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.”
The Kyoto Aquarium has a flowchart illustrating the complicated romantic relationships and breakups between their penguins. pic.twitter.com/3QzPnAewCU
— Oliver Jia (オリバー・ジア) (@OliverJia1014) July 4, 2020
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.
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.”
Why has no one mentioned this feisty lady yet? Look at how many hearts she’s broken! That’s AT LEAST 6 penguin breakups. pic.twitter.com/zW7F9aLBx8
— Cirrocumulus-Cloud (@CirrocumulusCC) July 5, 2020
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.
We… we need to discuss this. pic.twitter.com/g4Ftw7yRJ9
— Sean of the ️oreal Murphy (@SMurphy2112) July 4, 2020
Some penguins bond to their trainers and will perform mating displays for them when they enter the exhibit! Its pretty funny to watch cuz as a trainer you can encourage that behavior for obvious reasons
— Selena LaRocque (@Mz_Blondee) July 6, 2020
The people are their caretakers. Most of the penguins are friendly but it seems that a small percentage of the male penguins have a romantic interest in the male caretakers. Turns out penguins are real players!
— Nisia/ニシア (@fushigi_nisia) July 7, 2020
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.”
As groups of users call it worthy of a drama, another set asked if the full charts could be translated into English.
Like a CW teen drama https://t.co/GBPS84QQ4O
— 9GAG (@9GAG) July 8, 2020
the only drama I’d like to watch https://t.co/gIqoBA0UxV
— ♡ ⁷₇ (@Y00NGlSBITCH) July 6, 2020
Give me this as a reality show https://t.co/GrAahyebTs
— Cameron (@Juicebox747) July 6, 2020
This is a k drama plot pic.twitter.com/bjK3vnLvHo
— boon joon xu (@Hellotherexu) July 6, 2020
I am desperate for someone to translate this into English so I can understand alllll the messy details.
— laurasaurus (@iamlaurasaurus) July 6, 2020
Someone needs to translate this into English. VITAL
— Ailsa (@glassarmy) July 6, 2020