KidzTube
Welcome
Login / Register

The Bird Poop That Changed The World

Thanks! Share it with your friends!

URL

You disliked this video. Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry, only registred users can create playlists.
URL


 Society / Culture   |   Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science   |   Social Science
 Find Related Videos  added
255 Views

Description

Thanks to my grandmother for inspiring this story, and to my mother for helping make it. If you like our videos, please consider supporting MinuteEarth on Patreon! - Alex

Bird poop was the gateway fertilizer that turned humanity onto the imported-chemical-based farming system of modern agriculture.

Thanks to our Patreon patrons https://www.patreon.com/MinuteEarth and our YouTube members.

___________________________________________

To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Guano: seabird (or bat) poop. From the indigenous Peruvian word “wanu”, meaning “manure that’s good for fertilizer"
Manure: animal poop used as fertilizer (typically cow or pig poop)
Fertilizer: a chemical-containing substance added to soil to provide nutrients to plants
Nitrate mining: digging up the naturally occurring solid form of the element nitrogen (sodium nitrate)
Phosphate mining: digging up the naturally occurring solid form of the element phosphorus
Haber-Bosch process: the major industrial method to take nitrogen gas out of the air and convert it to ammonia
___________________________________________

If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
Our fertilizer is killing us. Here's a fix: https://grist.org/article/billionaires-and-bacteria-are-racing-to-save-us-from-death-by-fertilizer/
Why bird poop is white: https://www.audubon.org/news/what-makes-bird-poop-white
In 1856 US Congress enabled US citizens to take over unclaimed islands with guano on them: http://americanhistory.si.edu/norie-atlas/guano-islands-act
Guano is in demand again today: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/world/americas/30peru.html
_________________________________________

Subscribe to MinuteEarth on YouTube: http://goo.gl/EpIDGd
Support us on Patreon: https://goo.gl/ZVgLQZ
And visit our website: https://www.minuteearth.com/

Say hello on Facebook: http://goo.gl/FpAvo6
And Twitter: http://goo.gl/Y1aWVC

And download our videos on itunes: https://goo.gl/sfwS6n
___________________________________________

Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer, Video Director, and Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator: Jesse Agar (@JesseAgarYT)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder

Image Credits: Farquhar, W.H. 1884. The Annals of Sandy Spring, Vol. I, Pg. xxix-xxx. Baltimore: Cushings & Bailey. http://bit.ly/2QOWGKr

___________________________________________

References:

Canby, T.Y. 2002. The Annals of Sandy Spring, Vol. VI. Introduction: Pg. 26-27. Sandy Spring Museum.

Cushman, G.T. 2013. Guano and the opening of the Pacific World: A global ecological history. Cambridge University Press.

Cushman, G.T., personal communication, October 2018.

Farquhar, W.H. 1884. The Annals of Sandy Spring, Vol. I, Pg. xxix-xxx. Baltimore: Cushings & Bailey. http://bit.ly/2QOWGKr

Lorimor, J., Powers, W., Sutton, A. 2004. Manure Characteristics. MWPS-18, Section 1. Second Edition. Table 6. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/files/ManureCharacteristicsMWPS-18_1.pdf

Robinson, M.B. April 26, 2007. In Once-Rural Montgomery, a Rich History. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/25/AR2007042501342.html

S. Sands & Son. 1875. The American Farmer: Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture and Rural Life. Vol. 4, Issue 12, pg. 417-418. Baltimore. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=ul1TAAAAYAAJ&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA417

Stabler, H.O. 1950. The Annals of Sandy Spring, Vol. V, Pg. 43. American Publishing Company.

Szpak, P., et al. 2012. Stable isotope biogeochemistry of seabird guano fertilization: results from growth chamber studies with Maize (Zea mays). PloS one, 7(3), e33741. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0033741

Thanks also to the Sandy Spring Museum: https://www.sandyspringmuseum.org/

Post your comment

Comments

Be the first to comment






RSS