade of brown or greenish-brown, reflecting the colors of the food they consume. So not to different from human poopers. But… humpback whales and blue whales primarily feed on small marine organisms like krill, which have a reddish color. Consequently, their feces may take on a brown or reddish tint.

Whales are known as “marine ecosystem engineers” because their activities have far-reaching effects. Their feces are rich in nutrients, including nitrogen and iron. These are essential for the growth of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton are the microscopic plants that form the basis of the marine food web.

When whales defecate near the surface of the ocean, these nutrients stimulate the growth of phytoplankton.

It all begins with a massive whale dump!

Phytoplankton serves as a primary food source for various marine organisms, including zooplankton, which are consumed by small fish. This sets off a chain reaction, ultimately benefiting larger marine species as well as supporting the overall health and biodiversity of the ocean.

The concept that whale feces have ecological value gained attention due to the idea that the decline in whale populations, particularly through whaling activities, could have cascading effects on marine ecosystems.

Essentially, whales play a crucial role in nutrient recycling, their presence and the distribution of their fecal matter contribute to the productivity of the oceans.

In recent years, there has been interest in exploring the potential of using whale feces as a natural fertilizer for agricultural purposes. However, practical applications of this idea on a large scale are not yet widespread.

No reports on the smell intensity of a whale turd

Whale feces may not be directly harvested or traded for economic value…yet. After all, this is America, someone out there will figure out a way to turn poo into profits. However, the ecological services provided by whales, including their nutrient-rich poop, underscore the importance of whale conservation for maintaining the health of marine environments and the planet.

Does this story make ponder, “poo could equal profits?” Well, that wasn’t the point of the article but we’d love to hear from ya! Shoot us a note! Or drop a comment on this article or any others that flush your senses. 

By Neil

Neil launched Poopable in 2023, making him the Poo Poo Presidente. After overcoming childhood public restroom anxiety, one of his proudest accomplishments is relieving himself on six continents and over two-dozen countries. His preferred bathroom includes a neutral scent, double ply toilet paper and a strong industrial flush. His trade secret to making any restroom poopable – baby wipes.