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Thread: Mind. Blown.

  1. #1
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    Default Mind. Blown.

    I just learned that black panthers (as in, the cats) AREN'T REAL. I don't know how it is in the rest of the US, but in North Carolina it's not just the name of our shitty NFL team, we actually grow up learning that they were once native to the region and are still possibly present, but very highly endangered.

    Now I knew all about how the Florida Panther is a real animal, but it's not black and looks more like a mini-mountain lion. I even knew all about how "panther" wasn't really a species, but a melanistic form of other cats. I knew that there were "panther" forms of leopards and jaguars in other parts of the world. But I just learned that they've never existed whatsoever in the US, and that absolutely blew my fucking mind. Apparently nobody credible has ever reported a sighting of a melanistic (black) mountain lion, which is what I always understood "panthers" to be. People claiming to have seen them are widely treated like hillbillies claiming to see Bigfoot. AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO DIDN'T KNOW THIS??? I feel like Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. All of the signs are now lining up for me. I've never seen one at a zoo. I've never heard of any kind of "Save the Panthers" conservation effort outside of Florida. And I don't recall learning about them in any of my college courses in which we covered all of the other big cats. I guess just nobody ever beat me over the head with any kind of "Panthers aren't real!" speech. I mean, it's not like your parents sit you down and explain it to you when you're old enough a la Santa Claus. I just hadn't thought about them one way or another in probably 15 years.

    I'm totally gonna be a responsible parent and have "the talk" with my kids, though. I'm gonna be like "Son... this may come as a shock to you, but.......... panthers. Aren't Real." I think I'll wait til they're like 17 or something so that they're mature enough to handle the gravity of that information.
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  2. #2
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    WHAT. THE. FUCK. MAN. I'm so confused.

    I just hadn't thought about them one way or another in probably 15 years.
    Basically, same here. But consider my mind equally blown. That's insane.
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  3. #3
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    First of all: Panthers are real, I've seen one in my local zoo. But that was not your point.

    In North America there are no panthers and there have never been any. Yeah, that's not a big deal, because, well, there could have been black pumas as you said, but nope, there ain't no black pumas so... no panthers in North America. So were does the myth and the talking about them come from?

    In Austria there have never been any panthers as well, still, they are on the flag of Carinthia, the southern part of Austria. Here's a picture:



    In ancient times (during the Middle Ages and earlier) kingdoms often had somewhat mystical creatures on their flags. They "compared" themselves with those creatures and put them on their flags to make themself look more dangerous for their enemies. As the pilgrims entered North America, they did the same thing. They talked about and compared themself to creatures that never existed.

    That's what still happens today if they create a new team in sports. A nice example: Toronto Raptors. The Velociraptor never existed at all, it was invented by Steven Spielberg or one of his employees. A very similar version of the Velociraptor existed though, the Deinonychus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offspring-Junkie View Post
    First of all: Panthers are real, I've seen one in my local zoo. But that was not your point.
    Probably a melanistic leopard or jaguar. "Panther" means a big cat, as the genus is Panthera, so a "black panther" is any of the big cat species that's black. In the US, though, the connotation of "panther" is a black mountain lion.

    In North America there are no panthers and there have never been any. Yeah, that's not a big deal, because, well, there could have been black pumas as you said, but nope, there ain't no black pumas so... no panthers in North America.
    Don't really understand the logic here at all. It's not just that there could have been black pumas, it's that a lot of people think that there are.

    So were does the myth and the talking about them come from?
    Well, I don't know. That's why my mind is blown. Maybe Native Americans who migrated from Mexico and Central America, where there could have been melanistic jaguars? Maybe fleeting glances at large bobcats?

    I think the main difference between the American panther and those ridiculous creatures on the Carinthian flag, or a Chinese dragon, or something like that, is that it hasn't been perpetuated as a myth; it just is one. The image of a panther has not been caricaturized in the US, it's been portrayed consistently as a realistic-looking black mountain lion. As a result, unless I'm just way out of touch, most people believe it is a real North American cat.

    And Velociraptor is the actual Linnaean name for a genus of carnivorous dinosaurs, and they were also in the book Jurassic Park before the movie was made.
    Last edited by XYlophonetreeZ; 10-16-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Just for future reference and possibly stop a panic attack, hissy fit, or other mental mind blowing mallady on your part...when you partially put your arm (or any item) in water, it only appears that it's broken. So don't friggin geek out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Offspring-Junkie View Post
    The Velociraptor never existed at all, it was invented by Steven Spielberg or one of his employees. A very similar version of the Velociraptor existed though, the Deinonychus.
    Actually Velociraptor (V. mongoliensis) did exist, but was a smaller animal than the Jurassic Park version, and wasn't nearly as intelligent. The movie version was actually based on Deinonychus, which was similarly sized and also had somewhat similarly shaped skull. But both shared a hugely important difference from the movie raptor version - they were feathered, or at last they are believed to have been (and the evidence supporting this theory is overwhelming, but when the first JP was made nobody knew this). So in the end, Velociraptor as people know it from Jurassic Park is a fictional animal.


    So wait, panther is just a melanistic form of various big predatory cat species? What the fuck? I always thought it was a separate species. But in the end we shouldn't really be surprised, after all, melanistic forms can be found in various species, including our own. Does the fact that we're surprised mean that we're... Catists?
    Last edited by Rooster; 10-16-2012 at 03:36 PM.

  7. #7
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    I hate this thread. You guys are ruining everything.
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    After all these years I felt I finally should create this account, just to say this.


    Mind = Blown

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    So what are we talking about?

    1) If the panther is an own species? No, it's not. I know that since childhood, there are documentaries about that.

    2)Why do people in the US still think that the panther (as own species or as black puma or whatever) exists in North America? They're not interested in science in general I guess. There are documentries and there is Wikipedia.

    3)Why or how the myth was created? I tried to explain it with my last post.

    4) Did I know it? No, it thought maybe there are black pumas there. I'm not mind-blown either.

    5) Is the Velociraptor real? Yes, but it's too small, so it's not the nightmarish creature of Jurassic Park. The Dinonychus is the real Velocirapor people still think always existed because either Michael Crichton or Steven Spielberg just invented the Velociraptor as shown in the movie.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Offspring-Junkie View Post
    2)Why do people in the US still think that the panther (as own species or as black puma or whatever) exists in North America? They're not interested in science in general I guess. There are documentries and there is Wikipedia.

    4) Did I know it? No, it thought maybe there are black pumas there. I'm not mind-blown either.
    Wait, whaaa?

    I guess you're not interested in science in general, either. By your own logic, you're pretty ignorant for thinking that maybe, just maybe, there were black pumas out there. You'd have to be, in order not to have seen every documentary ever about an animal of no immediate relevance to your life.

    Also, I guess you half-way knew something that I didn't. Big deal; the entire thread implied that most people probably did.
    Last edited by XYlophonetreeZ; 10-17-2012 at 01:57 AM.
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