Friday, November 04, 2005

Why Elephants Hate Pigs, & Pigs Hate Romans

As you may or may not be aware, Elephants were the tanks of the ancient world. Wild Elephants were stalked by hunters, who incapacitated the gentle giants by hacking large chucks of flesh away from their legs (I know its gruesome but stay with me, it gets worse).

Once captured, they were no use to the military due to their injuries and were instead used as breeding animals, lame studs if you will. Any offspring produced in this way were tamed and sold on to armies to become a fearsome spectacle used to frighten/destroy marauding tribes or other ‘bad’ guys.

Every major army of the day used elephants, a seemingly unstoppable weapon. That was until one day, some insightful Romans noticed that Elephants were easily spooked by the sound of a squealing pig. Those clever Romans discovered they could turn this to their advantage by sending squealing pigs running towards their enemy’s Elephants. However, pigs do no squeal on demand, so the simply answer was to set the little porky’s on fire (told you it got worse) and let them loose on the battlefield!

I’d love to take credit for this interesting little fact, but I wont. Instead I’d like to give all credit to pipe-smoking, wordy funnyman Stephen Fry (or perhaps his researchers) for this classic bit of trivia. For more interesting tidbits like this I suggest those of you reading in the UK watch witty quiz show QI (quite interesting).

Here’s the link to the QI site, I believe there’s some clips on there too so check them out:

That’s all for now



Blogger Paul Baker said...

More elephant fun...

Elephants sometimes had to be killed by their mahouts if they got out of hand in battle. If an elephant was wounded in battle and reversed his course, breaking his own phalanx, the mahout was forced to drive a chisel down between the beast’s ears with a mallet.

4:05 am  
Blogger DarkWood said...

So there 'ya go. Anytime you feel nervous, upset or just feel like things could be better, just "Squeal like a pig, boy!" ;-)


9:13 am  
Blogger Sadiq M. Alam said...

Thanks for visiting my blog brother ! Keep up your interesting collection of infos in ur blog.

God bless.

1:35 am  

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