8) Lets talk about Lemmings
When you hear the word “lemmings” you might think of two things:
This video game and some sort of small creature that suicidally leap off cliffs when its population grows too large.
In case you didn’t know lemmings are real and adorable and not suicidal.
The origin of this myth is a bit unclear but the video game lemmings may have done a lot more to convince a younger generation that lemmings are willfully suicidal – and extremely frustrating to micromanage thus deserving of mass extermination.
7) Daddly Longlegs
These wispy-looking things have earned the reputation as the most poisonous of any spider. But they’re also pretty common so, you might wonder why more people don’t die from daddy longlegs bites every year.
Like a good conspiracy theory, this myth, covers its own tracks by also saying that their fangs are too small to penetrate human skin.
You could score one for team human except that this misconception is a triple whammy of wrongness:
1) Daddy Longlegs don’t have fangs because
2) They don’t produce venom because
3) They aren’t even spiders
Let’s review the properties of these flightless birds, shall we?
They’re up to nine feet tall, up to 340 pounds, aggressive, with sharp beaks and long claws.
Essentially an ostrich is the closest thing to a living raptor you’re ever going to see.
(That is our genetic engineering technology gets better – common dinopocapolipse!).
Anyway, keeping these facts in mind, if you decide to threaten an ostrich do you really think it’s going to stick it’s head in the sand and wait to die?
No, of course not, if you’re lucky it will run away at 40 miles an hour and if you’re not, it’s fatality time for you.
Ostriches have no reason to hide and especially not in the stupidest way ever. If they did they would have survived about as long and another species of flightless bird.
While we’re talking about flightless birds,
5) Baby Birds
A mother bird won’t abandon her baby because you’ve touched it any more than a human mother would abandon her baby if a bird touched it.
If you find a baby bird and can easily reach the nest, it’s perfectly fine to put it back.
4) Goldfish Memory
Goldfish do have memories longer than three seconds or seven seconds or whatever other made up number always accompanies this fact.
They can actually be trained and will remember what they learned for months. Which is more than can be said for many humans.
On an unrelated note, Goldfish are also delicious.
3) Dog Vision
Poor dogs, forever living in their sad, monochrome worlds.
Except, they don’t. Dogs do see color, but not quite like us.
Most humans see three primary colors, red blue and green, but dogs are limited to two: they can see blues, but the rest of the color spectrum they can’t tell apart.
Which they don’t mind, until you buy them a red toy and throw it into the green grass and act like they’re stupid for not finding it.
It’s easy for you to see because your ancestors spent several million years foraging for red objects on a green background and so got quite good at it – unless they didn’t which in that case they died – but canine eyes are not monkey eyes and to your dog, if it isn’t blue it’s all the same color.
So next time you’re at the pet store, get rover a blue toy.
And, while we’re talking about vision lets talk about
Which, if you’ve ever looked at one, it should be immediately obvious they’re not blind because they look right back and you – with their eyes – that they use to see things.
But they do one better by having an additional sense called echolocation that allows them to navigate the world in complete darkness, something you can’t do.
So from the bat’s perspective you’re the blind one.
1) You Can Boil a Frog to Death if you do it very slowly
This one is true… sort of.
Friedrich Goltz, demonstrated that a frog will remain blithely in a pot of water brought to boil if the temperature is raised slowly enough.
However, the rather salient fact that is often left out of the retelling is that Goltz cut out the frogs’ brains before placing them in the pot.
Which rather puts them at a disadvantage.
Goltz also showed that if you don’t lobotomize the frog first then – surprise – it jumps out of the pot.
It seems likely – but please don’t try this at home – that removing the brain of any animal would rather hinder their instinct of self preservation.
And also make them more gullible about common misconceptions.
Notes and Corrections:
1:08 Should say ‘Daddy’ not ‘Daddly’
Special thanks to The Bat Conservation Trust
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