Graphic of the Day: Gay Birds Edition

We can almost guarantee it's not what you think it is

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Hello, readers! This is just a reminder that life can be tough for those of us in the media. As the Wire has noted before, it's not always easy to find the right art to accompany a story. Sometimes you want to go with something somber, other times something fun and kicky. Occasionally, and time permitting, you can throw some nonsense together in MS Paint. But sometimes you have to illustrate a story whose central idea isn't easily captured with a Getty photo--and what then?

Pseudonymous blogger The Omnibrain, who posts at ScienceBlogs, nimbly finds a way out of this predicament. In a recent post, the Omnibrain points us toward a fascinating BBC story about how elevated mercury levels seem to be turning certain wetland birds gay. Apparently, for birds like the white ibis, a certain amount of mercury contamination in their habitat may fool the animal's hormonal regulators and cause it to exhibit homosexual behavior. "The higher the dose of mercury in their food pellets," the BBC reports, "the more likely a male bird was to pair with another male."

How did the Omnibrain illustrate this story? Behold:

The blogger notes that "it always amazes me what turns up in Google image searches." Thank you, Omnibrain, for sharing your amazement with the world.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.