Hollywood is not always interested in portraying reality as accurately as possible. Movies always present urban myths as truths, and similarly, the silver screen presents faux facts about the animal kingdom. A simple look online shows the plethora of myths about animals that people believe thanks to movies and TV.
Animals play huge roles in films and television shows, and there are plenty of movies that focus entirely on the furry creatures. Unfortunately, many of those cinematic productions contain movie misconceptions. The false facts movies perpetuate warp one's understanding of the way the nature works.
It's necessary to set the record straight, though. You won't believe how wrong certain myths are.
The Myth: Anyone who watched Jaws learned about sharks' sense of smell. According to movies, the water-bound animals are able to sense a single drop of human blood from miles away, immediately locating wounded prey.
The Truth: Although scientists long suspected that sharks had a superior sense of smell, certain studies casted doubt on the theory. Researchers found that sharks were able to sense blood, but the animals can't detect blood over great distances. If they were able to smell that well, they'd be oversensitive to other ocean scents. The influx of information would confuse them.
The Myth: Lemmings garnered a decades-old reputation for being suicidal. The Disney documentary White Wilderness was responsible for popularizing the concept, suggesting that the small rodents might kill themselves during migration events.
The Truth: The animals never exhibited any tendencies to commit suicide. In fact, the type of lemmings shown in the Disney film don’t even migrate. Allegedly, the scenes were faked. The small animals were driven into the water; they didn't voluntarily choose their deaths.
The Myth: People believed dogs were colorblind for decades, and movies didn't help the misconception. In Cats & Dogs, the dogs are unable to disarm a bomb despite knowing the correct procedure because they cannot tell which wire is which. It's usually suggested that dogs only see in black and white.
The Truth: Although dogs are not quite as capable as humans at seeing color, they definitely do not see in black and white. Canines distinguish between different colors to some degree. However, they only have two different types of cones that detect color, so it's difficult for them to see reds and greens.
The Myth: Folklore suggests that touching a baby bird dooms the young creature. Allegedly, nestlings that are handled by humans will be abandoned because the human scent confuses bird parents. Films like Fly Away Home warn that any well-wishing children should steer clear of injured or lost birds.
The Truth: Most birds will never abandon their young except in very specific circumstances. Like other animals, these winged creatures innately prefer to protect their children, developing bonds as soon as the eggs hatch. Besides, birds generally have a very weak senses of smell. They wouldn't be able to distinguish the scent of a person from the other smells in the surrounding area.