Ten Animal Myths that seem real

cute kitten with two ducks
Sssh dude, don't talk to him, his meow echoes!

Top Ten Myths about Animals that seem real

So like according to the Pink Floyd's songKeep Talking, "For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals, 'Then something happenend which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk'. 

And then what happened?

Having been like animals, we then hunted them, domesticated them, ate them and occasionally we were eaten by them. We petted them, chained them, put the biggest beasts in Zoos and wore their fur. 

And all the while, we talked about these animals and thus the legends and myths about them grew. Uneducated housewives told gullible daughters and ignorant fathers dressed up stories for wide-eyes boys and so it spread.

Until the internet was invented we believed whatever our friends said but now you just need to google for the animals facts, like you did. 

Congrats on being a little cynical about that story your mate in the army who just told you about giant camel spiders....

Here's Animals Eating Animals' Top Ten Myths About Animals

1. Myth: A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why

OMG, who makes up this drivel and who believes it? A duck quack is a sound. An actual force, pushing through the air, subject to the laws of physics.

Maybe someone heard a very quiet duck quack decided it didn't echo and then put it on the internet. 

This is as dumb as the oft-asked question about the tree falling in the woods, no one hearing it so does it make a sound? 

Give. Me. Strength.

Let's get this straight, duck quacks, pigeon coos, rooster crows and owl hoots all echo.

Unless you have a magical duck, then all bets are off. Those magical ducks are well known to have quacks that don't echo. If you get one of them, I'll swap you this blog, my GI Joe collection and a piece of gum I found on my shoe. 

My left shoe actually. The one that allows me to walk on water.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
2. Myth: Penquins fall over backwards when watching aeroplanes flying over head.

As cute as this myth story is, it doesn’t happen. Penguins are happy on their feet and don’t land on their backs when gazing at planes in the sky.

The phenomenon was supposedly first reported by Royal Air Force pilots who flew over the Falklands during the 1982 war with Argentina (I guess the war can’t have been that intense!)

They myth went further than the above – stories apparently During the war in the Falkland Islands (UK against Argentina) someone was employed to pick up penguins that fell over onto their backs.  

The reason was that the penguins were not used to seeing planes and when they flew over they all followed the planes with their eyes and if they flew overhead the penguins would follow them right up and over and tip onto their backs.  

Apparently once they'd fallen onto their backs they couldn't right themselves and the colony would starve to death if humans didn't intervene.

The reality is that Penguins dislike the sound made by an airplane’s engine and have be observed to scatter whenever one draws near – either landing on an Antarctic ice shelf or flying overhead.  

The sadder truth is that penguins are more likely to be eaten by sneaky sharks and hungry polar beers.

Many reports have been dispatched from people in the Antarctic who have watched penguins and planes and all have reported Penguins do not fall over when planes approach. 

leeming in the ice
Can I borrow your razor blade please?
3. Myth: Lemmings periodically commit suicide by marching over cliffs and into the sea:

I loved the 90's computer game as much as anyone. When stuck, I loved to watch the lemmings blow up all Armegheddon style as per the idea the leemings liked to commit suicide. 

Lemmings have become a part of popular culture because of the myth that they tend to commit mass suicide when they migrate.  Let’s be clear, there have been no real life observations of lemming suicide.

The myth of lemming "mass suicide" or “hari-kari” has been made popular by number of factors. In 1955, Disney Studio illustrator Carl Barks drew an Uncle Scrooge adventure comic with the title "The Lemming with the Locket". 

This comic, which was inspired by a 1954 American Mercury article, showed massive numbers of lemmings jumping over Norwegian cliffs.

Even more influential was the 1958 Disney film White Wilderness  in which staged footage was shown with lemmings jumping to their death after faked scenes of mass migration. 

This event was actually shown to be staged and the leemings were manipulated to jump to a watery grave.

We've been conned by Walt Disney!

In more recent times, the video game series known as Lemmings has further explored the myth as they game player must stop the lemmings from mindlessly marching over cliffs or into traps.

So in short, Leemings are cute critters that like to play in the snow and that’s about it.

Got any blue cheese, mate?
4. Myth: Elephants are afraid of mice

Mice, per say do not bother or scare elephants. Mice are a very natural part of an elephant's environment  - they've been living happily together for years, in the jungles and in the zoos. 

A mouse walking by an elephant is not a problem, nor is it for any of the larger kinds animals. Heck, this leopard made friends with one. 

What does scare elephants is anything that startles them such as an unexpected movement or noise. These things elicit a response which could be characterized as an elephant being scared. 

One thing is for sure, certain panda are afraid of other Panda sneezing. My point is an elephant could react in the same way!

I live in your living room. I am the cobweb king! But I'm not poisonous
5. Myth: Daddy longlegs spiders are the most "world's most poisonous animals"

Wow, this is one I thought was true!? I even could follow up with  'but they were not poisonous to humans because their teeth were too small and weak to puncture a person's skin'. 

It seems legit right? 

Well to a 10 year, but thanks to the good people of the Mythbusters TV show have provided some pretty tight evidence as to why this is a myth:

"A Daddy long-legs was able to bite through the skin of Adam's arm. He reported nothing more than a very mild, short-lived burning sensation. Analysis of the venom proves it does not approach the potency of the Black widow spider."

In summary, my childhood knowledge shattered as I discover daddy long legs are not even close to being poisonous. Or venomous for that matter. There's a distinction in those words.... hey wanna see a spider eat a bird?

tortoise mating doggy style
Leap Frog: a game for the whole family!
True: A Giant Tortoise can  live for over one hundred years

Well actually this one's true! Tortoise and Turtles have been known to live longer than humans. 

