Creators of Cubed Poo: 7 Wombat Facts to Awe and Amaze
Australia is full of all sorts of strange creatures - creatures that seem to come straight out of a sci-fi novel. But there is one critter among them that just may be the quirkiest of all, and that is the wombat.
At Wicker Darling, we love to celebrate our Aussie heritage with Australiana prints and wicker handbags shaped like animals. We also are obsessed with ridiculous, quirky things. And so, my scquzzy little doves, I unveiled our quirkiest, most outlandish bag of all: a wombat purse.
More specifically, Wally Wombat and his butthole of secrets.
Now, if you are up-to-date on all your wombat facts, you might just have an idea of what secrets his sizable seat is carrying. And, if not, then it is my absolute TREAT to fill you in on what just might be the strangest creatures to walk the Earth.
Indeed, the more wombat facts you learn, the more you will scratch your head.
But first, I want to make sure we are all on the same page. After all, not all those who purchase my handbags online in Australia are actually from down under. As such, let’s introduce the distinguished wombat a bit before diving into some delicious and downright unbelievable wombat facts.
What is a wombat?
Wombats must be seen to be believed. Low to the ground with little ears, short stubby legs, and no neck to speak of, wombats look like bristley, waddling potatoes. And we love them for that.
These massive marsupials can grow over 100 centimetres long and weigh up to 40 kilograms (88lbs). Stocky and fluffy with beautiful fur in hues of grey, brown, and black, wombats seemingly scream to be squished.
This would be a mistake.
Wombats are actually quite territorial and aggressive creatures. Solitary by nature, they sleep for 16 hours a day and emerge at night to nibble on grasses, roots, and tree bark to grind down their endlessly growing teeth.
There are three kinds of wombats: Common Wombats with round ears and bare noses, and Northern and Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombats with pointed ears and, you guessed it, hairy noses. Though they have their differences, all three types share some truly remarkable traits. Traits unique to the wombat and the wombat alone.
So it’s high time for some ridiculous wombat facts to terrify and amaze.
7 wombat facts that are stranger than fiction
What has a backwards pouch, poops cubes, and can give Usain Bolt a run for his money? Why a wombat of course. Here are some spectacular wombat facts to bust out at your next gathering to the dismay of family or friends.
1. Wombats poop squares
We simply cannot discuss wombat facts without talking sh*& 💩.
Wombats have many ways to protect their prized territories. They give loud dissatisfied grunts. They rub their scent on trees. And when all else fails, they POO ALL OVER THEIR HOME.
While this might seem dramatic (and it is) it is actually quite smart. You see, wombats have horrible eyesight, but very good noses. And doo-doo is…well…quite smelly. No self-respecting wombat could possibly miss the scent of another wombat’s territory.
But there is something especially unique about these droppings.
They are cubes.
And just how do wombats make such special poo cubes? Why, with special intestines!
A wombat fact within a wombat fact: Wombat intestines are 10 times the length of their bodies. Extra long intestines mean that it takes these furry critters an especially long time to digest their food. Which brings us to yet another wombat fact - a wombat’s stomach can hold food for 70 hours, taking 14 to 18 days to fully digest a meal.
Talk about a food coma!
This long, slow digestive process causes the poo to become extremely dry and compacted. The first section of the large intestine contains horizontal ridges that mould the poo into a long, solid rectangle. Then, in the final 8% of the intestines, the walls have drastically varied elasticity. This is what forms the infamous feces into its iconic cubic shape.
And when I say cubed, I mean it. In fact, they are the perfect shape for stacking on logs and rocks around the wombat’s territory, as the flat sides prevent the pieces from rolling away. Our favourite furry creatures can pass up to 100 cubes in a single night. And these Lego bricks can send special messages to other wombats.
Indeed, there is a nuanced language of poo that wombats speak fluently. The message could range from, “keep out or I’ll kill you” to “let’s get it on.” Just one whiff in a wombat’s sniffer will tell them all they need to know.
2. Wombats have buns of STEEL
A wombat’s rump looks soft and cushy and inviting of scritches. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. That butt is a battering ram. Made up of four fused plates surrounded by cartilage, fat, thin skin, and fur, a wombat’s buttocks are not to be bothered with.
When threatened, a wombat will dive headfirst into its tunnel, plugging up the end with its caboose. This booty blockage is quite efficient. Even if a predator bites or claws their rump, a wombat’s butt cheeks have very few nerve endings, and their stumpy tail is impossible to snatch.
Should the attacker become an extra annoyance, the wombat switches from defence to offence.
The wombat flattens itself against the bottom of its burrow, waits for the predator to poke its head in, and then repeatedly SLAMS its killer keister against the roof. Crushing the skull of its enemy with its Gluteuos Murderous.
