1. Bats Just L_O_V_E Your Hair
Movies and photos all over the Internet will show you women hysterically screaming under a bat attack - specifically to their head and face. It is not that bats flying into a person's face and hair has never happened in human history - on the contrary, it is very likely that it has, but not because bats have a thing for your hair. And certainly not because they lost their way and bumped into your locks.
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You see, bats, although they do look like flying rats, have an inbuilt sonar that could probably give all our submarines a breathless run for their money. A bat can come at you and pick a gnat out of your hair and gulp it down (or munch on it - whatever) and leave, all without touching you in any manner. It is another matter altogether that the experience would be rather unsettling for most of us. But fact: bats don't love your hair. In fact they couldn't care less if you were bald. And in fact, they might still swoop down at your head if you were, if bugs were on it. That's what they are interested in - and that's what we often attract, especially on summer evenings, especially with all our perfumed shampoo and deodorants.
Scientists probably because they wanted to write this article first but didn't, tried to get bats to run into human hair and failed every darn time. Thanks to their sonar, bats do not get into accidents. That's that, and you can keep your hair on, now.
2. Mice Love Cheese and Rabbits Love Carrot
Well, 'rabbits' like Bugs Bunny might thrive on nothing but carrot, but the idea that all rabbits love carrots was propagated when Clark Gable was caricatured when he was having a carrot in the 1934 hit 'It Happened One Night'. The caricature featured none other than Bugs Bunny and the contemporary audience would spot the similarity instantly much as we are able to spot the spoofs in the Scary Movie series.
The fact, however, is that rabbits love green leafy stuff and if you gave them a carrot with the green top still attached to it, any rabbit worth their salt would eat the green part and throw away the orange. Anyone who has kept rabbits for pets would know this, but for the rest of us that see only cartoon rabbits, the myth has become stronger with each image of a rabbit holding onto a carrot.
About the mice - well, this goes back a little further than Clark Gable. In the middle ages, mice were notorious for taking their share of the typical household's cheese. Two things to be noted here - the meat was hung on hooks and difficult, if not impossible for mice to reach and the cheese was readily available stored at ground level. And, the cheese was organic with no flavoring agent that modern day cheese is most often full of. Mice don't like strongly scented stuff. This myth was deemed so powerful (and probably also irritating) that the British Parliament issued a technical note that explained how mice should ideally be caught - with porridge oats, biscuits, chocolate, and cereals in general. Trust us, it is easier to catch a mouse in a humane mousetrap, if you do NOT keep cheese as bait.
3. Like a Red Cloth Before a Bull
Yes, if you wave a red cloth before a bull that has been starved and pricked with sharp objects for an entire day, you will probably see a spectacular reaction. But that would be because the bull is already quite irritated and because the flapping of the cloth just tips everything over. Bulls are color blind - they don't even see 50 Shades of Grey - they see Grey, period. (Okay, maybe some other similar shades, but certainly not 50 and certainly not red). Animals don't like to be prodded and they don't like sudden movements. A cat will show some kind of reaction if you waved a cloth at it. A bull will certainly not like you very much if you flapped a cloth of any color before its eyes even if he were not already pi**ed off. So, now you know the truth about bull fights.
4. The Male Praying Mantis are Turning Gay
Well, that's not exactly the myth we had in mind, but that would certainly be the evolutionary outcome if the myth that we did have in mind were to be true. You know, the one that says the female mantis chomps off her male partner's head even before he has withdrawn after sex?
This actually has some basis in fact - such horrible acts of love were witnessed under 'controlled' studies when the scientists realized that the artificial conditions were not showing the mantis mating ritual in true light. So they put cameras where it mattered and decided to peek. In natural surroundings where the mantis couple thought they had complete privacy, only once did the female mantis display such amorous behavior as biting her partner's head off - literally - in a total of 69 experiments. Now, we'll leave you to figure out if there's some significance of 69 experiments on sex, but the fact is that the one fatal instance probably occurred because the female mantis was hungry. Be nice to your wife when she is hungry - remember that your male human ass has much to be thankful for. And with that goes another busted myth.
5. A Chick in Need...
We meant a baby bird - check the title of the article. Did your mom ever ask you not to try to help a chick you may have found on the ground or in an 'abandoned' nest? Did she explain to you that your human scent would force the momma bird to abandon the little one? A lot of moms did and still do. We're not sure where this myth originated, but a good bet is that people in general generalized and decided that if wild animals rejected their babies if they were touched by humans, birds would, too.
But the fact is that birds have nowhere near as keen a sense of smell as most four legged animals do. They use their sense of sight and hearing, mostly. It wouldn't matter to the mommy bird if you cuddled up with her baby in the nude and all sweaty and dirty, too. She might find it weird and proceed to take her baby away, but reject the baby she would not.
Having said that, it is probably best for children to not mess with chicks unless the poor things were visibly injured. The 'abandoned' nest might not be abandoned, after all. The mother bird might have gone off in search of food, or to gossip with her friends - we don't know. Let's not jump to conclusions either way. If your young one does spot a lost baby bird and wants to help it, teach them patience and watch over the bird to find out if it really needs help. And when you've decided that it does, take it to a vet unless you know what you are doing.