This is how far scientists are willing to go to investigate the natural world: Georgia Tech researcher Patricia Yang and her team inflated balloons in the entrails of roadkill wombats — shipped from Tasmania, no less — in the hopes of finding out why the marsupials’ feces is shaped like cubes. “The first thing that drove me to this,” Yang said, per the BBC, “is that I have never seen anything this weird in biology.”
When waddling about in the world, the plump herbivores are cute but ornery. They discourage other wombats from intruding on them by leaving their poop in conspicuous places. Experts theorize that, when poop comes in cubes, it’s less likely to roll away. TMI alert: While the tubes in wombats’ digestive tract aren’t square, Yang’s team found that their intestines varied in elasticity in a way that allows cubes to come out the far end.