3 Facts About Lemmings

lemmings by our small thick-set vole like animals that live in the Arctic tundra they live in harsh environments are super cute kinda mean and totally misunderstood but we're here right now to set the record straight with three actual facts about lemmings let's start with the fact that shouldn't need to be stated but because the little creatures are so misunderstood it does number one lemmings do not fall from the sky as mammals that live at the northernmost latitudes of the earth but never hibernate the lemmings existence in the tundra is so unlikely that for hundreds of years scientists if you could call them that assume that the little guys were blown there by seasonal storms and dropped from the sky seriously so yeah no fossils of lemmings have been found in Northern Europe dating back more than two million years and clearly they've been there long enough to adapt to the Arctic climate they continue to thrive just like the rest of us through sex and babies but sometimes they do seem to disappear and reappear like furry fairies because Zac number two lemming populations flirt with extinction every few years lemming populations boom hard and bust fast to the point of near extinction every three to five years this is likely due to a number of factors including increased predation food availability quick gestation and climate the little guys are prolific breeders one of the fastest breeding vertebrates in fact under ideal conditions a population of lemmings can blow up by a factor of 10 in just one year that is a veritable smorgasbord of bite-sized treats for every predator in the area and lemming populations get slammed hard and cycled down again it's also a whole lot of hungry little fatties already on a hardscrabble landscape so it makes sense that once they've chopped their way through the local food supply they have to leave lots of animals will reach this point heck including lots of nomadic human drives but there are so many of these rodents it's pretty darn noticeable when they start to disperse and massive migratory like mobs running over whatever they cross and if they hit water they might jump in and swim to the other Shore in search of that elusive all-you-can-eat grasp buffet or they might accidentally fall in from so much fuzzy jostling and drown but accidentally is the key here it brings us to our last and most important fact lemmings are not sooo was Seidel morons that's right everything you heard about lemmings until today with the list that we so far gave you is a lie this is nefarious Lander put out into the world by none other than Disney in 1958 a Disney documentary film called white wilderness brought graphic images of hordes of hopeless lemmings seized by a suicidal compulsion flinging themselves off cliffs to their deaths as a dramatic voice-over told us of their unreasoning hysteria but it turns out it was all lies murdering lies all that cliff linking footage was totally staged the production company flew in a box of lemmings from Hudson Bay to Calgary a place devoid of the tundra rodents then used careful editing and tight camera angles to film a few dozen lemmings running on a snow-covered turntable when the big finale came they just tossed the poor guys off a cliff faking mass suicide rude no one realized this at the time in the film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary that year the truth didn't come out into the 1980s when a Canadian Broadcasting producer investigated but by then the damage to the lemmings reputation had already been done today lemming is like a word for some imbecile who will go along with anything which really seems like a more appropriate name for those Trixie filmmakers than for their innocent subjects also Bambi memo dear don't get twitterpated in this Brig they made in the fall anyway scishow we are proud to clear the good name of the lemmings thank you for watching if you have any questions comments or ideas for us you can leave them here or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter and if you want to keep getting smarter with us here at scishow youtube.com/scishow and subscribe you