You’re Drinking Dinosaur Pee and We Need to Keep it That Way

2021-06-16

 |  Sketchy Science

I encourage you to have a beverage while you read the following: you are drinking dinosaur pee. 

Despite this title being fantastic clickbait, the theory stands that the liquid you are currently enjoying has water molecules that at one point, travelled through the digestive system of a dinosaur and was expelled in the form of urine. The water cycle, at its most basic level, is nature’s filtration system. Water is recycled as it evaporates under the sun’s heat, rises into the atmosphere, cools, and condenses to create rain or snow where it falls to the earth, providing fresh water for the living to enjoy.This ongoing cycle provides water for every living thing that we are incredibly thankful for as water is a finite resource on earth.

Approximately 3% of water on earth is freshwater, but 2.5% of it is stuck in glaciers, permafrost, deep underground etc. leaving us with a mussaurus-sized but valuable 0.5%. That small amount of 0.5% of freshwater, paired with the 165 million years the dinosaurs lived on earth during the Mesozoic era, points to the high likelihood that the thread that connects us humans to dinosaurs is freshwater. Though millions of years apart, both dinosaurs and humans have depended on the same freshwater.

Now, why do we care in the present day that what we drink is tied to dinosaurs millions of years ago? Just like the dinosaurs, the beasts of today, both on land and in the water, rely on the health of water to survive. With the rise of carbon emissions and plastic pollution, that finite resource of water is being threatened. For instance, due to industrial emissions, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are being introduced into the water cycle causing acid rain. When these gases are emitted and dispersed by wind currents, it becomes mixed into the water cycle, causing the water’s pH to drop and become acidic. Warming temperatures due to higher greenhouse gases (high levels of carbon dioxide gases that are released remain in the atmosphere where they allow sunlight through but traps the heat within the atmosphere) trigger increased evaporation and precipitation rates worldwide causing irregular weather patterns like heightened flooding, droughts and heat waves. There are ongoing studies examining how microplastics in soil impact the evaporation process in the water cycle. With these examples in mind, the bottom line is the water cycle that maintains the planet’s water is in a precarious state and does not solely impact marine animals as many believe. 

If you are beginning to feel panicked, not to worry I have you covered to help protect and conserve that 0.5%:

-Waterlution: A federally registered Canadian non-profit that has successfully established itself as an internationally recognized water-focused organization offering distinctive capacity building, leadership and facilitation training for learning and supporting water health.

-GroundWater: Literally 100 ways listed to help conserve water.

Almond App: This free app calculates and walks you through your carbon footprint, all the while providing you with lower carbon alternatives and giving rewards for decreasing your carbon emissions! 

Good For You App: Purchases such as food and beverages are not the sole sources contributing to high carbon emissions- the fashion industry is a major contributor. This free app provides recommendations of what brands to avoid based on their sustainability practices. 

Let’s work together so the only thing contaminating your beverage is dinosaur pee.