Animal Facts: Love And Sex In The Animal Kingdom

You know the Valentine’s Day drill: buy some chocolate and flowers, make reservations at a nice restaurant and exchange “I love you’s” over dessert. But how does the rest of the world—specifically the animals of the world—celebrate Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s complicated.

In the animal kingdom, love and sex are just as complex and mysterious as they are for humans. Some animals enter into long-term relationships (and short-term flings!), others engage in silly mating rituals, and a few have evolved to wield some incredibly bizarre sexual organs. Check out these 21 animal facts about love, sex, relationships, and reproduction.

1. Albatrosses are known for being flirtatious. Check out their hilarious mating dance:

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Love Kills: Valentine’s Day Murders

Lord Tennyson said it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but he probably wasn’t referring to these horrific Valentine’s Day murders. Some of these crimes remain unsolved, and others have been closed by authorities. All are a grim reminder that not everyone is buying chocolates for loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

Another Columbine High Tragedy

Valentine's Day Murders Hart

Source: Find A Grave

In 2000, Columbine High School sweethearts Stephanie Hart, 16, and Nick Kunselman, 15, were gunned down in Jefferson County, Colorado at a Subway restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Kunselman worked at the Subway restaurant, where Hart had come to visit him.

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These People Hate Valentine’s Day Way More Than You

Indian Women Protest Valentine's Day

These Indian women make their distaste for Valentine’s Day perfectly clear. Source: ArtNaz

With its overabundance of candy, chocolates, teddy bears and pink everything, it’s easy for people–single or in a relationship–to get pretty cynical about Valentine’s Day and the commodification of intimacy and affection.

But to some, Valentine’s Day brings out more than pure cynicism. Behind the hearts and flowers stands the West, intent on imposing its culture around the world and in whatever way possible. For example, right-wing religious groups in India view Valentine’s Day as a Western holiday that directly opposes the Hindu way of life. Muslims, too, can find the holiday off-putting, immoral and an encroachment of Western values. Believe it or not, this difference in opinion makes for some pretty intense Valentine’s Day protests.

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