Some of the greatest love stories ever told are from the animal kingdom. Take these two ridiculously cute penguins, for example. They don't have hands, but they've somehow managed to hold flippers during a romantic walk on the beach. We dare you to watch the video below without smiling.
my aunt just came back from South Africa and she sent me this video she took of this lil penguin couple 😭 pic.twitter.com/TkBpT5z9RV— 🐇 (@freakingdani) July 2, 2018
"Wait, but what are these lovebirds doing on a beach in South Africa?" you might ask. A lot of Twitter users had the same question, and the answer is actually quite simple. Penguins are only native to the Southern Hemisphere, where they can be found in Australia, New Zealand, the tip of South Africa, the coast of South America, and the Galapagos Islands in addition to Antarctica. Only Emperor penguins (the stars of March of the Penguins) and Adélie penguins are found in Antarctica, by the way. We're not exactly sure what species of penguins these little guys are, but outlets are reporting that they're African penguins.
Another interesting tidbit is that penguins mate for life, a fact that makes this love story even sweeter. Both the male and female will work together to build a nest and care for their offspring; this joint-parenting approach is a rarity in the animal world.
Back in 2012, a Magellanic penguin couple made the news for staying faithful to each other for a whopping 16 years. Penguins only live to about 20 once they start breeding. In this case, the pair actually spent a lot of their time apart, swimming a combined 200,000 miles in solo trips and reuniting each year at the same nest to mate. When Magellanic penguins fail to breed successfully, they "divorce" and find new mates. That this twosome stayed together for almost their entire breeding life, weren't killed by predators, and had success breeding each season is a gigantic feat.
"In these extremely faithful animals — the pair bonds for breeding may last all life long in this species — the partners may actually be separated by hundreds to thousands of kilometers at sea," researcher Jean-Baptiste Thiebot said while studying southern rockhopper penguins.
We don't know how long the penguin couple in the video has been together or whether they're preparing to say goodbye soon, but we hope that they have many happy, healthy years in their future.
Watch the video below of adorable animal buns for cuteness overload: