I know this because my internet searching today has taken me from the Magna Carta through a brief study of unicorns and ending up with an alphabetical list of the gestation periods of mammals. Don’t even ask me why.
Zebra; 380 days.
So what have I learned after an hour of clicking with little purpose? Well not a great deal actually. I have one or two golden nuggets to remember during a pub quiz and have a great deal of sympathy and respect for the female domestic white mouse (20 days).
Poor wee thing 20 days really is no time at all to have a crazy, shit did I really? and with him?? night, to popping out a few little baby mice. No time to paint the room blue or pink, no time to book your maternity leave, no time at all. Its tough being a mouse.
But if you think the mouse has a rough ride, spare a thought for the poor Alien out of the Alien movies. Theirs is somewhere between 5mins and an hour depending on the editing, albeit the female alien doest actually have to carry the young so its probably not a fair comparison.
It’s a relative size thing. Elephants are the longest, mice the shortest. So following his logic Karen Carpenter would only take about 3months and Pavarotti’s mum carried him for over 2 years. Probably.
Unicorns are strange animals. A horse with a horn. And according to my searching and the so called experts they don’t exist. You are as likely to bump into a unicorn in a field as you are a Jedi knight. But I am not so sure.
In a believable hierarchy of mythical creatures should one exist unicorns have to come pretty close to the top. Why wouldn’t a unicorn exist? If you can have a horse or a stripy black and white horse or even small hairy narky horses then why not one with a horn?
Horns exist, horses exist so it’s a logical combination no?
The list of mythical animals is a long one. Each society has their own; big foot, Nessy, dog of Yama, leprechaun to name but a few. Dragons and unicorns seem to exist in most societies and appear in most continents around the world though. When I say appear, I mean have been depicted.
My favourite, for today at least, is the Loveland Frog. It lives in Ohio in the US and has the body of a human and the head of, you guessed it, a frog.
Can you imagine such a monstrous creature? Think of the ugliest person you know, imagine them with bad green skin and warts. If that wasn’t enough now imagine them being able to puff up their cheeks like bubble-gum and employing a curious seduction technique – that’s the Loveland Frog.
Is Yoda the last of his race?
So yes, Unicorns I think existed at one time and believe its only a matter of time before some anthropologist or bearded time team type proves it. That or we manage to recreate one from a mozzie trapped in amber. Dragons also, why not?
They could have existed. We have dinosaurs, we have flying dinosaurs so why not dragons? The fire breathing piece is a little problematic but if today we found a non-fire belching dragon I think it would be reasonably big news regardless.
An animal was discovered last week.
High up in the treetops of the Andes lives the Olinguito. Weighing in at two pounds it is a member of the raccoon family and for years has been mistaken as another raccoon, the Olingo. This ‘discovery’ was announced to much fanfare and news coverage. Pictures of the small, bored looking dull brown animal were plastered over websites or newspapers under misleading headlines like ‘NEW SPECIES OF MAMMAL FOUND!’ or ‘DISCOVERY OF THE DECADE!’.
Really? I don’t think so.
The Olinguito is just one or two DNA strands or two vowels and a consonant different to the Olingo and its not like it was found, Indiana Jones style, in some remote cave or jungle. The Olinguito has been sitting in plain sight in Zoos and in Peruvian casserole dishes for ever. This discovery is no discovery.
Strangely enough another animal was discovered in the last few years, a monkey no less and I don’t quite know why this had significantly less news coverage. This particular monkey known to the scientific community as the Lesula Monkey was discovered in Africa and aside from DNA differences it distinguishes itself with unique colouring and markings. Including blue testicles. As you might imagine the common name for the newly discovered monkey is the Blue Balled Monkey and why this didn’t precipitate a tsunami of headlines I don’t know.
Both are some way from discovering a Unicorn or a Dragon though.
Put me in charge of the Smithsonian Institute please.
Put me in charge and I would be diverting all the considerable resources and bearded anthropologist to hunt them down. To hell with analysing the DNA of raccoons or studying the colour of Monkey balls, lets go after the Unicorn or start a quest to find a Dragon.
If you want the headlines one of both of these would guarantee it.
I would ignore the frog-faced lady from Ohio though because that would just be silly.