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9 Outrageous Star Wars Fan Theories

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In the nearly 40 years since George Lucas first introduced audiences to his galaxy far, far away, plot holes have become as much a part of the Star Wars universe as droids and lightsabers. Fortunately, there have been plenty of fans willing to step in with their own theories to fill in the missing storylines, and sometimes imagine new ones altogether. Here are 9 outrageous fan theories about Star Wars.

1. PALPATINE IS ANAKIN SKYWALKER’S FATHER.

In The Phantom Menace, George Lucas introduced Midi-chlorians to the Star Wars universe. Midi-chlorians are microscopic life forms that live within the cells of every living thing and are gateways to the Force. Lucas also introduced the idea that Anakin Skywalker didn’t have a father, but rather was conceived by the Force, which is why he had the highest Midi-chlorian count of any living being. So who was Anakin’s real father?

There are pockets of Star Wars fans who theorize that Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious) fathered Anakin through the Force. In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) tells Anakin about the tragedy of Darth Plagueis, a Sith Lord who had the power to manipulate Midi-chlorians to create life. Plagueis taught Palpatine everything he knew about the Dark Side, and the belief is that Palpatine used that knowledge to create Anakin because he needed a new apprentice to join—and destroy—the Jedi Knights.

2. BOBA FETT KILLED UNCLE OWEN AND AUNT BERU.

Few people die in a more horrific way in all of Star Wars than Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. When Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) returns to his homestead at the beginning of A New Hope, he finds it completely torched with the smoky and burnt bodies of his late aunt and uncle waiting for him outside. While it is believed that Stormtroopers burned the couple alive, a fan theory suggests that it was Boba Fett who did the deed.

Thanks to the original trilogy’s Special Editions (which are now considered canon), we know that Boba Fett was on Tatooine with Jabba the Hutt at the time of their death. We also know that the Empire uses bounty hunters to help find people all over the galaxy, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. In the film, Darth Vader emphasizes that he wants Han Solo alive and explicitly tells Boba Fett, “No disintegrations!” It’s almost as if Vader was telling him not to disintegrate or vaporize people again.

3. QUI-GON JINN IS A SECRET SITH.

Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) was introduced in The Phantom Menace as a member of the Jedi Council and young Obi-Wan Kenobi’s (Ewan McGregor) Jedi Master. Unfortunately, Jinn died at the end of Episode I at the hands of Darth Maul. While he’s considered one of the most powerful Jedis in the Star Wars universe, some fans believe that Jinn was a secret Sith Lord all along. Here’s the proof:

When Jinn presented young Anakin Skywalker to the Jedi Council, Master Yoda saw a lot of darkness in the boy and refused to train him as a Jedi. Jinn, however, was quite adamant in training young Anakin—going so far as to take him on as an apprentice, even though he already had Obi-Wan. Clearly, teaching Anakin the Jedi ways turned out to be a terrible idea, as it ended with him turning to the Dark Side of the Force, becoming Darth Vader, and ending the Galactic Republic altogether. Yet Jinn insisted the boy become a Jedi. Additionally, Jinn’s own Jedi Master, Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), turned out to be a Sith Lord.

4. CHEWBACCA AND R2-D2 ARE SECRET REBEL AGENTS.

At the end of Revenge of the Sith, C-3PO’s memory is erased. Going into A New Hope, he knows nothing about the events in the first three “Episode” films. However, R2-D2 didn’t have its memory erased. It is believed that R2-D2 was working with Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) as a secret agent to ensure the Rebels obtain the plans for the Death Star at the beginning of A New Hope.

Yoda's Farewell to Chewbacca on Disney Video

Some fans also believe that Chewbacca was another secret agent for the Rebel Alliance. He also helped ensure that Han Solo (Harrison Ford) would be at the Mos Eisley Cantina to meet with Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker. As the theory goes, Chewbacca was a high-ranking general for the Wookiee Army in the Battle of Kashyyyk during The Clone Wars. He was also one of Yoda’s closest friends and continued to work deep undercover for the Rebels after Revenge of the Sith. In A New Hope, R2-D2 and Chewbacca are also the two characters who know more about the Rebellion and the Galactic Empire than Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. 

