Aside from a switched on TV being a reason for me to stop and watch, I get totally reeled in by get rich real estate infomercials and cryptozoology programs. Of course on Halloween there were plenty of those. The one I watched highlighted the Northeastern North American Lake Champlain and it’s “Champ”.
Pretty much a rip off of Loch Ness.
In recent years I’ve noticed a trend for these programs to amplify the pseudo-science with considerations of an ecological angle often combined with a more hard science approach. The hard science result is both the climax and the let down of the show. But I’m liking the inclusion nonetheless. Asking questions about the required behaviors of an unknown animal, it’s affect on the ecosystem, how it breeds, or if the ecosystem could ever support it appeal to me. I like the angle for it’s similarities to discovering black holes. Let decide it IS there and then find it from the dent it makes.
Sadly, they never go full throttle with this technique. This show got close in one brief interview with a local biologist, but didn’t follow through. She started describing the community size requirements to avoid inbreeding. Her numbers were in the 50s and the 500s. They cut her off before she could go on about the dent that would make in the food web–not to mention the likelihood of not being able to locate them. Another self-described (cause who else would assign this moniker?) cryptozoologist talked about several cryptos that had been ‘discovered’: mountain gorillas, ceolocanths, okapi, and something else. Now that gives a nice historical sciencey feel to the whole thing, but its a distracting load of crap since once those animals were discovered they remained discovered. It was like it was hard to find them again, so it can’t have been too hard to have found them in the first place. I don’t see that being the case with bigfoot, nessie, and that Mexican goat-bat thing.
Anyhow, for some reason this whole topic gives me the willies. I expect to lie in bed for a bit just wondering. Eesh.
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