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Chinstrap penguins sleep over 10,000 times a day for just 4 seconds at a time

Still Waters

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Chinstrap penguins are one of nature's most extreme nappers, snatching more than 10,000 microsleeps lasting up to four seconds long every day, according to a new study.

The penguins, which live in breeding colonies each containing tens of thousands of individuals, must remain constantly vigilant against threats to their nests from predatory skua birds and hostile colony neighbors. 
The result is a sleeping schedule warped beyond all recognition — placing the penguins in a state somewhere between wakefulness and sleep that culminates in 11 hours of snoozing time per day. The researchers behind the study published their findings Dec. 30 in the journal Science.


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As someone who treasures sleep, this is indigently horrifying to me.

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