Apparently, eating a shark’s face alive will bind you right up.

A momentous event took place in Toba Aquarium on 26 May, when the keeper of the facility’s five giant isopods discovered fecal matter in their tank. This would be the first time since April of 2018 that even a trace of poop had been found.

Giant isopods are relatives of those bugs kids around the world play with by poking with a stick so that they curl up into a ball. Pill-bug, potato-bug, roly-poly, or doodle bug are among these things’ many common names, and a fun fact about them is that they are among the very few crustaceans that live on land.

Image: Wikipedia/Bj.schoenmakers

Deep in the ocean, it’s a whole other story. The giant isopods, can grow to about half a meter and would likely not be as fun to poke with a stick. In fact, here’s a famous video from a few years ago showing one eating the face off a shark.

For the most part, they tend to be pretty low-key creatures though, and no one knows this as well as Toba Aquarium who, since 2007, have been trying to understand as much about these largely unknown animals and improve methods of caring for them.

It hasn’t always been easy. In 2014, one of their first giant isopods, No. 1, died after having not eaten for five years.

▼ A video from 2013 showing attempts to feed No. 1, which would simply play with its food and pretend to eat

While five years is an amazingly long time for any creature to go without eating, it has become clear that despite their occasional outbursts of voracious eating as seen above, giant isopods have a very slow digestive process. Others have gone as long as six years and lived to tell the tale.

This time it resulted in a much happier ending for the five isopods which were introduced to the facility in Toba City, Mie Prefecture, in 2013. Moreover, the feces was found to contain scales of a fish not served by the aquarium.

This means that the food which went into making this poop must have been consumed over seven years ago, before they came to the aquarium. While it isn’t clear exactly which isopod dropped the deuce, the finding is a breakthrough in the field of giant isopod regularity, and will hopefully trigger more detailed research into the subject.

As news of the BM spread far and wide, people in Japan took to the internet to express their joy.

“This is the most relaxing news I’ve heard in months.”
“Giant isopods make people happy by pooping. I want to be a giant isopod.”
“I saw the news on the digital news ticker on the train. It was the most heartwarming news I read in a long time.”
“I feel like this is a sign that things are finally getting back to normal.”
“Giant Isopod, you pooped and made the news. Good job!”
“Sora Tokui poops three times a day, and this giant isopod is getting all the buzz?!”
“It probably feels much better now.”

The poo that rocked a nation has also inspired artwork.

And virtual YouTuber, Virtual Giant Isopod held a mock press conference in honor of the news.

It would certainly seem that with the recent lack of good news in the world today, everyone agrees that it’s good to know that at least something isn’t full of shit anymore. As such, many people are rallying around this giant isopod turd as a sign of good things to come.

▼ Time to dust off our isopod suits and celebrate!

Image: SoraNews24

Meanwhile, marine biologists are no-doubt happy about the news as well, but further research is likely to take an incredibly long time given the crustaceans’ amazingly slow digestion.

It’s also worth looking into whether, much like with the garden eels, the lack of human visitors to Toba Aquarium has been having an effect on giant isopods. I know I have trouble when someone’s in the next stall, so I couldn’t imagine having to go number two in a glass box with hundreds of people walking by and taking photos.

Source: Byokan Sunday, Twitter/ダイオウグソクムシ
Top image: YouTube/Toba Aquarium
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