The Giant Tortoise regularly hits the 100 years of age mark. Sadly, there's not too many of these beautiful creatures around these days as they appeared to have been eaten by humans over the years.

Adwaita, was a giant tortoise who famously turned out to be 255 years old when his shell was carbon dated after his death. 

This made Adwaita one of the oldest creatures of modern times, beating  fellow tortoise Harriet by 80 years, and Tu'i Malila by 67 years.

Camel Spiders eat camels and camel coloured soldiers for breakfast
6. Myth : There are Spiders that eat Camels

There are also Men Who Stare At Goats too but but that's really quite a different story. Camel Spiders. The largest, most bad ass spiders that have ever been discovered. 

Known for their dangerous bite which can render an adult camel unconcious in 20 minutes and dead in 45. Then they swarm like angry locusts and eat the camel over a period of a few days. 

During the various US war campaigns in Iraq and Kuwait, an unlucky 13 U.S. soldiers have died as a result of camel spiders. And ironically, they had all failed goat staring class. 

Well, those are the myths about camel spiders any way. 

As we are learning througout this most awesome list, the truth is rather different from the myths. 

A number of urban legends have gleefully spread across the internet that exaggerate the size and speed of camel spiders, and their potential danger to camels, humans and soldiers in Iraq. 

That's right, their talents and size are all myth.

The reality is that camel spiders are commonly known as wind scorpions or sun spiders may grow to a length of 7 cm (2.8 in) which is nothing like the legendary stories people are wont to tell. 

That picture above?

It's an illusion of perspective.

Fact: It once took a Tuatara 111 years to first mate. 

This is a bit of a cheat in terms of myth busting but it did happen - a tuatara was a hundred and eleven years old before popping his cherry and giving up his v-card. Tuatara are a rare reptile species with a slow sex drive though I guess it's even harder to get it out of the way when you are help captive by your soviet masters... 
It aint easy being green 
7. Myth: You can boil a frog in water and it won't jump out. 
This once happened to Kermit the Frog apparently and they had to recast him on the Muppets and luckily no one noticed. 

I tell ya, it aint easy being green. 

It also aint easy to believe this myth!
The boiling frog story is a popular myth describing a frog slowly being boiled alive. 

The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will quickly jump out due to the obvious heat, but if the same frog is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the imminent danger and will be cooked to death.

Such a story is often used as a metaphor for the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually. 

And it seems to work as a metaphor simply because people believe the horse shit that's being feed to them. Usually by some high paid life coach.

 Like for those of us lucky to only need to take depressants for kicks and don't need life coaches, we can read the internet for some wise thinking. Though I'm loathe to site Wikipedia on such a contentious, life changing issue, here's the truth about boiling frogs and their perkiness:

"In 1995, Professor Douglas Melton, of the Harvard University Biology department, said, "If you put a frog in boiling water, it won't jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot; they don't sit still for you."

You just can't argue with sane reasoning like that can you? Take that all you Miss Piggy Fans!

saint bernard with whisky drum

8. Myth: Every St Bernard is given whiskey at birth so it can find people in the snow

In Switzerland people love to ski and sometimes they get lost. But their friends are too lazy to look for them so they just sent out the local St Bernard rescue dog with a bottle of whiskey to give to the lost person. 

Sounds like the idyll life for a dog eh? 

Truth is St Bernard dogs are sometimes used in rescue missions as trackers but the whiskey is all myth - why would you give alcohol to someone with hypothermia

paris hilton making out with a dog
Good Tinkerbell, suck the asthma right out of me!! xxxooo
9. Myth: Chihuahuas can cure asthma

Sure, and monkeys cure diabetes. Celebrities however will believe anything, just look at Tom Cruise and Scientology. Paris Hilton, a noted drug user asthmatic, heard about this cure and bought two chihuahuas!

Let's get real here!

 Asthma is a physical condition where the bronchial tubes in the lungs suffer from poor performance. Medicine can relieve symptoms and also act as a preventative but the underlying issues often remain. 

The association with dogs curing asthma possibly comes from the timing. Children may often 'grow out' of their asthma. This could be about the same time an animal is introduced to the family circle such as a Chihuahua and hence a simple coincidence has occurred. 

Chihuahua are dogs, not doctors and can't cure anything. 

It is true however, unlike ducks, that chihuahua barks do not echo. Weird huh?

bill murray ground hog day
You do the pedals Bill, I'll drive.
10. Groundhogs Can Predict the Arrival of Spring

Groundhog Day is a tradition dating back hundreds of years ago. Supposedly, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of cold winter.

Celebrated on February the 2nd every year, the good folks of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA use the ground hog day ceremony to determine how long till winter is over. According to the myth, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end.

If on the other hand, it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly "see its shadow" and retreat back into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks.

In Punxsutawney, their current ground hog, Punxsutawney Phil was made famous in the Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog Day.

In reality, the true timing of the arrival of spring is indicated by blooming of plants (daffodils are well known as spring plants) and increased activity of animals.

The origins of the myth are possibly related to the appearance of hibernating animals which generally signifies the end of winter.

Well, dear reader, you made it through to the end of the Top Ten Myths about Animals and some that might be true! What was your favourite myth or do you have one to share. Leave a note in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Polar bears do not know what penguins taste like! There are no penguins at the North Pole and no Polar bears at the South Pole. This is NOT a myth.

Jimmy Jangles said...

Well, you may have got me there!

Jimmy Jangles said...

Well, you may have got me there!