Photos of penguins in sweaters kill me. Not literally. Though if an Emperor fell on me, it might do some damage. They weigh 80 pounds and are four feet tall, after all.
Twenty years ago, I asked my niece Amber what would happen if an Emperor penguin fell on you, and she said it would kill you. Spot on. And she was like six at the time. I swear, children are way smarter than we give them credit for.
Thing is, we have a hard time grasping how large Emperor penguins are because we’re lacking context. It’s not as if they’re leaning against a fence post or sitting in a deck chair drinking a beer. We don’t even see trees or utility poles or the Burj Khalifa in the background. Nothing. So we spend our days not visiting Antarctica and thinking these Emperors could snuggle up on our laps if they lived in our house. Which, for the record, I wouldn’t mind. Just one. Having two Emperor penguin pets seems like it would be a burden.
Anyway, back to the photo. These guys aren’t Emperor penguins. They’re also not seal photobomb penguins. They’re small and look like they’d Weeble back up if you pushed them over. And, my God, they’re wearing sweaters. My favorite’s the meta one. You know, the one wearing an orange sweater with a penguin on it (he’s the one into literary fiction if you catch my drift). Killing. Me.
Says Ryan Grenoble in The Huffington Post, “In the event of an oil spill near Phillip Island’s 32,000 little penguins, wildlife clinic workers put oil-covered birds in sweaters to minimize the amount of oil they ingest while preening themselves. According to the Philip Island Penguin Foundation, the substance also matts the penguin’s feathers, which both prevents it from regulating its temperature and reduces the animal’s buoyancy in water.”
Love love love.