Pseudoscience. The world is full of it. From acupuncture to cryptozoology to ghosts and homeopathy, sometimes it’s harmless and sometimes it’s not. The major trend that runs through all pseudoscience is that the anecdote trumps data. So what if the data indicate that Bigfoot ain’t real, I saw one! It must be true!
The ocean is not exempt from claims of the mysterious, paranormal, or just plain weird. Ancient mariners were a superstitious lot, and legends of ghost ships, sea monsters, and lost continents are rampant. The modern maritime world is not immune to this pseudoscience. Every month there’s a new sea monster washed up on some shore, or someone makes a miraculous claim about the power of the ocean, or some misunderstanding of marine biology leads to bizarre interpretations of reality. Even concepts considered conventional wisdom can be wrong.
Today we are kicking off the first ever Southern Fried Science Ocean of Pseudoscience Week! Throughout the week we’ll be tackling our favorite bogus claims, ocean myths, pseudoscience, bad science, and just plain nonsense. Some pseudoscience is fun, some is serious, and some has a major impact in how we understand and implement conservation, sustainability, and management. We’ll be counting down our top 7 favorite sea monsters, reviewing our favorite ocean myths, tackling some modern pseudoscience, and challenging conventional wisdom, beginning tomorrow.
I’m sure you’re all eagerly awaiting the first post. To tide yourself over until tomorrow, check out these three classic posts where we’ve tackled pseudoscience and challenged the conventional wisdom:
- Dolphin-safe tuna: conservation success story or ecological disaster? by WhySharksMatter
- The Cove, Dolphins, and Mercury by Bluegrass Blue Crab
- Tournament marlins get bigger? by Southern Fried Scientist
So check in all week long or make it easy on yourselves and subscribe to our RSS feed. Head on over to our Facebook Fan page for contests and a chance to win some of our swanky new Ocean of Pseudoscience swag. And of course, head over to the Gam to check out all of the great articles being written by bloggers in the Southern Fried Science Network.
You never know, the ocean is big enough, deep enough, and weird enough that some myths might just be true.
~Southern Fried Scientist
*to make room for all the great baloney out there, Finding Melville’s Whale will appear twice today and twice next Sunday.