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Next time you pick up a vanilla candy, think twice. A chemical compound used in vanilla flavored foods and scents comes from the butt of a beaver.
Castoreum comes from a beaver's castor sacs, located between the pelvis and base of the tail. Due to its proximity to the anal glands, the slimy brown substance is often mixed with gland secretions and urine.
"I lift up the animal's tail," Joanne Crawford, a wildlife ecologist at Southern Illinois University told National Geographic. "I’m like, 'Get down there, and stick your nose near its bum.'"
"People think I'm nuts," she added. "I tell them, 'Oh, but it's beavers; it smells really good.'"
Beavers use the brown slime, often compared to a thinner version of molasses, to mark their territory. The musky, vanilla scent is attributed to a beaver's diet of bark and leaves.
Oh boy,this would be one of those threads that the title begs you to click on it even though your little voice inside is screaming..."No,No Rank this info under things I now wish I didn't know.