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Penguins on a plane
March 15, 2011 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Returning from the 2011 National Science Teachers Association Conference with their cargo of penguins that had been on display in the exhibit hall, SeaWorld animal escorts decided to give their charges some freedom to stretch their legs during Southwest Flight 583 to San Diego. The flightless birds promptly made the most of the situation.
posted by scalefree (72 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
A lot of pople think penguins are cute. A lot of people are wrong. They'd change their tune if they knew the penguins are plotting to use a lost soviet sub to set off nuclear winter and expand their reach from pole to pole.


Google Operation Snowglobe sheeple!
posted by The Whelk at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am certainly not tired of these motherfucking penguins on that motherfucking plane. In fact, I'm kind of jealous.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm torn between hoping that there were no cats being flown in a carrier under one of the seats, and kind of wishing that there were just to know what would happen.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:14 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have had it with these motherfucking penguins on this motherfucking plane!
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:17 PM on March 15, 2011


I'd put up with the anal probing, porno scanners, cost, and total lack of legroom if there were penguins on every flight.
posted by Netzapper at 5:17 PM on March 15, 2011 [25 favorites]


All right, we're taking this plane to Antarctica! And the first joker to step out of line will get a nipping like you won't believe.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:17 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And then maybe some slapping. We're not cruel by nature, but this is serious business.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:18 PM on March 15, 2011


I thought penguins couldn't fly?

Oh dear lord I just stole a joke from youtube comments. What has my life become??
posted by inigo2 at 5:19 PM on March 15, 2011 [23 favorites]


Southwestern Airlines: Meals Fit For A Walrus
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:21 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


This makes me do the happy feet dance.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:21 PM on March 15, 2011


Whattya mean there isn't enough fuel? Just throw a fish in the tank.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:22 PM on March 15, 2011


Best Ever.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:22 PM on March 15, 2011


I'd put up with the anal probing, porno scanners, cost, and total lack of legroom if there were penguins on every flight.

I'll have what he's having.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:25 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"A penguin!? And he's been drinking!"
posted by Servo5678 at 5:26 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love that drunk penguin running gag So Much.
posted by The Whelk at 5:28 PM on March 15, 2011


This is what happens when you fly Heart of Gold.

"Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."
posted by gracedissolved at 5:36 PM on March 15, 2011 [11 favorites]


I have shared a plane with a falconry team (complete with hooded falcon) and a waterskiing squirrel. Neither were as good as penguins.

On my next flight, I would like penguins. If it's a choice between flight attendants and penguins, I'll take the penguins. Hell, I'll even step up and be their flight attendant.

(Also, the office where I now sit is across the hall from the office of someone who studies with one of the world's foremost penguin experts. The across-the-hall gal is completely awesome, but once in a while she complains that a particular penguin won't stop following her around when she's in the field, or that she can't get him to stay out from under her cot. And then I make commiserating sounds, but inside I seethe, seethe, seethe with penguin envy.)
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:37 PM on March 15, 2011 [38 favorites]


Any parent will tell you to just OD 'em on Benadryl and they won't need to run up and down the aisle so much.
posted by bondcliff at 5:42 PM on March 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


If they put a couple of penguins on every flight, terrorism risks would go down like a ... well, they'd go down a lot is what I'm saying.
posted by vidur at 5:45 PM on March 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sure, they're cute and all, but when the snack cart runs out of peanuts and all you're offered is a bucket of little fish, you're not going to find them so adorable.
posted by xingcat at 5:46 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sure, they're cute and all, but when the snack cart runs out of peanuts and all you're offered is a bucket of little fish, you're not going to find them so adorable

Pardon me, but this sushi seems a little . . . off.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:49 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really can't say how much this made my night. Seriously. PENGUINS ON A PLANE.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:54 PM on March 15, 2011


I just showed this to my wife, who is a serious birder, and I am so going to get laid tonight.
posted by localroger at 5:59 PM on March 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Watching this in the airport. Hoping we'll have penguins on our flight!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:03 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


awww! got in yesterday from San Francisco and i had no penguins in my flight.
*pouts*
posted by liza at 6:12 PM on March 15, 2011


