Creepy things – are they really creepy?

It is true that some things, even some people, look or behave very differently to us. When we see a living thing that is very different to us, many people react with strong feelings. We think it is hideous, horrible, ugly, yuk or just plain creepy.

Are these reactions yet another form of dicrimination? Why do we melt when a cute puppy with big eyes looks at us and wags his tail – “Aawwww look at him, he’s soooo cute, I just want to hug him to bits!!!” Then we look over the other side of the room and see a bug sitting on the wall minding its own business. We scream, run out of the room, jump up on a chair shrieking “KILL IT!”, “SQUASH IT!” Steeling ourselves to face the horror we pull off our shoe, rush at it and thump it into a unrecognisable mangled splotch.

What’s going on here? Did the bug really do anything to you? I think you bug squishers are guilty of discrimination! It is really about a lack of familiarity. We don’t like things because they are different to us and we don’t understand them. We discriminate. Let’s test out this theory.

Since you hate bugs so much we’ll switch to bats. Bats are creepy right? They suck your blood and get tangled in your hair right? (This is nonsense, but people persist in believing such things.) OK, so how about you take a close look at one of these “horrible” bats and see if becoming a little more familiar with it changes your view of bats. After watching the video, post a comment about how you felt about bats before watching the video and how you felt after you watched it. (Note: if you are at school you will need to ask your teacher to access this Youtube video. Make sure they have sound on!)


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8 thoughts on “Creepy things – are they really creepy?

  1. After reading the text above I have changed my mind on bugs and what they look like. I don’t think that it is a sign of dicrimination because u can not get to know like a fly or anything I think the bugs have got a reparation for them selves to be bad that’s why the get smashed by our shoes and sometimes it not always of purpose sometimes people tread on them by accident

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  2. After watching this it has made me feel kinda sorry for bugs and insects, but unfortunately as soon as i actually see one i will most likely squish it, and also this bat is nice and cute and good but it is also getting raised by human but when they are in the wild they are covered in disease and well they just look scary. I don’t really think it is discrimination cause they are in our house and they have lots of germs, and you can’t really have a conversation to say please leave my house and annoy someone else, so they get squished.

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  3. I don’t think wanting to kill bugs is discrimination. Most of us don’t like them because of the dangers other bugs such as spiders present so we assume foreign bugs can do the same damage, or people have a natural phobia of bugs. with the video I have never thought much of bats because I have never seen one, but after watching the video I thought the bat looked cute but my feelings still fell neutral about them because they may look cute now but they can become horrible when they are older.

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  4. Before never felt that much about bats they just seem to mind their own business but if one came my way i would defiantly scream after i felt guilty for disliking bats they seem to be like any other animal and the little ones seem so vulnerable.

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    • They are just like any other animal Katalina. Bats are very common, including around Berwick and Narre Warren. How many different types of bats does Australian have? Check the list HERE People usually think of the Grey-headed Flying Fox as being the only Melbourne bat. These are a large bat that can be seen especially around inner Melbourne. Each evening around sunset near Yarra Bend you can see the colony of between 10 000 and 50 000 leaving for their night foraging for food (fruit). I have seen these bats in ones and twos around Narre Warren. Less obvious though are the microbats. There are 24 species in Victoria including several in our area. They are tiny animals weighing 3 grams and 35 grams depending on the species. You can see them flying around street lights on warm evenings when moths gather around the lights. They are harmless and unless you are a moth or a mosquito are not interested in you at all. In fact, when it comes to mosquitoes these tiny bats can eat up to 600 per hour, so I am glad to have them around my house! There is much beauty in animals. We just have to take a little time to get to know and understand them. When we don’t understand is when we can do them much harm even though we don’t mean to harm them. (see http://ausbats.org.au/ for more information)

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  5. Before I watched this i thought bats were creepy because in movies they would use it when a scary part was coming up. After I watched this, I think bats are like any other animal doing their own thing. But this bat was raised by human, if it were raised in the wild i think i would still think its creepy.

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    • I think you have said something key here Kristen – “… because in movies they would use [bats] when a scary part was coming up.” We are greatly influenced by what we see in the movies. Siamese cats have a reputation for being mean because that is how they were depicted in Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians cartoon movie. Movies like Jaws, Anaconda and Arachnophobia depict sharks, snakes and spiders, animals that we do need to show some sensible caution with, as ferocious, vicious killers who target humans as prey, which is nonsense. People believe what they are shown even though these movies are on the same level as monsters from Mars, and we develop a hysterical paranoid terror and flip out just because we see a tiny spider on the wall! Walt Disney and others have a lot to answer for! It is all pretty silly really, but animals do suffer as a result of how they are shown in movies.

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