Stop whatever you’re doing and watch this, because it’s ridiculously cute.
On July 2, a Twitter user uploaded a video of two penguins holding hands as they stand on the beach together, and people loved it.
And who wouldn’t? The video is objectively the sweetest thing ever. Watch this and tell me your heart didn’t melt.
But some commenters seemed a little confused by what they saw, so let’s get some facts cleared up.
1. First things first: yes, penguins live in Africa.
Or at least, they do for now. To be specific, they live in Namibia, South Africa, and the appropriately-named Penguin Islands.
Only one species of penguin lives anywhere in Africa, so we know the penguins in the video are almost certainly African penguins – also known as jackass penguins (yes, really!)
One of the most famous penguin colonies in Africa is on Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, where between 2-3,000 of the little guys draw crowds of tourists to see them relax by the sea. Since 1998, Boulders Beach has been a protected marine area in Table Mountain National Park – which is especially good as African penguins are an endangered species.
2. Yes, this is super cute because these penguins mate for life.
Both parents share equal responsibility for incubating eggs, and after their chicks are about a month old, they drop them off in penguin daycare – the technical term is a crèche – while they both go out into the sea to find food.
However, not all penguins mate for life. Some species, such as the Emperor or Adelie penguin, are serially monogamous – they are faithful for one breeding cycle, and then find a new partner for the next.
3. Yes, penguins can be gay.
There have been many examples of same-sex penguin couples. You may remember proud fathers Jumbs and Kermit, or penguin celebrities Roy and Silo. There’s a zoo in Germany whose 10 penguin couples include three who are same-sex, and last year a gay penguin couple in China were so keen to start a family they were caught stealing eggs from the other breeding pairs.
If that surprises you – well, it shouldn’t, as homosexual behavior has been observed in over 450 animal species and counting worldwide.
However, African penguins only have very slight differences between males and females, so we probably won’t find out if the couple in the video is same or opposite sex. Sorry about that.
4. Finally – yes, these penguins are totally relationship goals.
Who knew penguins could give us such wisdom?