Ah yes, this is the wombat Australia knows and loves.
And for those who prefer a visual, this wombat comic from The Oatmeal gives a beautiful illustration of a wombat’s rampaging rump of doom.
3. Wombats are most closely related to koalas
The closest living relative of the wombat is another bear-like marsupial: the koala. They both have big heads, small eyes, large round noses, squat bodies, and formidable claws. But most importantly, they both have backwards pouches.
And that wombat fact is what sets them apart from other marsupials like kangaroos.
If a kangaroo had a backwards facing pouch, the joey would crash right out onto its head. But with a wombat, the design is flawless. The backwards pouch prevents wombat joeys from getting a face full of dirt while their mother digs.
Which brings us to our next wombat fact…
4. Wombats were born to dig
A wombat can move a metre of dirt in a single evening. Their long claws and compact bodies make them champion diggers, and they take great pride in their excavations.
In fact, wombats may dig up to twelve burrows in their territory, and alternate between three to four main abodes. Their “seasonal vacation homes” are quite luxurious, with extensive tunnel systems, multiple sleeping areas and even some skylights.
Another wombat fact? Like all interior design lovers, wombats are picky with their burrow locations.
They want an area with ample burrow drainage, so they focus their efforts on wet forested areas with slopes.
5. Wisdom is a group of wombats
You have to hand it to us Aussies. We come up with the BEST group names for our marsupials.
A paddle of platypuses.
A mob of kangaroos.
A wisdom of wombats.
Yes, truly, a group of wombats is actually called a “wisdom.” But as wombats are solitary creatures, wisdoms don’t happen very often. They are generally only witnessed during breeding.
No worries. Single wombats have equally fun names. A male wombat is called a “Jack” and a female wombat is called a “Jill.”
We went there.
6. A wombat will chase you DOWN
In case you needed another reason to avoid upsetting a wombat (you know, besides the fact that they are absolute Tush-minators), let it be the following wombat fact.
Wombats can run at speeds of 40 km/h (25 mph).
Which is to say, just a touch shorter than Usain Bolt’s world-record setting 43.99 km/h (27.33 mph), sustained for just a few seconds in 2011.
Although they look pudgy and awkward, wombats are pure muscular chasing machines. They can maintain their incredible top speed for up to a minute and a half, seemingly a marathon when compared to Bolt’s 9.76-second, 100-meter dash.
I repeat. DON’T MESS WITH WOMBATS.
7. The largest marsupial that ever lived was a wombat
Today, wombats are the second largest marsupial on Earth, dethroned only by the Red Kangaroo. But if we took a trip to the past, Red Kangaroos would have been absolutely dwarfed by wombats.
The largest marsupial ever was the Diprotodon, also known as the Giant Wombat. The Giant Wombat stood at a whopping 2 metres tall, and was about the size of a rhino.
Knowing the wombat facts we know today, the Diprotodon would have been a formidable opponent!
Alas, the Giant Wombat is no more, but we are still plenty pleased with the wombats we currently have plonking their way around Australia. So now that you have learned plenty of wombat facts, and have a deep appreciation of these glorious, awkward beasts, it’s time to introduce you to a very special wombat.
Meet Wally and his butthole of secrets
In mid November, Wally the Wombat and his outrageous butthole were unveiled to the world for all to behold. And what a release it was. We pride ourselves on creating the most unique bags Australia (and the world) has seen, but in a sea of quirky purses, Wally was on a whole new level.
This cute wombat purse is stashing a surprising secret inside his polka-dot tushy.
It’s a cube-shaped leather coin purse - in brown, of course. *SCREAMS*
Simply untie his drawstring backside and pull the coin purse out. We’ve even included a wrist strap to make reaching into Wally’s booty a little less rude. (So thoughtful.)
Wally is a decidedly brown wombat, with a brown wicker body, brown leather handles, a brown leather shoulder strap, and brown polka-dot interior. But of course, he features the iconic black nose of the Common Wombat - with some cute wombat whiskers to boot.
Keep on the lookout for more Aussie oddities!
If reading up on these wombat facts has you itching to get your mitts on a wombat purse of your own, I hate to break it to you, but Wally is on a sabbatical for now.
That doesn’t mean you should give up hope!
We often reintroduce our old purse designs in new styles or colour ways, and you never know what strange Australian animal or Australiana clutch designs will come stomping into the workroom next.
There is always something odd to gawk at around here!
You see, at Wicker Darling, we never take ourselves too seriously. Just because we make designer wicker handbags doesn’t mean we can’t be kooky and irreverent. We wholeheartedly believe in a healthy balance of both. So keep your name on our mailing list, because you never know what we’ll dream up next!