What’s the weirdest thing you’ve heard today?
Well, this is weirder.
Scientists at Baylor University in Texas are using the earwax from whales to study contaminants in the ocean.
It all got started when a student asked her professor how to tell a whale’s age. The professor – while on his way to Starbucks for a cup of coffee – came up with the idea of analyzing earwax collected over a whale’s lifetime, which the professor knew acted like the rings in a tree trunk.
This very smart professor then came up with the idea of analyzing other stuff that collects in a whale’s ear, such as ocean pollutants. Thus was born a new way to study how ocean water is changing over time.
The Baylor educators have been finding a lot of man-made pesticides that apparently have flowed into the seas.
To learn more, read this article from The Baylor Lariat.