Studying events in the past, especially when focusing upon the beliefs people eventually derive from those events, can be both interesting and frustrating. The events themselves are usually the interesting part, and the way the experts keep changing what they believe caused those events is the frustrating part, mostly because their beliefs tend to jump around a good little bit. First it’s ‘this’, then it’s ‘that’, and eventually it’s ‘this’ again, with perhaps something new added.

Hey, if the experts are so smart, why on earth can’t they make up their minds?

More importantly, once it is understood any given theory is likely to be discarded later by a more knowledgeable expert, why would ordinary people keep blindly accepting the current belief? The answer to that last question is unfortunately simple, not to mention depressing, and it is the foundation upon which all human ignorance is erected. The only thing most people believe they know is the last theory they’ve heard! Hardly anybody ever looks into the past to learn if there may have been a good reason for what other experts once believed, or, for that matter, even bother looking for other possible
answers themselves. If they ever did, the contemporary ‘experts’ would have to
work much harder to sell their ideas.

Let us examine one issue you
probably believe has already been settled. The story of lemmings jumping into
the ocean and swimming to their deaths is all a myth, correct? Maybe, but how
far have you checked into it? Most of you probably know the Disney movie White Wilderness from 1958 is blamed for being the source of this myth, and you further know the experts say the whole
thing was faked, but has anybody ever seriously looked beyond the claims of
those experts? Well, I have, and it’s more than just interesting; it’s
completely fascinating, at least to me.

Naturally, I don’t know for certain the
movie wasn’t faked (although I’m perfectly willing to concede it probably was),
but what I do know is the experts making the claims of fakery were not there
personally, nor were they involved in any way with the actual production, so straight
off the bat their claims become more hearsay than fact. Even granting the very real possibility they are
correct, and the movie was entirely falsified, there’s still no reason to draw
any extra conclusions from that fraud. After all, a faked scene only discredits
that movie; it hardly discredits what the scene was trying to depict.

Not only that, but these experts
don’t even all agree on where the fake footage was filmed. Some say it was done
in Greenland, while others say it was done in Canada, but, no matter where they
say the filming may have occurred, the experts being cited for actual lemming
behavior are from Alaska. These various locations may seem meaningless, at
first glance, but they are actually an important piece to the puzzle.

Guess what? There is more than one
type lemming on this planet. The "Banded Lemmings" are different from the
"Brown Lemmings", and even lemmings of the same type don’t always behave
exactly the same as their brethren do in any other region. Sure, banded
lemmings are the type commonly found in North America and Greenland, so one
might be forgiven for automatically assuming Alaskan lemmings would behave much
the same as the ones found in Canada or Greenland, but why should Alaskan
experts on banded lemmings be considered creditable sources for the behavior of brown lemmings?

What few ‘experts’ ever mention is
the original accounts of lemmings plunging into the sea came from Norway, and
the reports started long before the Disney movie was even made. Moreover,
Norway has brown lemmings in it, and brown lemmings have very little, other
than the word lemming, in common with the ones found in Greenland, Canada or
Alaska. When you look into Norwegian lemmings specifically, you will find they
do, in fact, jump into the water and start swimming whenever a mass migration reaches a river, lake, or even the sea, and the reason they
do is because there just isn’t any other place for them to go.

Before we go any further, you need
to first understand what causes the massive migrations. Brown lemmings are
incredibly prolific, more so than banded lemmings, and each female produces
large litters up to nine at a time. Add to that the fact their offspring mature
enough to produce litters of their own in about a month, and you can see how
quickly a few thousand lemmings can turn into millions. Even if you round down
the average litter to four or five at a time, there’s just no way creatures who
can at least quadruple in numbers every month or so can exist very long in one
place without consuming all the available sources of food.

Thus is created the need to migrate.
As they migrate, they keep increasing in numbers, and eventually an exodus of
massive proportions develops from their never ending need for more food. They
eat everything in their path, and they do immense damage to farms along the
way, but the destruction they create also makes it impossible for them to either
stay in one area or to go back. They have to keep expanding outward.

According to the original theory, the
larger the herds get, the less time it takes for them to ravage an area, so the
ultimate result is a sudden rush, especially if they’ve entered a relatively
barren area, just to find a new source of food. Once an enormous run starts,
the lemmings to the front are pushed so hard they simply cannot stop, and as
soon as they reach a body of water they have
to go in. It doesn’t matter if they go in voluntarily or are forced in by the teeming
masses of creatures behind them; the outcome is the same.

This is the only area where experts on
brown lemmings find disagreement with each other. Some think these lemmings are
born with an ancient memory of a long-gone island which once existed reasonably
close by, and others think the lemmings only go into the ocean with the hope
it’s no different than swimming across a lake, but, for our purposes, none of
that matters. Debating over why they
do it is very different from claiming they never
do it.