Are you people crazy? Have you ever been on a plane with a penguin? They kick your chair for the entire flight, then when you ask them to stop, they pretend they don't speak English. Oh, and good luck getting ice for your drink after half an hour into the flight.
posted by PlusDistance at 6:16 PM on March 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd rather see a baby giraffe. I don't care if it's physical unfeasible. I'm entitled to my preferences, damn it.
posted by oddman at 6:19 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awesome. I'd love to see penguins on a plane. (Aside from myself, that is.)
posted by azpenguin at 6:25 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't believe nobody's made the obvious reference yet

Passenger 1: Funny that penguin bein' there, innit? Wot's it doing there?
Passenger 2: Standin'.
Passenger 1: I can see that
Passenger 2: If it lays an egg, it'll fall down the aisle to Economy Class.
Passenger 1: We'll have to watch that. …Unless it's a male.
Passenger 2: Ooh, I never thought of that.
Passenger 1: Yes…looks fairly butch.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:31 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This makes today less sad. Fucking penguins. God damn, so wonderful.
posted by wowbobwow at 6:51 PM on March 15, 2011


Am I the only one wondering what happens if it happens to take a crap on the carpet? Or is air sick? Or? yeah....
posted by strixus at 6:57 PM on March 15, 2011


wow. that's awesome.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:57 PM on March 15, 2011


Am I the only one wondering what happens if it happens to take a crap on the carpet? Or is air sick? Or? yeah....

I suspect the person following closely behind is some sort of specially trained super-scientist from the aquarium equipped with the very latest in baby-wipe technology...
posted by mikelieman at 7:00 PM on March 15, 2011


Is this going to be the March of the Penguins?
posted by Flashman at 7:02 PM on March 15, 2011


Then the flight attendant rolled by with her cart and asked them "chicken or fish?"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:23 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


"chicken or fish?"

And what would be the difference?
posted by porpoise at 7:28 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the past week, I've had to say good-bye to a friend who died too early (don't they all?) at age 40 of undetected heart disease, learned my dad had a minor stroke, and found out that my kids' school district will most likely be cutting elementary art and music (which directly affects my daughter) in the next couple years.

Penguins on a plane? I didn't even know I needed this, but I really, really did.
posted by cooker girl at 7:29 PM on March 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


So this finally answers the question that has stumped Christian theologins for ages: How did those penguins get to Noah's ark?
posted by charlesminus at 7:44 PM on March 15, 2011


Oh, wow. It's amazing what the internet will serve up if you bother to look.

Here is the website of the penguin who keeps trying to sleep under my cohort-mate's bed at the field station in Argentina.

Note: Though his blog hasn't been updated in a while, I have it on good authority that he's accounted for.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:53 PM on March 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Consider the Penguin.
He's smart as can be -
Dressed in his dinner clothes
Permanently.
You never can tell
When you see him about,
If he's just coming in
Or just going out!
posted by Splunge at 8:00 PM on March 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


herring? herring? herring? HERRING! fuck, peanuts. herring? HERRING! dammit, skymall catalog. herring? herring? herring? herring? that's a huge fucking carry-on, pal. you don't have to be such a dick. herring? herring? HERRING! 3-year-old. fucking shit is this? herring? herring? herring? ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:04 PM on March 15, 2011 [20 favorites]


With all the scary news, this post is the best thing ever. Thank you, thank you.
posted by rtha at 8:27 PM on March 15, 2011


Not so flightless now, eh?
posted by gingerbeer at 8:30 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I kinda thought people could use a break. I'm glad it worked.
posted by scalefree at 8:31 PM on March 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm going to Seattle next week. Maybe if I'm really nice to people between now and then, I'll be blessed with penguins on my plane.
posted by rtha at 8:40 PM on March 15, 2011


My big problem with penguins, is that when you shoot them from a canon, they often miss the net.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 8:56 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


oddman, just for you: I was kissed by a giraffe once.

Walking through a zoo. Stopped at the giraffe enclosure. One leaned out, and suddenly kissed me. On the lips. Then went back to what it was doing (Didn't check the equipment. Didn't feel that would be 'right'. None of my business, really.)

