Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Turns Out Animals Are Dangerous...

I saw a weird article on Cryptomundo today to the tune of "Hmm, seems like there's been lots of animal attacks in the news lately. Maybe it's because of the full moon."


The article points out five animal attacks that have made the national news between September 27th and October 5th:
  1. 1.) A guy got mauled by a grizzly bear after climbing into its cage at the zoo.
  2. 2.) An old lady got badly bitten by big pile of raccoons while chasing them off her porch.
  3. 3.) Another lady got kicked by an emu she was trying to subdue for transport to an animal sanctuary.
  4. 4.) A third lady was killed by her pet bear while cleaning its cage while the bear was still inside.
  5. 5.) Some Canadian fella' was mauled by a tiger after climbing into its cage at the zoo.

Now is it just me, or are none of those things particularly surprising? See, it turns out that bears, tigers, raccoons, and emus are all dangerous. They all have pointy parts and don't especially like hanging out with human beings. Therefore, I'm not at all stunned that five people who initiated contact with wild animals got injured for their troubles. All of these animals are doing exactly what they could be expected to do.

But wait! What about the "clustering" of these events around the full moon? Surely that means something!

No, wait, it doesn't. Animals, adorable though they may be, bite people all month long regardless of the phase of the moon. According to a website that specializes in dog bite laws (aptly named, domestic dog bites send an estimated 1,000 Americans to the emergency room daily. Read that again so it sinks in. 1,000 dog bites requiring emergency room visits per day. And dogs are man's best friend! Bears, tigers and emus are -at best- man's casual acquaintances from the office.

Though round and fuzzy at first glance,
raccoons have numerous sharp bits.

Odds are that someone, somewhere is getting mauled by something pretty much every hour of every day. With that in mind, our friend at Cryptomundo pointing out five newsworthy maulings in an 8-day span hardly seems to prove that the moon has mysterious, mind-altering powers.


Jay said...

These all fall into the category of "what did you think was gonna happen, dumbass?"

I can't help but think that one factor (maybe a minor factor) is the constant presence of cute, anthropomorphized animals in Disney films.

Loren Coleman said...

Dear Skippy ~

Reading my posting more closely shows that I was pointing out that the animal that should never be overlooked during these unique periods of stronger tidal forces of the new and full moons are the the human ones.

Thank you for your notice, and skeptical insights, nevertheless.


Skippy the Skeptic said...

Actually you touched on humans, animal attacks, and natural disasters. I chose to focus on the animal attack angle for the sake of brevity, but statistical studies have shown pretty conclusively that the so-called "Lunar Effect" on human behavior also seems to amount to little more than seeing what we want to see.