WTF Fun Fact 12730 – Male Kangaroos Flex Their Biceps

Male kangaroos and male humans have something in common – they flex their biceps to impress females. Researchers showed that male western grey kangaroos use their biceps both for combat and to compete for the ladies.

The Conversation interviewed kangaroo expert Rod Wells, who said that bigger biceps might mean an “additional advantage from either females finding big forelimbs sexy or alternatively the males which win the right to access the females are then strong enough to overpower any unwilling female.”

We’re not impressed by that last part.

Kangaroos have long been a symbol of strength. According to Smithsonian Magazine: “The Royal Australian Air Force used a boxing kangaroo starting in 1891. For a while, kangaroos would fight men in boxing rings. And, in fact, a male kangaroo biceps are a lot more impressive than you might think.”

Fighting and flexing kangaroos are a new concept to some of us. For example, in 2017, an Australian snapped a photo of a particularly jacked kangaroo he came across while taking his dog for a walk. While its musculature is not super common, it brought attention to the fact that kangaroos can get ripped.

According to Men’s Health: “Jackson Vincent, a 27-year-old gardener in Australia, was walking his dog Dharma on his grandmother’s property near Boodjidup Creek when he spotted the massive ‘roo. He said he’s seen kangaroos on the land since he was a kid, but few that have been that large, according to the Sun. The ‘roo was standing in the creek nearly fully submerged, and as Vincent started to take photos, it started to come at him.”

While we’re smart enough not to approach a wild animal we don’t know much about, we plan to be extra careful with kangaroos from now on. If you’re not convinced, you may want to check out the video below and watch them kick each other’s butts – it’s quite a sight!

 WTF fun facts

Source: “It’s Not Just Men Who Flex Their Biceps at Women—Kangaroos Do, Too” — Smithsonian Magazine

WTF Fun Fact 12559 – The Roman Gladiatrix

The Romans were entertained by some pretty gruesome violence. And while gladiatorial combat didn’t originate in ancient Rome, that’s where we think of most of it taking place.

Gladiators were either born poor or were being punished for something. The most famous gladiator, Spartacus, had served as a soldier until a mistake got him imprisoned and enslaved and sent to train as a gladiator (prisoners had no choice – they could either train or be easily killed in the arena).

But if everything you know about gladiators comes from Spartacus or Russell Crowe’s turn in the arena, then you might be surprised to learn that every now and then, Romans could catch a glimpse of women in the arena fighting for their lives.

Referred to as gladiatracies (or Amazons, colloquially), they found topless, and there was an erotic element to their skillset. They weren’t pitted against men but other women or, occasionally, dwarves. It all depended on the predilections of that particular emperor at the time.

In fact, the memorably unstable emperor Nero put Ethiopian men, women, AND children in the arena together, presumably to shock and (for some) delight.

There were female gladiators in ancient Rome. They were rare, but we know gladiatrices existed partly because they were viewed as symptoms of a corrupt society and officially banned in 200 AD.

After all the scandal of seeing women this way, Septimius Severus (the emperor after the also-unstable gladiator-loving Commodus) decided that people had seen enough debauchery from women in the arena and banned female gladiators in 200 AD. –  WTF fun fact

Source: “Did female gladiators exist?” – BBC Culture