Feel free to hate me, or worship my image, as your local culture dictates.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:03 PM on March 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


HOW DID I MISS THIS? I was at the NSTA conference, and I didn't see no frickin' penguins. Not. Fair.
posted by Maude_the_destroyer at 9:09 PM on March 15, 2011


Thank you! Not only was I cheered by the post, I also learned that flipper patting is a precursor to nookie for penguins. I had no idea...
posted by ltracey at 9:19 PM on March 15, 2011


I realize that in this age we're living in everybody is required to photograph and video every single moment of their lives, but is it too much for people to stop and think for a fraction of a second and ask themselves, "should I be snapping photos of penguins on planes if it requires me to blind the birds with camera flashes?"

I mean it's not like it's just one person with one camera and one flash. It's numerous people all with their own cameras, popping flashbulbs at the penguins just like photographers at Hollywood red carpet events.

Somehow I doubt the penguins appreciate it. (Mind you I could be wrong. I guess since they're performing, travelling penguins they may be used to it by now, but even still, I wouldn't use a flash on the penguins, no matter how much I wanted the picture. Heck, I felt guilty even taking a handful of photos of Lipizzaners at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The last thing I wanted was for the click of my camera to distract an animal that was being asked to perform complex tasks during its training session.)
posted by sardonyx at 9:28 PM on March 15, 2011


I kinda thought people could use a beak. I'm glad it worked.

Fixed that for you.
posted by loquacious at 9:51 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "Herring?" comment above made me hysterical with laughter for a good 5 minutes. That is all.
posted by luminarias at 10:30 PM on March 15, 2011


*regurgitates herring on sardonyx's feet*
posted by rtha at 10:30 PM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cooper: Two penguins were walking across an iceberg. One penguin turned to the second penguin and said, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo."

...

Annie: So what did the second penguin say?
Cooper: Well, the first penguin said to the second penguin, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo." And the second penguin said, "Maybe I am."



God I love penguins. And Twin Peaks. But for this post, mostly penguins.
posted by grapesaresour at 11:05 PM on March 15, 2011


*regurgitates herring on sardonyx's feet*

I once got roped into assisting a penguin biologist friend on an island called (strangely enough) Penguin Island. The job was to round up a load of penguins who were coming home to their burrows after being out at sea for some days, and get them to regurgitate their catch. The idea being to check whether commercial fishing of anchovies and other bait fish was having any impact on the penguins.

Just on dusk we set up a chicken wire fence along the beach they usually landed on, with a gradual curve on each side leading to a small circular pen. Then we hunkered down and waited, occasionally sticking a radio antenna up in the air to see whether their tracking devices were nearby. About 11pm the radio tracker started beeping furiously, and under the moonlight, a v-shaped wave (much like a bow wave from a boat) came racing towards shore. As it hit, about twenty tiny little penguins flopped onto the beach, stood up, and came racing smack bang into the fence. They milled about in confusion for a moment or two, then followed the fenceline into the pen. Where we slapped a piece of wood behind them, and trapped them.

The penguin biologist got distracted by a loose radio unit on the first one he picked up, so he told me to grab them all and put them in a tub. I squatted down, reached out in a big hug, and grabbed an armful of penguins. I stood up, and those penguins were not happy. There was clicking and clacking and squawking and much pecking at my face, all fish breath and fury. I rather desperately called out to my friend, and asked what to do with the penguins.

"Put em in the tub!" he yelled back. "I can't", said I. "Why not?, yelled he. "Because I'd have to drop them". "What?" asked my friend, before turning slowly around, turning on his torch, and breaking into almost hysterical laughter.

It seems you're supposed to pick up penguins one at a time..

(The upshot, I squatted down and dropped them gently back in the pen, transferred them one by one to the tubs. We took them to the research station, gave each a drink of warm water and held it upside down to make it vomit into a sample bag, fed it a carefully warmed pilchard, and let it loose again. No permanent harm done, except to the left corner of my upper lip, where I still have a small scar.)
posted by Ahab at 11:09 PM on March 15, 2011 [37 favorites]


You worked at the Penguin Island? Awesome! There was an amazing BBC series on that place just a little while back.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:25 PM on March 15, 2011


When I was a much younger Splunge I had friends of my own age. Let us think of a group of ten year old children. We had just seen a documentary about penguins. Of course in B/W on a decent sized Zenith TV at the time. And so we went into the pool at my friend Gerard's house. We were going to be penguins.