5. DARTH VADER WOULD NEVER RETURN TO TATOOINE.

At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan separates Anakin and Padmé Amidala’s twin son and daughter to hide them from the Galactic Empire and Darth Vader. Princess Leia went to Alderaan, while Luke was sent to live with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine. Some people believe that Tatooine was a poor hiding place, as it was Darth Vader’s home. Why wouldn’t he come back to his home planet to search for his long lost son? However, there are other fans who believe that Tatooine was the perfect place to hide Luke because Darth Vader (a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker) hated his home world and would never return.

Throughout the Star Wars prequels, Anakin wanted nothing more than to leave Tatooine because it was full of bad childhood memories. Tatooine is where he was raised as a slave, where his mother died, and where he murdered a tribe of Tusken Raiders. He also hates sand because it’s “coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.” There’s no way Darth Vader would ever return to Tatooine to confront his childhood trauma after he joined the Dark Side of the Force. Sith Lords always take the easy way in life.

6. EWOKS EAT PEOPLE.

Return of the Jedi introduced the Ewoks, a primitive race of cute and cuddly teddy bear-like humanoids from the forest moon of Endor. While they might appear kind and gentle, the Ewoks are evil killing machines. When we’re introduced to them in Episode VI, the Ewoks capture Luke and Han—then hogtie the members of the Rebel Alliance in the hopes of cooking them for a feast in honor of C-3PO, who they believe is their golden god. Simply put: Ewoks eat humans, which is a detail most people seem to forget.

At the end of Return of the Jedi, the Rebels and the Ewoks celebrate the end of the Galactic Empire after the second Death Star is destroyed and Emperor Palpatine is killed. During the celebration, we see an Ewok using a few Stormtrooper helmets as a percussion instrument. What happened to the people inside that Stormtrooper armor? Some fans believe that the celebration is not just for the end of the Galactic Empire, but a party to celebrate the bounty of fresh human meat (courtesy of the Empire) for the Ewoks. You’ll never watch the end of Return of the Jedi the same way ever again with that theory in mind.

7. STAR WARS TAKES PLACE IN OUR GALAXY.

Despite the opening line “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” there are many fans who believe that Star Wars takes place in our galaxy. The evidence for this claim comes from the appearance of the Asogian alien species in a senate hearing during The Phantom MenaceE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an Asogian, which means that Star Wars and E.T. are connected.

Additionally, there’s a direct reference to Star Wars in E.T. during the trick or treating scene, when the displaced alien spots a kid dressed as Yoda and says “Home.” Although the scene is a very clever joke, many fans point to the two films as proof that Star Wars takes place in our galaxy.

8. EMPEROR PALPATINE KILLED PADMÉ.

At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) tragically dies shortly after giving birth to Luke and Leia. The droids that attended to her explained that “medically she’s fine but for reasons we can’t explain we’re losing her” and that she “lost the will to live.” Although this explanation is cheesy, there are many fans who believe that Palpatine used the Force to steal her life force, thus ensuring that Anakin would turn to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader. This would also explain why the droids have no idea why she’s dying, despite her being “medically fine.” Furthermore, Padmé’s death and Anakin’s rebirth as Darth Vader are juxtaposed, suggesting that the Force is connecting the two events.

9. HAN SOLO USED THE FORCE.

Throughout the original trilogy, Han Solo escapes near-death situations time and time again. There’s a fan theory out there that perfectly explains why Han is able to get out of tough situations with only a handsome grin and shrug to show for it: Simply put, he has the power to use the Force. How else could he successfully navigate through a dangerous asteroid field with only 3720 to 1 odds of survival? He used the Force without even knowing it.

Fan theorists also point to Han Solo and Greedo’s notorious encounter in the Cantina in A New Hope. Since the Special Edition is now officially canon, we can see Han quickly move his head to avoid Greedo’s laser blast and then shoot him about a half-second later. It’s the kind of quick reflex that we’ve only ever seen from Jedi Knights. It is believed that Lucas specifically changed this detail from the original Star Wars to clue viewers in to the idea that Han Solo can also use the Force.

