I am sure a lot of people would have read articles with headlines similar to “5 most weird species on the earth” or “10 species no one would believe exists”. It has been in texts, in book, articles, TV and now of course on internet as well. There is something about this search for “weird species” that we keep on coming back to this topic again and again. Everyone wants to make his/her own species to be tagged as the “weirdest one”. Maybe there exists a Guinness world record as well for this topic. I don’t know since when this curiosity to find a weird species out there exists. Probably, it started even before we realized that we are doing it. It may have been at the time, when our ancestors were going out hunting to ever new places and find a new animal to kill. When first time that animal would have been brought back, it must have caused a very special excitement in the group. Probably a certain amount of uncertainty about its credibility as a source of food would have arisen. May be it started even before at the time when it was mostly about gathering fruits and plants. Whenever someone found a new berry, a new fruit or new plant with different smell, it would have caused a sensation. Imagine, when the tribe encountered honey as a source of food for the first time. It would have probably gave that “guy” a special status in the group.
I wonder if this was one of the reasons to have strange images drawn in the old time caves. Imagine that a tribe selected to award those who found a new species. The more weird a species is, special is the reward. Let’s not forget about the rarity of the species. We give rarity a very high value in our assessment system. Day to day activity would have been similar for everyone with groups going out on hunts. The strong ones would go and kill and bring it back to the tribe. On the contrary a scout is a different profile. It is highly likely that scouts were not specifically strong build, but rather more nimble and more alert. You may notice that a person or an animal is more alert when one is afraid. The strength can make one careless as a strong person knows that it can handle situations by its own. But, a weak person has to remain alert to detect any sign and make a chase back to the base. Such a person, would never get any such award. This person would have only one way to get this special award. He had to get creative and draw something, which no one had seen before. E.g. a horse with a human head or horse with wings. If couple of them conspire to report seeing a unicorn once in a while and draw similar pictures on the wall, they might get the missing recognition they were so envious of. They would be awarded to bring to the light a new and the most weird species in the tribal records.
In my opinion, while there is constant effort to find something special out there, we have failed to recognize weirdest specific on this planet. That species is us, humans. For a moment stop and take a deep breath. Think about all the species that you have come to known and compare them against humans. Try to keep a neutral stance in the evaluation and analyze humans the same way as you would e.g. a monkey or a cockroach. No special feelings or benefits or advantages given to humans. Everyone may have a different evaluation method, but I would say that it won’t matter. Most people, I assume would come to the conclusion that humans are indeed the most weird species on this planet.
I don’t know how it works in all the cultures across the world. But, I know many where below or similar observations would be valid. You can make your own list or select how many of these you have heard when humans describes other humans.
- fast like a horse or a cheetah
- strong like a gorilla, strong as an ox
- cunning like a fox
- wise like an owl
- Faithful like a dog
- Harmless like a dove
- Hard working like a bee
- Smells like a pig
- Beautiful as peacock
- Fierce like a Lion
- Quiet as a lamb
- Black sheep of a family
- As brave as a lion
- Fighting like cats and dogs
- Curious like a cat….
It would appear that all the species of the world have somehow combined into one to make one single ultimate species. With a little bit of this and little bit of that , came across one species that can manage to do all those things. If we go by the idea of “intelligent designer”, then one can conclude that the designer attempted on various species, created various models with different attributes. Finally, taking bits and pieces from all the experiments, he created “the one” design which is all-in-one design.
If you are still not convinced, then just to try to smile. It is one of the weirdest expression on the planet found only in humans. The one feature that can make friends, the one feature that can bring people and communities together.