Big mistake. Ya see, penguins jumped out of the water onto the ice floe. Our ice floe was a large inflatable air mattress kind of thing.

We took turns swimming and jumping up onto the ice floe/air mattress. then the guy on the top would make room for the next penguin, see?

That was until I did the swim and jump part and my head broke my friend Gerard's nose. I must have been in total penguin mode. All I remember is a crack on my head and red all over the pool.

I fractured his nose so bad that he passed out from blood loss (or maybe it was just the pain, I dunno).

As his parents bundled him into the Chevy (bottle green with fins) I kept apologizing. Over and over and over.

He wasn't supposed to still be on the damn ice floe!
posted by Splunge at 11:39 PM on March 15, 2011


OH MY GOD. That is so cool! I am dead jealous of those passengers! The only animals I have ever flown in a cabin with that was not a dog or cat was a bunch of chickens. This was an internal flight in rural... Spain? Portugal? Mexico maybe?... and apparently transporting livestock in planes was not that uncommon, at least back then.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:57 PM on March 15, 2011


Tasks:
1.) Aquire food
2.) Frolic
posted by dirigibleman at 12:16 AM on March 16, 2011


A lot of pople think penguins are cute. A lot of people are wrong.

Of all history's greatest monsters...
posted by emmtee at 3:16 AM on March 16, 2011


We had a housemate who used to volunteer at the Cal Academy of Sciences, and a couple times she took us on a behind-the scenes tour. One of these times, her job was to feed the penguins, which is usually a two-person job - one person hands out the fish, and the other records which penguins get how much fish. She let us do those parts while she supervised. It was fantastic. Very smelly, but fantastic.

Ahab, I have no idea what you look like, but that's not stopping me from imagining you with an armful of penguins. And laughing.
posted by rtha at 6:14 AM on March 16, 2011


2.) Frolic

Penguins don't frolic. They actually have one of the most arduous and tortured lives of any animal on the planet. To build their nests, they wake up at, like 3 AM and walk for miles and miles because the place they like to nest doesn't have the kinds of rocks they like. They do this without knees. Can you imagine walking for miles and miles at 3 AM in Antarctica with tiny little legs and no goddamned knees? And then, once they've reached the stones, they have to push them back (miles and miles) (with no knees). Repeat this a couple dozen times, and then add in the ever-present threat of becoming some asshole seal's happy meal.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:31 AM on March 16, 2011


Penguins have been know to take advantage of human vehicles before.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:41 AM on March 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll have you know, some of my best friends are penguins.
posted by arcticseal at 7:21 AM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have this stupidly shit-eating grin on my face right now. That is all.
posted by titantoppler at 7:33 AM on March 16, 2011


There are no penguins in the arctic, Mr. arcticseal. So just how did you meet these "friends", hmmm?
posted by gingerbeer at 7:47 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


One herring just past it's expiry date, wander onto the wrong iceberg and the next thing you know, I'm on a plane with a bunch of penguins and they're out of ice.
posted by arcticseal at 7:49 AM on March 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am so jealous that I am almost angry! Can't be angry at penguins though.
posted by futz at 9:55 AM on March 16, 2011


Here's another video. Better shooting, corny commentary.
posted by Goofyy at 9:59 AM on March 16, 2011


There are no penguins in the arctic, Mr. arcticseal. So just how did you meet these "friends", hmmm?

Ooh, ooh, ooh... He's bipolar!

I'm so sorry.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:24 AM on March 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


My girlfriend has had a rough time of the last several days. These videos -- and Turbo the Penguin's website -- made her laugh again. Thank you, thank you.
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 8:17 PM on March 16, 2011


I'm really surprised they had to take a commercial flight. I mean, considering.
posted by webhund at 8:37 PM on March 16, 2011


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