10 Weirdest News Stories of 2013


6

Urine Time for Science

According to the new law of urination, it likely took the elephant only about 20 seconds to accomplish that great voiding of the bladder. derejeb/iStock/Thinkstock
According to the new law of urination, it likely took the elephant only about 20 seconds to accomplish that great voiding of the bladder. derejeb/iStock/Thinkstock

2013 will no doubt be remembered as the year that we discovered a magnificent, fascinating truth about the animal kingdom:

All mammals pee for 20 seconds.

Give or take. What David Hu -- a mechanical engineering professor at Georgia Institute of Technology -- actually found was that mammals that weigh more than 2.2 pounds (or 1 kilogram) all pee for roughly the same duration.

Why, you might ask, wouldn't an elephant take more time than a dog? It has to do with the flow rate and even the size of the urethra [source: Arnold]. And there's A LOT of pee coming from an elephant, several bathtubs' worth, according to Hu [source: Arnold].

All kidding aside, this research can help contribute to research about prostate problems or help veterinarians troubleshoot issues with an animal's urinary tract.