Japanese Aquariums Reveal Scandalous Penguin Dramas Juicier Than a Soap Opera


A Twitter post went viral after a photo of the Kyoto Aquarium‘s intricate relationships between its penguins caught attention, with users calling it worthy of a soap opera or drama series.

On Saturday, user Oliver Jia, a graduate researcher based in Kyoto, posted the 2020 relationship map and captioned it as “the complicated romantic relationships and breakups between their penguins.”

Underneath that tweet, Jia linked a BBC article debunking the myth that penguins are only “cute and cuddly” creatures.

They frequently cheat on their partners and engage in homosexual acts,” it said. “Penguin mothers kidnap each other’s chicks.

At the bottom of the massive chart is a key where one user translated the icons: a red heart is for couples (married or dating), the blue for a breakup, the purple for infidelity or “more than friends,” the yellow penguin for friendship, and the aquamarine penguin for “former friends” or they’re in disagreement.

Chart via the Kyoto Aquarium

Users were quick to point out a particular penguin named Teru who appeared to be a repeat heartbreaker, having ended six relationships. Another person translated her description, stating it said “Basically demonic.”

Others also pointed out why humans are also included in the chart, where they speculated why the penguins show affection for their caretakers and have no issue with pursuing interspecies relationships.

According to Spoon & Tomago, there is also another map from Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium. Its caretakers say that it’s easy to locate the penguins’ affections and inclinations from monitoring their behavior.

“Wing-flapping is a sign of affection and couples can be seen grooming each other,” it wrote. “Penguins who are getting over a break-up will often refuse to eat.”

Chart via Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo

As groups of users call it worthy of a drama, another set asked if the full charts could be translated into English.

Feature Image via Yavuz Koca (left), Kyoto Aquarium (right)

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