Avocados Evolved From Ancient Sloth Poop, Apparently, So That’s A Fun Fact
Apparently, avocados are to the 2000s what prunes were to the 1970s, and both of these fruits have one thing in common: poop. While prunes can help make you poop, avocados evolved from ancient sloth poop. File this under things you wish you didn't know. If eating things derived from poop is not your jam, I apologize for ruining avocados for you forever. According to the American Museum of Natural History, "These 15-foot animals ate avocados whole, traveled, and then pooped, depositing the pits in new places. Most mammals couldn’t handle large seeds, so it was up to the giant ground sloths and other megafauna to disperse (and fertilize!) avocados."
While avocados aren't actually made of poop, the whole reason they exist in such abundance is because sloths pooped out the pits, which then implanted themselves in the soil and grew. As sloths roamed around different terrain, they deposited more and more pits. They're basically the Johnny Appleseed of avocados. What's more, while you might think the whole sloth poop/avocado connection is gross, without the sloth we might not have avocados at all. According to the Smithsonian magazine, avocados need to be dispersed away from their parent tree in order to get their own sunlight and thrive, which is exactly what the sloth did.
While putting anything poop-related in my mouth makes me want to gag, I participated in an alpaca dung-spitting contest in South Africa because I am super competitive, and I didn't want to let my team down. In order to get through it, I pretended that I was on an episode of Fear Factor. The dung was dry and didn't taste like anything, but I brushed my teeth for like 10 minutes after it was over. Because, poop!
There are other foods that you might not know come from poop, including cat's poop coffee, elephant dung coffee and beer, and vanilla and raspberry flavoring, which comes from a beaver's butt, according to the Huffington Post. About that cat-poop coffee. If anyone ever offers you the most expensive coffee in the world, civet coffee or kopi luwak, you might want to politely decline.
The Sierra Club reported that, "Civet coffee is a rarefied brew made from the droppings of a nocturnal, catlike animal called the Asian palm civet. The lithe, long-tailed creature eats a diet of coffee berries, digesting the fruit’s fleshy pulp and passing the tough pit through its gastrointestinal tract whole (although enzymes break down the bean’s proteins). After the civet defecates the undigested coffee beans, they are then harvested, husked, washed, and roasted." And, speaking of poop and coffee — please don't ever do the coffee enema to make yourself poop.
If you want to wear some poop, one precious gemstone is actually made out of fossilized animal poop. According to the Poozeum (a poop museum), coprolite is actually poop. "The word 'coprolite' comes from the Greek words Kopros Lithos, meaning 'dung stone.' Basically coprolites are very old pieces of poop that have become fossilized over a very long time."
Poop is also used medicinally. You might remember that Grey's Anatomy episode where a patient is treated with feces. That's a real thing, according to TIME magazine. Clostridium difficile infections are one of the most difficult ailments to treat, which is why doctors have turned to poop. And, it now comes in a pill form. Prior to the poop pill, patients received the infusion of fecal microbiome to help stabilize their gut bacteria via a nasal tube. However, the pill actually removes the poop from the equation and just contains the healthy bacteria that the patient needs to heal.
So, while most people generally view poop as gross, without poop we'd all be dead because, everybody poops! We also wouldn't have avocados, and tons of other things that rely on fertilizer (made from poop) to thrive. If poop gives you the creeps, this is the one situation where denial is totally acceptable.