Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imagePink elephants not a myth

By Bart B. Van Bockstaele     Mar 20, 2009 in Science
"Seeing pink elephants" is a common expression for being drunk or hallucinating. At the source of that, or as result of it, is the belief that pink elephants are a myth. They do actually exist, however, and the BBC can prove it too.
According to the website of the BBC, wildlife cameraman Mike Holding saw a baby pink elephant while filming for a BBC documentary. It was among a herd of approximately 80 elephants in Botswana's Okavango Delta.
The elephant is thought to be an albino. They are known to exist, but they are very rare. Albinism is caused by a lack of pigmentation in the body. As a result, the skin is white-ish or pink and the eyes are red (because of the blood vessels in the eye).
The survival chances for the baby are not too good. Natural evolution has selected African people to be dark-skinned, because this darkness provides some protection against the harmful UV rays that are so abundant on the African savannas. This elephant doesn't have this and is likely to get several types of skin problems as a result.
Another problem is that the lack of pigmentation in its eyes will enable UV to enter more freely and this is likely to cause blindness at a relatively young age.
The experts studying the case say that not all is lost for baby pinky, however. Because it lives in the Okavango Delta, it may be able to seek shelter from the harsh sun in the shade of trees. They also noticed that it was walking in the shade provided by its mother. This may be an indication that it is aware of its susceptibility to the sun.
More about Pink elephant, Okavango delta, Mike holding
Latest News
Top News