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Lists
25 Royals in the Line of Succession to the British Throne
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Between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcoming their third child on April 23, 2018 and Prince Harry's upcoming marriage to Suits star Meghan Markle in May, the line of succession to the British throne has become a topic of interest all over the world. And the truth is, it’s complicated. Though Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 92 years old on April 21, shows no signs of slowing down, here are the royals who could one day take her place on the throne—in one very specific order.

1. PRINCE CHARLES

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As a direct result of his mother being the world's longest-reigning monarch, Prince Charles—the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip—is the longest serving heir to the throne; he became heir apparent in 1952, when his mother ascended to the throne.

2. PRINCE WILLIAM

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At 35 years old, odds are good that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge—the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana—will ascend to the throne at some point in his lifetime.

3. PRINCE GEORGE 

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On July 22, 2013, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their first child, Prince George of Cambridge, who jumped the line to step ahead of his uncle, Prince Harry, to become third in the line of succession.

4. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE 

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On May 2, 2015, William and Catherine added another member to their growing brood: a daughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. Though her parents just welcomed a bouncing baby boy, she will maintain the fourth-in-line position because of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which went into effect just a few weeks before her arrival, and removed a long-held rule which stated that any male sibling (regardless of birth order) would automatically move ahead of her.

5. PRINCE OF CAMBRIDGE

 Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart the Lindo Wing with their newborn son at St Mary's Hospital on April 23, 2018 in London, England
Chris Jackson, Getty Images

On April 23, 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their third child—a son, whose name has yet to be announced, but who has already pushed his uncle, Prince Harry, out of the fifth position in line to the throne.

6. PRINCE HARRY

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As the second-born son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince Harry's place in the line is a regularly changing one. It changed earlier this week, when his brother William's third child arrived, and could change again if and when their family expands.

7. PRINCE ANDREW, DUKE OF YORK

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Prince Andrew is a perfect example of life before the Succession to the Crown Act 2013: Though he’s the second-born son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, he’s actually their third child (Princess Anne came between him and Prince Charles). But because the rules gave preference to males, Prince Andrew would inherit the throne before his older sister.

8. PRINCESS BEATRICE OF YORK

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Because Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, had two daughters and no sons, none of that male-preference primogeniture stuff mattered in terms of their placement. But with each child her cousin Prince William has, Princess Beatrice moves farther away from the throne. If Beatrice looks familiar, it might be because of the headlines she made with the Dr. Seuss-like hat she wore to William and Catherine’s wedding. (The infamous topper later sold on eBay for more than $130,000, all of which went to charity.)

9. PRINCESS EUGENIE OF YORK

Princess Eugenie of York arrives in the parade ring during Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2017 in Ascot, England
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Though she’s regularly seen at royal events, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s youngest daughter spends the bulk of her time indulging her interest in fine art. She has held several jobs in the art world, and is currently a director at Hauser & Wirth’s London gallery.

10. PRINCE EDWARD, EARL OF WESSEX

 Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex leaves after a visit to Prince Philip
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Like his older brother Andrew, Prince Edward—the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip—jumps the line ahead of his older sister, Princess Anne, because of the older rule that put males ahead of females.

11. JAMES, VISCOUNT SEVERN

 James, Viscount Severn, rides on the fun fair carousel on day 4 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 11, 2013 in Windsor, England
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James, Viscount Severn—the younger of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex’s two children, and their only son—turned 10 years old on December 17, 2017, and celebrated it as the 10th royal in line of succession. (The birth of the youngest Prince of Cambridge pushed him back a spot.)

12. LADY LOUISE MOUNTBATTEN-WINDSOR

Lady Louise Windsor during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 15, 2013 in London, England.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Because the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 wasn’t enacted until 2015, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor—the older of Prince Edward’s two children—will always be just behind her brother in the line of succession.

