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Why Cats Are Liquids, According to Science

This is fact.

Cats exist in their own three states of matter: loaf, cinnamon roll, and liquid. The last category is certainly the most confusing because cats should be solids — and of course, they can be. But anyone who owns a cat knows kitties can contort themselves in the most astonishing ways, seamlessly smooshing themselves into any object they choose.

A cat researcher tells Inverse that cats’ anatomy makes them the fluffy liquids we know and love.

“Cats are super flexible in general, and a big part of that has to do with the structure of their collar bones which are quite different than ours,” Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, says. “They’re only attached by muscle, not bone, which adds to the cat’s already impressive flexibility (for example in their spine). This means that if their head fits through, probably the rest of them can too, which is why some cats can squeeze under doors or cracked windows.”

(Left to Right): Bug and Nishi. (Images: Heather W, James O'Brien)

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Being flexible could be advantageous to cats, who still, after all these years, haven’t been able to kick their wild instincts.

“[Flexibility] allows cats to access elusive prey hiding in tight spots, or escape predators,” Delgado says. “It also allows them to jump, climb, and run fast!”

Sparty taking a nap in the bathroom sink.

While the idea of cats as liquid might seem like meme fodder — which it totally is — there’s been some research about kitty liquids. In a 2014 study called “Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?” French scientist Marc-Antoine Fardin calculated how and why cats of different ages can retain such unusual shapes. The study won in last year’s Ig Nobel Prize, which awards science research that could be considered silly — not that kitty fluid dynamics is a joke, or anything.

It’s true that we may never understand how cats can be liquids, cinnamon rolls, loaves, rotisserie chickens, muffins, eggplants, and doughnuts all at the same time. But no one ever claimed that comprehending these floofy enigmas would be easy.

Why Experts Say "Zombie Deer" Disease Can Spread Chronic Wasting to Humans

 "It's possible the number of human cases will be substantial." 

A few months ago, the “zombie deer disease” was largely the concern of deer hunters, deer activists, and anyone generally attuned to weird zombie-like diseases that abound in nature. But now, the disease is present in deer in 24 states and two Canadian provinces, and experts are warning it may be transmissible to humans — a potential risk that is too pressing to ignore.

The Incredible Science Behind This Self-Warming, Self-Cooling Bed

Eight Sleep’s new bed will make tossing and turning a thing of the past.

Filed Under Data

Sleep tracking can unquestionably help you establish better habits which allow for a more restful night’s sleep. By keeping track of the nights that you toss and turn, you can identify potential explanations for your sub-optimal slumber. Maybe it’s the time of week that’s got you anxious. Maybe it was the cheeseburger you had for lunch. Paying attention is just the start, though.

LA's Overdue "Mega-Storm" Could Be More Than Just a Storm, Says Expert

Scientists raise the alarm about a future "ARkStorm."

A recent report from the US Army Corps of Engineers warned that Los Angeles is overdue for an epic storm that could displace 1.5 million people with extreme flooding and could last for weeks. This hypothetical catastrophe is sometimes referred to as a “mega-storm,” but that informal term doesn’t capture the scale of such an event. Its actual classification as an “ARkStorm” details just how much damage it could cause if the city doesn’t prepare.

Ancient Stonehenge Discovery Refutes Popular Theory About Its Origin

The discoveries take us "a step closer to unlocking Stonehenge's greatest mystery."

Determining how the Stonehenge was built is one of archeology’s great mysteries. It’s difficult enough to build a piece of Ikea furniture in 2019; how was it possible that prehistoric Europeans transported giant pillars hundreds of miles to their final resting place in Salisbury Plain? There’s a popular origin theory involving Neolithic ships, but in a study released Tuesday in Antiquity, researchers undermine it by going straight to Stonehenge’s source — the ancient quarries that housed the stones.

Don't Feel Bad About the Coyote Fur on Your Canada Goose Jacket

When predators are invasive, killing them becomes the responsible course of action.

There’s a reason why Canada Goose jackets seem to be all anyone’s wearing these days: They work. The jackets may be marketed for their looks, but people pay high prices because they want protection from extreme cold. What consumers may not totally understand is that Canada Goose jackets are largely made of animals. The puffy stuffing is made from the down feathers of ducks and goose and the trim on the hoods is soft, warm coyote fur.