When you check with the experts on
the Norwegian brown lemmings, the main debate isn’t over whether or not they go
into the sea; the argument is over whether the rush to the sea is deliberate. Since there haven’t been any stories of lemmings doing this recently it’s
hard to tell if the lemmings ever still run this way anymore, or if the experts are only
discussing something they once did in the past, but, either way, hardly anybody
believes they are or were killing themselves on purpose as a way to make the
herd more manageable. This means any claim of lemmings being suicidal is a myth.

The dispute over why they do it
comes down to two possibilities. Are the lemmings intentionally heading for the
sea because their memories tell them there’s a good place to live within
swimming distance of the shoreline, or are they surprised when they run out of
dry land and only plunge into the water because there’s no other place to go? As far as this aspect of the debate goes, the most damning comment
you can find from an expert regarding a possible deliberate
rush to the sea is it’s "yet to be proven." I couldn’t find any experts saying
the Norwegian lemmings didn’t make massive plunges into the water at all, and,
even if the "yet to be proven" comment was
applied to the plunge itself, instead of to the motivation behind it, it would
still be a far cry from totally debunking the story.

At this point the stories of
lemmings running to their destruction becomes much more feasible, so the really
thought-provoking part is the aforementioned debate about why they might do it.
One theory seems entirely logical, while the other (the memory) seems a bit far-fetched, but
just in case you are ready to discard the far-fetched one as being too implausible
to even consider, let me pass on another interesting tidbit. The idea of creatures
being born with ancient memories is commonly held amongst a wide variety of
animal behaviorists.

Scientifically speaking, this theory of
animals being born with previous memories from their ancestors already imbedded in their brains at birth goes a long way to explain what "instincts" really are, and it definitely helps explain
how certain canine classes can be born with such things as an inbred herding
ability. Therefore, until any wiser experts in the future can definitely
disprove this possibility, there is no rational reason to automatically throw
it away.

All of which brings us back to humans
having a never-ending willingness to accept whichever theory gets the most
press. Unfortunately, another odd human quirk whenever a new theory is accepted is there’s always a mad dash to throw away all previous ideas. This means the very
real possibility lemmings in Norway may have once made these plunges into the
sea (even if outside factors we haven’t yet considered might have prevented
them from doing so recently), are completely overshadowed by the debunkers making
the most noise. Currently the overriding noise we hear is lemmings don’t plunge
to their deaths at all – period, exclamation point, and end of discussion.

Now, I ask you, is there any good
reason we should accept this final opinion? Let’s look at one of the primary sources
discounting the lemming plunge – National Geographic.

National Geographic experts may not
like the possibility now, but National Geographic helped get the story
publicized in the first place. In 1918 they published an article about lemmings,
and they specifically said brown lemmings in Norway would periodically make
massive rushes into the sea. From what I’ve been able to discover, their first
opinion has much more plausibility than their lemming-like attempt to jump into
the sea of public opinion now. Oh my, here we have yet another case of people
with actual credibility upon a subject just surrendering to public opinion
instead. Big surprise, huh?

I find the whole controversy immensely
amusing, but, beyond that, this also is pretty solid proof you should never
trust any experts until you research their so-called evidence for yourself. I
haven’t developed a firm belief about lemmings jumping into the sea yet, but I
have developed the opinion experts on banded lemmings who don’t like the Disney
movie should not be used as the sole basis for deciding what brown lemmings may
or may not do in Norway.

This is why you should never totally
trust anything you are being told has the support of ‘experts’ behind it, and
this is especially true anytime the experts are being touted for political
purposes. I remember a quote I heard a long time ago, "The primary purpose of a
government is to keep its people scared." I no longer remember who was credited
with saying it, but it is very true. The government constantly uses fear to
garner public support, and if it weren’t for the fact most people are incredibly easy to scare we wouldn’t
have so many stupid laws now. The willingness to do actual research of the facts before immediately surrendering to fear is one major lesson I wish all school kids today were
being encouraged to learn.

You know what the best part has been
about the whole ‘lemmings plunging into the sea’ story being debunked, though?
The animal rights people never picked up on it. If they had, the narrative
would be entirely different. Rather than calling it all a myth, they’d be
raising a ruckus over nature once more having been despoiled by mankind.

You can bet their stories would all
be about how endangered the lemmings are now because of human interference. Maybe they’d claim man-made chemicals were
massively thinning the herds, or perhaps they’d tell grotesque tales of
insensitive Norwegians spending the summer months just clubbing the poor things
until they were sterile, but no matter what fantasy they would come up with to
explain this sad demise, there would no doubt be countless anecdotes of the
once magnificent migrations being gone forever because of human activity.

Oh, the lamentations! No more thunderous pitter-pats from mighty herds of tiny,
little feet. No more fearsome squeaks from these wonderfully free and glorious
creatures of the earth. Gone! Gone! All forever gone! The planet itself
trembles with outrage.

Well, at least we can be grateful we were spared all that.

PS. Life to America!

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