CAPTAIN Scott and his team married female penguins during their trip to the Antarctic, it has emerged.
Recently-discovered diaries, now published by the Natural History Museum, show that the explorers were first repulsed and then entranced by the penguins’ sexually licentious behaviour.
Scott wrote: “Necrophilia, group intercourse, golden showers…truly these beaked devils are without boundaries.
“Despite this, their females have the most attractive plumage. Especially one whom I have named ‘Leela’, whose flipper feels soft, soothing to the touch and whose eyes tell stories of the sea.”
Scott and the other explorers, who by this stage had not seen a human female for some weeks, became captivated by the lady penguins, even staging a group marriage ceremony in a makeshift chapel constructed of sticks and bear skins.
Scott wrote: “Leela and I spent a magical afternoon together on an iceberg.
“I fell asleep in the Arctic sun, and when I awoke she had brought me a small fish.”
However the men’s dream of bird-based bliss was shattered when Captain Lawrence Oates was attacked by a jealous alpha male penguin.
According to Scott’s diary: “Oates’s betrothed ‘Tamisha’ squawked furiously as the furious suitor set about him with beak and flapping wing. Soon the whole colony was in uproar.
“I fear that our idyll is reaching an end. I have taken one of Leela’s feathers, which I shall carry forever in a locket.”