We can almost bet (but we won’t because there is a slight chance we might lose…and no one likes losing), that you or your friends probably believe at least one of the animal myths found in today’s post. But don’t worry, it’s not your fault, most people believe some of these animal myths as well. From bats being blind to cats landing on their feet, these are 25 popular myths about animals that you probably believe (then again, maybe you don’t. If that’s the case, kuddos for you!).
The female praying mantis eats the male after procreation
Nope, although this does happen in very rare circumstances, it is by no means a normal thing for praying mantises to do.
Turkeys drown in the rain
The animal myth says that turkeys are so fascinated by rain that they’ll just stare into the sky and drown as the water pours down their throats. Sounds dumb right? Well, it is. And it’s 100% false.
You're never more than 3 feet from a spider
In 1995 arachnologist Norman Platnick began an article by stating that “wherever you sit as you read these lines, a spider is probably no more than a few yards away”. Norman himself would never have guessed how a simple statement (key word: probably) would have exploded into an urban legend.
Dogs only see in black and white
Nope, while dogs don’t see as many colors as we do, they definitely see more than black and white. In reality their spectrum would range from dark blue to light blue to gray to light yellow to dark yellow.
A goldfish can only remember something for 3 seconds
If you watch Mythbusters then you know that this animal myth is absolutely false.
Birds explode if they eat rice
Nope, and they don’t blow up if they eat Alka-Seltzer either.
1 dog year is 7 human years
Developmentally speaking, a 1 year old dog has more in common with a 17 year old. You can’t simply compare dog years and human years. It’s not a linear relationship and it varies according to breed.
Bats are blind
Actually, they can all see to some extent and some can see pretty darn well. That’s why they have eyes.
Ostriches bury their heads in the sand
While they do eat sand to help them digest their food, they definitely don’t stick their heads in it.
Possums hang from trees by their tails
Although they CAN do this, they don’t, at least not for very long. Why? Well, we could ask ourselves the same thing. Just because we could theoretically hang upside down from tree branches all night doesn’t mean it’s a wise or comfortable thing to do.
Healthy dogs have wet noses
A wet nose is more indicative of the dog’s activity level and not its health.
Lemmings commit mass suicide during migrations
They do migrate, but if any of them fall off of a cliff then it is purely accidental.
Daddy Long Legs are super poisonous
Not at all. It’s the brown recluses and the black widows that you should be afraid of.
Toads will give you warts
This animal myth probably originated from mothers wanting to stop their kids from bringing creatures to the dinner table, but it has no basis in reality.
Pit bulls are dangerous
First of all, pit bull is an umbrella term that many times just means the dog is a mix. So, saying a dog is a pit bull is very similar to saying “I have no clue what kind of dog that is but it’s probably not a poodle”. Which brings us to our second point, if we can’t even definitively categorize “pit bulls” how can we definitively assess their tendency to attack?
Baby birds are rejected by their mothers if they are handled by people
Actually, birds have a terrible sense of smell and would likely never know that you handled their babies.
An elephant is the only animal that can't jump
Sloths, hippos, rhinos, and giraffes are also incapable of jumping.
Two new earthworms will grow from one earthworm that is cut in half
Although earthworms do have limited regenerational capabilities, if you a cut a worm in half, its tail end will not regrow a head. In fact, it won’t regrow anything…it just dies. Now if you cut the earthworm far back enough (behind the clitellum), the head portion may regrow a stunted tail. But you won’t have two earthworms. You’ll still only have one, and it will almost certainly be shorter. Animal myth busted!
Owls are wise
Owls are in fact one of the dumbest birds. Crows have been measured to be significantly smarter.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
Yes you can, just ask your local dog trainer.
Camels store water in their humps
Their humps actually store fat. Enough fat that camels don’t need to eat for 3 weeks.
Earwigs live in your ears
Although they do like dark, warm crevices, your ears are not one of them.
Bees dies after they sting you
There are about 20,000 different species of bee. One of them does this, the rest don’t.
Crocodiles are slow on land
This could save your life…crocodiles are fast on land. Probably faster than you.
Cats always land on their feet
While they do have the ability to contort their spine in such a way as to readjust themselves in mid-air, this is not always the case. They’re cats, not superheroes.