Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why Dinosaurs?

It's been a while since my last blog update here (for good reasons I can't reveal yet) but I have some time and some thoughts I figured would share along with some pictures I took.

So today I went to the Natural History Museum in London to see the world's most complete Stegosaurus skeleton. It was awesome, and definitely worth seeing if you're about in London. It has 90% of its skeleton intact with only 10% (mostly plates and tail) made of reconstructed material. It's a beautiful specimen so catch it before it lumbers off to another museum! However it got me asking this question again: Why are people so obsessed with dinosaurs? And after today I think I may have another piece to the puzzle...

Now I've asked myself this question before, back in June during my History of Dinosaur Movies series for Jurassic June I used a quote by the late Michael Crichton who also questioned people's obsession with dinosaurs. The quote was...

"All the time I was working on the book (Jurassic Park) at least, I was really trying to understand what the fascination was, and I went through all the usual theories. You know, they're interesting because they're so huge. They're interesting because they have such complicated names. They're interesting because they're gigantic, menacing things like parents which are very large from the stand point of a child, that there is some kind of Freudian association. For the child to learn the name, these complicated names could be a way to control something, or they're fascinating because they're extinct? I ran through everything I could think of and I decided that nobody knows." 
 - Michael Crichton

I think it is safe to say that everyone agrees that Dinosaurs had many behavioural characteristics to the animals that are alive today, including us. A Giraffe is the mammalian version of a sauropod, for one example, they're a lot bigger than us, graceful, and can be very dangerous. In fact Giraffes probably act very similar to how Brachiosaurus may have acted. So why don't we look at Giraffes in the same awe-stuck manner as when we walk into a museum and see this?...

Or do we? I visited a zoo not long back and took a ride in a jeep inside an enclosure. We got up close and personal with Ostriches, Rhinos, Giraffes and many other species; we even fed the Giraffes by hand. I felt a wave of spectacle, it was a fantastic moment feeding this large, mysterious animal; but all the time I was thinking to myself: they're like furry, hairy dinosaurs. With that conclusion I was brought back to the question, why are people (like myself) so obsessed with Dinosaurs?

After going back and forth on this subject for a while I stood in front of the Stegosaurus today and thought of a simple saying which added new light to my question. 

We always want what we can't have. 

Something tells me Crichton may have arrived at a similar theory because he wrote a book...well you know the rest.

Any thoughts?

Life Finds A Way

- Jack

Twitter: @Jack_Ewins

P.s Oh yeah almost forgot to mention... NEW EPISODE COMING SOON!