13. PRINCESS ANNE, THE PRINCESS ROYAL

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, visits the Hambleton Equine Clinic on October 10, 2017 in Stokesley, England
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Princess Anne, the Queen and Prince Philip’s second-born child and only daughter, may never rule over the throne in her lifetime, but at least she gets to be called “The Princess Royal.”

14. PETER PHILLIPS

Peter Phillips poses for a photo on The Mall
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The eldest child and only son of Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, stands just behind his mother in line. Interesting fact: Had Phillips’s wife, Autumn Kelly, not converted from Roman Catholicism to the Church of England before their marriage in 2008, Phillips would have lost his place in line.

15. SAVANNAH PHILLIPS

Savannah Phillips attends a Christmas Day church service
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

On December 29, 2010, Peter and Autumn Phillips celebrated the birth of their first child, Savannah Anne Kathleen Phillips, who is also the Queen’s first great-grandchild. She’s currently 15th in line.

16. ISLA PHILLIPS

Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Isla Phillips and Peter Phillips attend a Christmas Day church service
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Less than two years after Savannah, Peter and Autumn Phillips had a second daughter, Isla, who stands just behind her sister in line. It wasn’t until 2017 that Savannah and Isla made their Buckingham Palace balcony debut (in honor of their great-grandmother’s 91st birthday).

17. ZARA TINDALL

 Zara Tindall arrives for a reception at the Guildhall
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Not one to hide in the background, Zara Tindall—Princess Anne’s second child and only daughter—has lived much of her life in the spotlight. A celebrated equestrian, she won the Eventing World Championship in Aachen in 2006 and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year the same year (her mom earned the same title in 1971). She’s also Prince George’s godmother.

18. MIA TINDALL

Mike Tindall, Zara Tindall and their daughter Mia Tindall pose for a photograph during day three of The Big Feastival at Alex James' Farm on August 28, 2016 in Kingham, Oxfordshire.
Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Zara Tindall’s daughter Mia may just be 4 years old, but she’s already regularly making headlines for her outgoing personality. And though she’s only 18th in line to the throne, her connection to the tippity top of the royal family is much closer: Prince William is her godfather.

19. DAVID ARMSTRONG-JONES, 2ND EARL OF SNOWDON

David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon
HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images

David Armstrong-Jones, the eldest child of Princess Margaret, isn’t waiting around to see if the British crown ever lands on his head. The 56-year-old, who goes by David Linley in his professional life, has made a name for himself as a talented furniture-maker. His bespoke pieces, sold under the brand name Linley, can be purchased through his own boutiques as well as at Harrods.

20. CHARLES ARMSTRONG-JONES, VISCOUNT LINLEY

Margarita Armstrong-Jones and Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones
Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images

David Armstrong-Jones’s only son, Charles, may be 20th in line to the throne, but the 18-year-old is the heir apparent to the Earldom of Snowdon.

21. LADY MARGARITA ARMSTRONG-JONES

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) talks with Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones (C) as her father David Armstrong-Jones (L), 2nd Earl of Snowdon, known as David Linley
HANNAH MCKAY/AFP/Getty Images

Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, the youngest child of David Armstrong-Jones and his only daughter, is also the only granddaughter of Princess Margaret. Now 15 years old (she'll turn 16 in June), Lady Margarita made headlines around the world in 2011 when she served as a flower girl at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

22. LADY SARAH CHATTO

Lady Sarah Chatto, the daughter of Princess Margaret arrives for her mother's memorial service
STEPHEN HIRD/AFP/Getty Images

Lady Sarah Chatto, Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones’s only daughter, is the youngest grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. In addition to serving as a bridesmaid to Princess Diana, she is Prince Harry’s godmother.

23. SAMUEL CHATTO

Lady Sarah Chatto (L) and her son Samuel Chatto (R) leave a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Lord Snowdon at Westminster Abbey on April 7, 2017 in London, United Kingdom
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The first-born son of Lady Sarah Chatto and her husband, Daniel, has a long way to go to reach the throne: He’s currently 23rd in line.

