I had Grover generate a title after the article text and couldn’t agree more: “Let them puff.” I don’t think the rest of it is quite accurate, though.
Let them puff. Puffalumps are on Malta
December 26, 2019 - Stef Schrader
I’ve noticed puffalumps (also called wings) on the island of Malta, the corrugated greyish-white skin is hardly visible from the air (more for comfort than anything else), but once up-close, you’ll notice it’s quite unique. It’s probably a bit more intelligent than its name implies and not as harmless as the common puffin.
Malta doesn’t have to worry about it, however — puffalumps are native to the Galapagos Islands and they used to be commonly seen on the islands there. But then the puffins came in for a bit of a setback and if you’ve been there recently, you’ve probably seen the puffalumps nest either right next to or just behind the puffins.
Malta is on the southern edge of mainland Europe and the island is connected to Europe by a waterway known as the outer straits of the Mediterranean. During a major hurricane, the puffalumps from the Galapagos islands would migrate to the Scheveningen area and then they would bump into the populations of mainland islands in the area, resulting in a collision and natural starvation.
In the late 1800s, geneticists from Europe and the United States helped sustain the Galapagos birds (the puffalumps were running the islands then, but most of the scientific community), which means today’s puffalumps can’t genetically be confused with Galapagos puffalumps.
You can find puffalumps year-round on the islands, with some blooming in the spring, but more intense during the summer, when they bloom and seem to have a distinctive shape. I once took a boat ride over the island of Lunada at sunset when the puffalumps were at their peak, and it was like looking at some prehistoric sunset with a light puffy white coat. Not as wild as Galapagos puffalumps, but not far behind.
Puffalumps aren’t the only Galapagos bird you should know about. Some Galapagos birds are landing on Maltese shores again after dropping like flies from captivity and from the looming threat of pollution and biological invasion.
Hope you learned nothing about the birds of the Galapagos! Anyway, the porgs are still cuter than Baby Yoda, probably because they do look sort of like Puffalumps.
UPDATE [12/27]: It has come to my attention that there is a porg named Puffy. Look at this adorable lil’ guy.
Also, now I’m a little terrified of Grover. Just...a little.