Universe 25

Courtesy of a comment on …and Then There’s Physics I present a fascinating video that reveals what happens when a society has no barriers to growth:

In 1968, an expert on animal behaviour and population control called John B. Calhoun built what was essentially a utopia for mice that was purpose built to satisfy their every need. Despite going out of his way to ensure the inhabitants of his perfect mouse society never wanted for anything, within 2 years virtually the entire population was dead. So what happened?

Here’s a transcript of the video.

Addendum 16May2021

This post is one of the wibblettes here that appears to have lasting appeal; it keeps popping up in the ‘popular posts’ widget. As I have no idea why it does that, I thought I’d revisit it to try to figure out a reason for it.

I followed the link to the transcript, and read the comments there; a couple were, I think, particularly insightful:

What about the inbreeding? Maybe should of started with 100 couples, and also “things to do” like wheels, games, etc.

-“things to do” like wheels, games, etc.

NOTHING I’ve ever read about these so-called “mouse utopias” indicates that there was ever anything resembling any form of ENRICHMENT for the (very intelligent!) rats (and later mice). Keeping them in an enclosed space means they can’t travel so there was no novelty in their lives–no new experiences; no curiosities to examine, nothing to try out. There is no indication that there were any interesting structures for them to climb on, or any new things for them to chew on–I doubt there was even any food ever offered to them besides the same lab block day after day, which is not a “perfect” life for such an omnivorous and opportunistic eater like our own species! They did nothing but eat, groom and sleep or turned to fighting because there was literally nothing else to do!

These experiments don’t show what happens when you put a species in utopia, because this was not a utopia in the slightest. These experiments show what happens what you put a species in a mind-numbing PRISON, no matter how comfortable. Surprise surprise, prisons make animals (including humans) go crazy. Now if only we could get the justice system to stop using them…

Comments on the post ‘That Time a Guy Tried to Build a Utopia for Mice and it all Went to Hell’ on ‘Today I Found Out’

Of course that doesn’t solve the ‘why is this post popular’ conundrum… but it does suggest that perhaps it’s time for someone to investigate ‘Universe 26’?

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, balance, Communication, Core thought, Education, Phlyarology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Universe 25

  1. blindzanygirl says:

    Haven’t had chance to watch it yet but will do. Going out in car for a while. Get out of four walls lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. john zande says:

    The only reason that doesn’t happen here in Brazil (the Saudi Arabia of fresh water, where you can pick fruit for free all day in any city or town) is because people are inherently lazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      Of course I can only speak from my own experience… but although inherent laziness certainly applies to some I could mention, I don’t think it’s a universal trait.

      PS I’ve just made an addendum to this post that I think adds a twist.


  3. Brilliant, I am more confused than I was prior to viewing the video. I must take the time to revisit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. revruss1220 says:

    I heard a description of this experiment on the podcast, “Hidden Brain.” Truly chilling.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fascinating. Simon’s channel is always so informative and thought-provoking.
    Males and females were divided, females abandoned their young ones… sounds like something you know? I guess we’re well on our way. I wanted to find out if the “beautiful” mice survived longer or not.

    But yes, it might have been all the BPA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      BPA‘? ‘British Parking Association’… no… ‘British Pipeline Agency’… no… Ah! ‘bisphenol A’! That’s probably it. You could be right; back in the 1960s ‘people’ (probably led by those who realised they could make a quick buck or trillion) thought ‘plastic’ was a wonder and didn’t think twice about rebuilding our society to include it, absolutely everywhere.

      Although… check out the ‘addendum’ I’ve just added to this post.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Random Raiding. All still works, thankfully. I wasn’t aware (or forgot that I was) of the TIFO blog. Cool beans. Thanks! Contrary to what most humans prefer, I’d rather read an article than listen to a video 9/10 times. But, by now, we all know I’m odd.


    • peNdantry says:

      ‘TIFO’… ‘TIFO’… hmm… *reads entire page to figure it out and realizes it stands for ‘Today I Found Out’.* You do love your abbreviations and acronyms, don’t you?

      And, yes, I for one know you’re odd. But delightfully so :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I felt really lazy and didn’t feel like typing out the whole thing. On a side-note, this might be something you already know, but Word’s automated replace option allows you to type in TIFO and it will swiftly change it to ‘Today I Found Out’ if you preset it to do so. I’m not sure I’ll be using that, but I thought it was a nifty option. Maybe WP should have a dictionary of sorts that we can create on our end…

        Liked by 1 person

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