Anorak News | The Silence Of The Lemmings

The Silence Of The Lemmings

by | 31st, October 2003

‘“SCIENTISTS have solved one of the world’s great mysteries,” writes the Times on its front page.

‘It was the only way anyone would notice us’

And immediately we get to thinking what it is. Have boffins discovered why Catherine Zeta Jones married Michael Douglas (see o’Hell!) or how George ‘Dubya’ Bush became leader of the free world?

Those to come. For now we content ourselves with learning why it is that lemmings throw themselves over cliffs. No, it’s not a cry for help. It’s because they don’t.

Yes, the news is, folks, that lemmings do not commit suicide as once believed.

Oliver Glig, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, says that the four-year cycle of lemming boom and bust can be explained by changes in food supply.

Around every four years the numbers of predators partial to lemmings rise to a high enough level pretty much to wipe out the little vermin.

So why the suicide theory? Dr Glig points the finger at Walt Disney. It seems that the 1958 Disney documentary White Wilderness used faked footage of leaping lemmings.

Scientists are now reviewing other Disney tapes. A large rubber band has been installed at Windsor Safari Park to see if elephants really can fly and research is ongoing into whether or not dalmation fur really makes for better coats than Mickey Mouse or Bambi.’

Posted: 31st, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink