Monday, April 25, 2016

A Statue Without Bird Poop

There's an ancient statue of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto in a garden in Japan that has an epic distinction: unlike other out-of-doors statues, it is singularly unmarred by pigeon or other bird poop! Now that is extraordinary! 

A scientist, Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University, observed this non-phenomenon and set out to determine why. Was it the severe visage of Yamato that frightened the birds? Or it some kind of oriental magic? Professor Hirose looked instead into natural causes. For example, could it be something in the statue's substance that made it unattractive for birds to roost and poop there?

A minute chemical analysis of the statue yielded that it was bronze, but laced with arsenic! Could this be the culprit? Professor Hirose did an experiment. He prepared sheets of bronze with the same amount of arsenic in it, and they too became bird-repellant! 

Yukio Hirose saw an interesting fact, and went beyond it into looking why this didn't happen. Sometimes discoveries come to people who have the good sense to ask why! 

For his discovery, he was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004.

And, who knows? Maybe we will one day see an equestrian statue of President Trump or President Clinton on the Washington Mall, completely unsullied with bird poop! Some people will call that a miracle! Can they ride horsies?



19 comments:

bakku-shan said...

This is weird!

Jeffrey Scott said...

Perhaps the scientist shouldn't have released his findings. Perhaps he should have just gone into business and offered poopless statues.

Mike said...

I'll bet there is be a following that believes in the power of Yamato.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

How do the birds sense the arsenic? Do they smell it?

John Hill said...

Another interesting story for the "Did you know...?" file!
Thanks, Angel. Have a grand week, my young friend!

Duckbutt said...

An interesting scientific experiment!

Cloudia said...

Love this reporting, Angel!

Cloudia said...

AND I adore horsies

Linda Kay said...

When we were in Prague, we noticed there was netting draped over many of the statuary to keep the birds off.

allenwoodhaven said...

A clever idea. I wonder what other substances wold work. And what would attract birds too. It could be quite a business in either direction!

Cherdo said...

The birds were just huge fans...

Mike said...

Use be or not use be, that shouldn't even be a question. (see my comment above)

Gorilla Bananas said...

I don't believe this. Why would birds be discouraged from shitting on something coated with arsenic? It sounds like a big hoax to me!

Bilbo said...

Let's just cut to the chase and feed the arsenic to some politicians before the statues become necessary.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

So... maybe if I use arsenic the birds will leave my blueberry bushes alone?

Michele Truhlik said...

That is so interesting! I never heard of such a thing. And winning a Nobel prize too? Wowsa. very cool.

Michele at Angels Bark

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

POOP!
I came here for the BOTB.

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

Blue Grumpster said...

An equestrian statue of President Trump, completely unsullied with bird poop... That's food for thought. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna dream about this frightening image.

Blue Grumpster said...

P.S. Where are you in this picture: CLICK!