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Tuesday, 14 July 2015


The Golden State is in the midst of its driest period on record. But all that warm, dry weather affects more than just lake levels and snowpack — it has some downright weird effects, too. From pipe-eating poop to more roadkill, here are some of the strangest results of the California drought.

1. Pipe-eating poop
As water becomes scarce in California, more and more people are using low-flow toilets and adhering to the conservationist's adage, "If it's yellow, let it mellow," and are only flushing down if it's brown.

2. More roadkill
Animals may be even more susceptible to the drought's effects than are humans. Since the drought means less greenery and animal food, animals must take bigger risks to reach food and water sources — even when that means crossing dangerous roads and highways.

3. Send in the snakes
The parched conditions may also lead to more close encounters of the slithery kind. People have been finding more rattlesnakes in their houses in Northern California.

4. Kitten bonanza!
Some of the side effects of the drought are downright adorable. The drought has meant more warm days, and apparently cats react to warm weather just as people on a Hawaii vacation might — by getting busy. The warm, dry air may be causing more cats to mate and produce kittens. Animal shelters in Oakland, California, have reported 30 percent more kittens this season than usual, and the shelters are now struggling to place the felines in loving homes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

5. Pest growth
While drought may be bad for many animals, pests such as scorpions and spiders reproduce like crazy in the dry, warm conditions, Jim Fredericks, an entomologist and wildlife ecology expert with the National Pest Management Association, told CNN. Once the mercury rises too high, the legion of arachnids makes its way indoors to people's garages and homes to escape the heat. Some of the least welcome houseguests could include brown recluse and black widow spiders, according to Mother Jones.


6. End is near?
Thankfully, meteorologists are predicting that a monster El Niño weather pattern will hit California and last at least until fall. The warm, wet weather of the El Niñocould put a dent in the state's years'-long water deficit. But though drenching winter storms will be good news for the state's snowpack, reservoirs and crops, they could also come with some unpleasant side effects. The parched hillsides could be less able to absorb water, leading to more flooding and runoff, according to USA Today.