Gordie Lucius and Stephen Robinson are completely shocked at how many animals eat their own poop.
"But, seriously. So many animals do this, and we had no idea," Lucius, host of Canada's funniest new nature series, "Frick, I Love Nature", told HuffPost Canada.
The pair have been exploring all the weird, wacky, and downright gross things that happen in the animal kingdom, and sharing them in short, hilarious YouTube videos.
"We're looking for the facts that are really quite shocking, that people maybe haven't heard before," Robinson, the show's director, told HuffPost Canada.
So when they learned that $50,000 in production funding was up for grabs in Telus STORYHIVE's 2017 Web Series Edition, they put their lack of scientific knowledge to good use, relying on experts to shell out the facts while Lucius flexed his awkward comedic timing and deadpan interview style.
Watch Lucius explain how some of nature's prey fight back against deadly predators. Story continues below:
The pair secured the top prize in the competition, and have since churned out six videos in the series. They use Western Canada's national and provincial parks to set the scene, and invite experts from Parks Canada, local universities, and animal organizations to share their knowledge.
The show relies heavily on Lucius' silly antics, propped up by his knack for arts and crafts. He's the man behind the rotating homemade Boy Scout sashes he wears in each segment, and he's also responsible for most of the animations and puppeteering.
"I really get myself into some situations with the costuming choices. For instance, I was supposed to be stranded in the desert in one episode, and there I was wearing a Britney Spears-esque ripped top and shaking maracas at a rattlesnake. The expert couldn't stop laughing and the footage was so hard to edit."
Lucius admits it's not all good times, however, recalling the episode where he climbed a mountain dressed in Pikachu facepaint ("I definitely looked more like a clown") while wearing very tight, slightly inappropriate, yellow cut-off shorts he'd bought from Goodwill.
"That was not a good day. Everyone hiking that mountain was looking at me really weird. I was extremely disenchanted by time I got to the top."
Robinson says it's exactly that — Lucius' willingness to be very silly and make the occasional poor decision — that's key to the series' success.
"It really disarms the experts and allows for some really outrageous, organic moments."
Robinson says the show's been really well received and they hope a second season is in the cards. He says they'd like to do a cross-Canada road trip and explore other animal habitats.
"Nature's fricking awesome and this is a great way to highlight that, but make it really funny and fun. Hopefully we get some more people interested in science and in the world around us," he said.
In order to really capture the spirit of the show, Lucius and Robinson shared with HuffPost Canada a list of the top 10 weirdest, most interesting things they learned while filming "Frick, I Love Nature":
1. Male honey bee's only purpose is to mate, and die
They're called drones and they are mostly useless. They don't clean, take care of babies, or find pollen. All they do is eat, and join with more than a dozen other drones to mate with the virgin-queen when she is ready. When they finish mating with the queen, they tear off their dingdongs and die. Bees: kinkier than you.
2. A surprising number of animals eat their own poop
It's called "coprophagia" and they do it so that they can extract as many nutrients as possible from tough-to-digest foods. This includes pikas, snowshoe hares, hamsters, guinea pigs, and dogs. Sometimes gorillas will eat their own poop out of boredom, or for something warm to munch on.
3. Mosquitos eggs can last for 20 years under the soil
If there's a drought, they can just hang out in their annoying little egg sacks and pop out of the ground to suck your blood decades later. Also, thousands of eggs can be laid in single cup of water during a single season.
4.The northern scorpion spends 97 per cent of its life asleep
It's the most northern scorpion in the world. To keep warm and conserve energy, it sleeps for most of its life and wakes up to hunt and make babies. Sounds great.
5. There's a moth that can literally jam a bat's sonar
It's called a bertholdia trigona moth. They do this by making clicking sounds, which interfere with a hunting bat's sonar, creating a fuzzy image for these hungry fellas. The bats know that they're there, they just can't find them.
6. There's millions of gigantic phallic looking geoducks under the sea floor
Geoducks live in the soft sand of the intertidal and sub-tidal zones their entire lives and have become a delicacy on some parts of the world. They can also live for 150 years — much longer than the average lifespan of other clams.
7. Lots of animals living in arid parts of the world don't drink water
Because there isn't much sitting water they've gotten really good at extracting water from the things they eat. Rattlesnakes, kangaroo rats, and many other inhabitants of badlands and deserts are able to stay hydrated from the food they eat. For every gram of seeds a kangaroo rat eats, it can extract half a gram of water!
8. Lichen can survive in space
Lichen was once left out in space for a few weeks, and came back with no evidence of cell damage. It is also partially responsible for breaking down rocks millions of years ago and creating soil that larger plants can grow in. If you haven't thanked lichen for existing recently, you should.
9. Male mountain goats hit each other in the balls
They have the highest levels of interspecies aggression of any other mammal. Sometimes they will kick their front hooves out and hit other male mountain goats in the testicles.
10. Hermit crabs make homes in our garbage
Hermit crabs have soft, exposed abdomens. To avoid being an easy and tasty snack for predators, they typically find sea shells to hide their feeble, crabby butts. But, because there is so much garage in the ocean, they've started making homes in pieces of plastic they find along the beach. Neat!
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