The Luxurious Poop From These Tree-Climbing Goats Produces Argan Oil

Nope, your eyes aren’t going baa-d. What you’re seeing here is indeed a tree full of goats.

This video was taken in southwestern Morocco by photographer Michael Chinnici (who leads Moroccan photo tours, so you can see and capture this magical sight yourself!).

It shows the country’s famous goats, who climb high into argan trees to eat fruit and leaves. Fun fact: As much as 84 percent of the goats’ diet can be fruit and leaves, according to a study in the journal Small Ruminant Research.

The goats then poop out undigestible seeds — which are collected, processed and turned into very expensive cosmetics and food.

At least that’s the traditional method. According to some sources, in response to increased demand for the product, argan oil is mostly manufactured by hand now, in large part by all-female argan oil cooperatives.

“This way is harder but the quality is better,” one such worker, Aicha Amsquine, told the Global Post. “And you don’t have to touch anyone’s crap.”

Allow a little digression: The focus on tree-climbing goats tends to be on how cute they are (i.e., very), and how interesting it is that something so valuable — argan has been called the world’s most expensive edible oil — pops out of their behind.

Professor Travis Lybbert, from the University of California, Davis, looked at some of the nerdier aspects of argan oil. Like what a growing market for the oil does to a Moroccan household’s finances, and what the goats are doing to the environment

What Lybbert found is that the economics of argan oil are very complicated, but that participating in the argan oil market tends to make a family richer —> Read More