24. ARTHUR CHATTO

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For better or worse, Sarah and Daniel Chatto’s youngest son Arthur has become a bit of a social media sensation. He's made headlines recently as he regularly posts selfies to Instagram—some of them on the eyebrow-raising side, at least as far as royals go.

25. PRINCE RICHARD, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester makes a speech during the unveiling ceremony of London's first public memorial to the Korean War on December 3, 2014 in London, England
Carl Court/Getty Images

At 73 years old, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester is the youngest grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary. Formerly, he made a living as an architect, until the 1972 death of his brother, Prince William of Gloucester, put him next in line to inherit his father’s dukedom. On June 10, 1974, he officially succeeded his father as Duke of Gloucester, Earl of Ulster, and Baron Culloden.

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20 Black-and-White Facts About Penguins
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To celebrate World Penguin Day (which is today, April 25), here are a few fun facts about these adorable tuxedoed birds.

1. All 17 species of penguins are found exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere.

2. Emperor Penguins are the tallest species, standing nearly 4 feet tall. The smallest is the Little Blue Penguin, which is only about 16 inches.

emperor penguin
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3. The fastest species is the Gentoo Penguin, which can reach swimming speeds up to 22 mph.

Gentoo Penguin
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4. A penguin's striking coloring is a matter of camouflage; from above, its black back blends into the murky depths of the ocean. From below, its white belly is hidden against the bright surface.

penguins swimming in the ocean
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5. Fossils place the earliest penguin relative at some 60 million years ago, meaning an ancestor of the birds we see today survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

emperor penguins
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6. Penguins ingest a lot of seawater while hunting for fish, but a special gland behind their eyes—the supraorbital gland—filters out the saltwater from their blood stream. Penguins excrete it through their beaks, or by sneezing.

penguins swimming in the ocean
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7. Unlike most birds—which lose and replace a few feathers at a time—penguins molt all at once, spending two or three weeks land-bound as they undergo what is called the catastrophic molt.

molting penguin
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8. All but two species of penguins breed in large colonies of up to a thousand birds.

king penguins
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9. It varies by species, but many penguins will mate with the same member of the opposite sex season after season.

chinstrap penguins
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10. Similarly, most species are also loyal to their exact nesting site, often returning to the same rookery in which they were born.

maegellic penguin nesting
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11. Some species create nests for their eggs out of pebbles and loose feathers. Emperor Penguins are an exception: They incubate a single egg each breeding season on the top of their feet. Under a loose fold of skin is a featherless area with a concentration of blood vessels that keeps the egg warm.

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12. In some species, it is the male penguin which incubates the eggs while females leave to hunt for weeks at a time. Because of this, pudgy males—with enough fat storage to survive weeks without eating—are most desirable.

emperor penguins
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13. Penguin parents—both male and female—care for their young for several months until the chicks are strong enough to hunt for food on their own.

Penguins nest
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14. If a female Emperor Penguin's baby dies, she will often "kidnap" an unrelated chick.

penguin chicks
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15. Despite their lack of visible ears, penguins have excellent hearing and rely on distinct calls to identify their mates when returning to the crowded breeding grounds.

16. The first published account of penguins comes from Antonio Pigafetta, who was aboard Ferdinand Magellan's first circumnavigation of the globe in 1520. They spotted the animals near what was probably Punta Tombo in Argentina. (He called them "strange geese.")

17. An earlier, anonymous diary entry from Vasco da Gama's 1497 voyage around the Cape of Good Hope makes mention of flightless birds as large as ducks.

18. Because they aren't used to danger from animals on solid ground, wild penguins exhibit no particular fear of human tourists.

19. Unlike most sea mammals—which rely on blubber to stay warm—penguins survive because their feathers trap a layer of warm air next to the skin that serves as insulation, especially when they start generating muscular heat by swimming around.

20. In the 16th century, the word penguin actually referred to great auks (scientific name: Pinguinus impennis), a now-extinct species that inhabited the seas around eastern Canada. When explorers traveled to the Southern Hemisphere, they saw black and white birds that resembled auks, and called them penguins.

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