The Norway lemming has a dramatic 3-4 year population cycle, in which the species' population periodically rises to unsustainable levels, leading to high mortality, which causes the population to crash again. This abrupt fluctuation, also found in related species, has given rise to the myth of lemming mass suicide.Sounds familiar, no? Lemmings don't seem to be the only creatures addicted to unsustainable boom cycles and disastrous crashes, followed by self destructive mass conformity. So, in honor of all the Lemmings out there, both animal and human, I've written a little march, titled: "Over the Hill (and far away)."
On occasion, . . . large migrating groups will reach a cliff overlooking the ocean. They will stop until the urge to press on causes them to jump off the cliff and start swimming, sometimes to exhaustion and death. Lemmings are also often pushed into the sea as more and more lemmings arrive at the shore. . .
Due to their association with this odd behavior, lemming suicide is a frequently-used metaphor in reference to people who go along unquestioningly with popular opinion, with potentially dangerous or fatal consequences.
Posts of Special Interest:
Monday, February 9, 2009
March of the Lemmings
Lemmings are charming rodents that once in a while get carried away:
Posted by DocG at 7:17 PM