Skunk Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

Skunks are an enduring animal. Their distinctive look and defensive ability place them among the animals that are most recognizable to folks around the world. Learn additional fun facts concerning this superb creature with these ten skunk facts.

1 - The skunk stripes draw attention to the source of the spray.


The patterns of a skunk appear to guide a viewer's attention to the spot of its deadly spray. The stripes on a skunk may serve as a direct line to an anal spray source for any approaching predators. According to a 2011 study, animals that choose to fight a predator instead of fleeing from it normally have marks that draw attention to their best defense.

2 - They perform a small warning dance.


If the eviction stripes fail to deter a predator, the skunk will try to scare it away with a dance. To show off their backsides, they will stomp the ground, hit their tail, and even stand on their hind paws.

3 - They typically aim for the eyes.


If these intimidation methods do not work, a skunk might finally resort to its trademark defense. The animal bends its body into a U-shape, aims its anal glands at the threat, and sprays with terrible accuracy. Skunks are better known for aiming for the eyes, which might provide a transparent advantage in escaping from predators. Their spray contains sulfur-based thiols that not only produce an awesome fever, but also cause important eye irritation, probably even inflicting a temporary visual disorder for a few minutes.

4 - They are not only symbolic but also active at night.


Because they are nocturnal and have super night vision, skunks are active at night. It's thought that they developed their spray because nighttime prey is more frequently attacked in unexpected ambushes, which even the spray performs best at.

5 - Some people are unable to detect skunk spray.


Well, not just those who have no sense of smell and are nose-blind. Specific anosmia, or insensitivity to one specific smell, affects approximately one in every 1000 people.

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Their spray is extremely potent. Its odor can linger for days, and some people have reported smelling it for weeks. This spray is also incredibly annoying and, if you get sprayed, can cause temporary blindness.

7 - Tomato juice won't remove the odor.


A common folk remedy suggests having to fight skunk oil with tomato juice, or maybe even taking a bath in tomato juice if sprayed excessively. Despite being slightly acidic, tomato juice doesn't really break down the thiols that cause a skunk's stench. At most, the scent of tomatoes could indeed mask or muffle the smell, but many other odors can do the same thing, so there's no need for a tomato bath.

8 - Their odor is perceptible as far away as 1.5 miles.


This is simply a testament to how targeted this pungent mixture is. It’s common to smell your dog coming home before you see them if they happen to have been sprayed by a skunk. When they're apprehended, get out the peroxide and saleratus and give them a good wet before letting them back in.

9 - They can modify their spray


This is an amazing fact: skunks have great control over their spray, not only in terms of direction. They can, for example, fire a concentrated stream to neutralize an approaching threat or discharge a mist to engulf a pursuing predator. They can spray through one or both scent glands at the same time, sometimes over long distances.

10 - They keep mice away from your home.


Skunks are not picky eaters, despite their preference for insects and grubs. They'll come across small rodents in forest areas or near garbage cans, especially during the winter. That's one less rodent on your wall surfaces looking for warmth and food, yet another benefit of these amazing creatures.

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