Photo courtesy of NOAA.

This is one of those super-depressing “oh my god the world is ending” things that’s easy to joke about because it involves shrinking polar bear penises. And let’s face it, shrinking polar bear penises are just funny, the way rubber chickens or people falling down are just funny.

Except that the reason that polar bears are getting emasculated isn’t funny at all. It’s happening because the ocean they swim, hunt, and wash their previously larger penises in has been contaminated with organohalogens, also known as DDTs or PCBs, also known as endocrine disrupters, also known as stuff that is so fucked up it can actually make a polar bear’s wang smaller.

Organohalogens originate in large agricultural and industrial sites, but it should come as no surprise to anyone with a “we’re all one” bumpersticker that this stuff makes its way into the ocean. Polar bears ingest organohalogens because they eat seals, who ingest them as well. (None of that is funny either.)

The reason that researchers know that this penis-shrinking phenomena is happening is that they have measured these penises. And the more organohalogens a polar bear has in his system, the less the chance that he is packing. They’re also measuring polar bear vaginas, which are also getting smaller. So maybe the polar bears haven’t noticed (now that is hilarious) which means that hmm, well, if someone is going to stop using organohalogens it should probably be humans.

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