The Lemming Lemon

Written by: Captain Skellett // May 31st, 2009 // Unethics

Nothing like going retro and playing a game or fifty of LEMMINGS!!! I squandered many an evening in my youth curled over a computer screen, thinking of ways to keep those suicidal wanderers alive while they walked carelessly towards cliffs.

lemmings-game

Some of the levels were so bizzarro I’d wonder “how did they get themselves INTO this mess? Do they WANT to die? Cute little green-haired munchkins!” For fun, here’s a real lemming – still cute but in a more hamsterish way:

lemming

At some point I was introduced to the idea that yes, lemmings DID want to die because of a brilliant population-control technique ingrained in their DNA. I’ve had many a teacher who have lamented the human desire to be fruitful and mulitply, crying that we were destroying the planet out of sheer numbers. Whether we would continue to survive would depend on whether we realised that space was running out and slowed down… otherwise we’d bang ourselves straight into extinction. Are we an r-selected species, or a K-selected species, is our growth rate exponential, or are we just midway up an S-curve? Whenever I read that the suicide rate was increasing, I would think to myself – maybe we ARE like the lemmings. Maybe this is all some genetic grand-scheme to thin out our numbers.

I don’t think that anymore, doesn’t it sound a bit ridiculous that you can have so many animals around that they disappear? It sounds a bit like Jimbo Kern from Southpark – “We’ve got to kill more animals so they won’t die!”

And the lemming thing – it’s all a LIE!!! Those lemmings didn’t kill themselves. The poor little rodents were chased off a cliff for a Disney movie. This Disney movie in fact, White Wilderness.

Hell, these lemmings weren’t even migrating and accidentally fell into the sea, or thought there was something worth swimming to on the other side of the ocean. Nope, they were pushed off the edge by film makers just to get the right shot. Lemmings aren’t even native to Alberta, Canada, where the footage was taken – they bought them from Inuit kids! So consider this myth debunked. It wouldn’t be the last time television pushed animals into killing themselves either – consider Happy Tree Friends.

If you want to play the game again and relive the lemmings good times, do it here 🙂 Love the hair.

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google

   

One Response to “The Lemming Lemon”

  1. […] posted on a Schooner of Science here. See more of the Captain’s scientific musings over on her […]






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