Holly Willoughby has left a nation reeling after admitting she believed sloths explode if turned on their front, but is there an element of truth?
After a segment on a retirement home for sloths, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were left in hysterics over a conversation they were having while off-air.
Speaking on the show, Holly said: ‘I thought, I’m sure I’ve been told and we were frantically Googling it and apparently I’m wrong.
‘If you turn a sloth up the right way it will explode. I’ve definitely heard that somewhere but I don’t know if it’s true, but now I’m saying it out loud I’m questioning it.
‘I’ve got a feeling there’s some truth in it somewhere. Apparently they don’t fart either. News just in.’
Schofield remarked: ‘Who told you that? Did you get that in Australia?’
Viewers were quick to join the ridicule parade.
Turns out there’s a slight element of truth to Holly’s thoughts. A very slight element.
According to Dani Rabaiotti, a PhD zoology student at the Zoological Society of London, sloths have a strategic method of avoiding potential bursts.
In a piece on Vox which explains how sloths poo once about every three weeks, it states: ‘If gases accumulated in sloths’ intestines over that long a time, they might get sick – and even burst.
‘So would-be sloth farts are simply reabsorbed through the intestines into the bloodstream. The gases are then respired out of the lungs: literal fart breath.’
So sloths don’t explode. They can fart through their mouths.
For further clarification, Holly and Phil even consulted Marcel McKinley, a senior zookeeper at London Zoo, live on air.
Asked if sloths explode, Marcel said: ‘I am really, really sorry Holly I’m afraid they don’t.
‘What happens is once a week they go into the ground because that’s where they go to the toilet, and they basically just crawl around a little bit, so no they don’t explode no.’
So sloths definitely don’t explode. As you were.