The truth is out. Adorable penguins are just as promiscuous and depraved as some of the humans we both know and hear about on true-crime television shows.
In 1911 and 1912, British Antarctic explorer Dr. George Murray Levick studied the sexual behavior of Adélie penguins. However, the findings were so lewd that Levick published his paper in Greek, allowing only those with an elite level intelligence to stomach the truth about the penguins’ deviant behavior.
The paper was uncovered in 2012, but it turns out some of the sexual behaviors noted then are acceptable today. Males and females engaged in promiscuous sex despite their pairings. Furthermore, the animals also had same-sex relations.
In fact in 1998, a study of the sexual nature of penguins also observed that some penguins established a prostitution ring. According to a BBC News report, female penguins would trade sex for valuable stones. (Penguins require stones to help build their nests.)
However, Levick’s paper also included details that people today would consider unsettling. Levick observed situations where male penguins and groups of male penguins were raping females. There were also instances of sexual abuse and necrophilia.
Levick described this as “astonishing depravity” and concluded that the cause of this behavior was “hooligan males”.
So the next time you visit the penguin exhibit at the aquarium take note that these creatures aren’t as cute as you think.