Top 10 Misunderstood Animals
Top 10 Misunderstood Animals

Top 10 Misunderstood Animals

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Script written by Michael Wynands

Stereotyping… it doesn't only hurt humans. From pigs, to bees, to mice, these animals just want to be loved like anybody else. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Misunderstood Animals.

Special thanks to our users Wolf and Athena for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+ten+misunderstood+animals.

Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Misunderstood Animals

Stereotyping… it doesn’t only hurt humans. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Misunderstood Animals.

For this list, we’re looking at all manner of creatures, be they mammals, reptiles, fish or insects, who are commonly mis-portrayed or made the victims of unfair stereotypes. These animals are victims of damaging misrepresentation, not just innocent myths or misconceptions.

#10: Pigs

If your species' name doubles as an insult you know you’ve got serious P.R. problems. When a person is living in squalor, their home may be referred to as a “pigsty”. If they consume food over-enthusiastically, they’re “eating like a pig”. When men act without consideration for others, particularly women? Well, they say “men are pigs”, which is unkind... to the swine. Pigs are actually intelligent, social and naturally inquisitive. Sure, they do roll in mud to keep cool, but outside of a pig pen, they’re actually quite clean, and don’t poop where they eat or sleep.

#9: Bees

When you think of bees you think of the stinging, but you should be thinking “friend to humanity”. However unpleasant getting stung might be, we guarantee that living in a world without bees will hurt a lot more. Bees spread pollen from plant to plant, promoting fertilization. Though bees aren’t the only pollinators, they are the most efficient and essential of the bunch, playing a crucial role in the production of roughly one third of the Earth’s crop. And unfortunately, they’re at risk of disappearing. So let’s stop swatting and return the favor by supporting our little bumbling buddies.

#8: Mice

To be fair, this furry little mammal comes off well in cartoons. You’ve got Jerry, Basil of Baker Street, Fievel, Mighty Mouse and, of course… THE Mouse himself - Mickey. Despite such on-screen heroes however, this little rodent continues to get a bad rap in the real world, or more specifically… in the home. It’s odd because, when you really look at them, they’re rather adorable. But when we spot one in the house, we freak out, jump on furniture and set up traps. Take pity on these hungry little creatures. Should one find its way into your home, practice a catch and release approach.

#7: Hyenas

While mice get flattering portrayals in cartoons, hyenas… not so much. Admittedly, as one of the African continent’s most recognizable animals, they have a longstanding history of being painted as a sinister, immoral creature in local mythologies. From a modern perspective, “The Lion King” bears the brunt of the responsibility for painting hyenas in an evil light. However, when we look beyond the reputation, and the admittedly unnerving laughter-like vocalizations, hyenas are pack animals much like any other. They are neither the clowns nor the villains of the African animal kingdom - they’re clever creatures, impressive hunters and caring parents.

#6: Bats

You call them them flying rats. We call them adorable. Bats have a nasty reputation, and you can understand why. They only come out at night, and when flying overhead, they can be very startling. Add to that their sinewy wings and pointy predator-like fangs and it’s little wonder they got dragged into the realm of the supernatural. Yes, bats can be rabies risk, but so long as you don’t go out of your way to touch them, they’ll likely return the favor. Without these insectivores, we’d literally be overrun by bugs!

#5: Pit Bull

The “pit bull” isn't actually a breed of dog; rather it's a label used to described a variety of breeds that share common characteristics. And unfortunately, it’s these very characteristics that led to their rep. While pit bulls can be trained to fight or be aggressive, it’s not in their nature as many seem to believe. They do tend to be extremely powerful and loyal dogs, but in temperament tests, pit bull type breeds actually tend to score higher than many other common breeds, including golden retrievers and chihuahuas. Essentially, a pit bull raised by responsible owners... is no more aggressive than any other dog.

#4: Snakes

Talk about a bad reputation of biblical proportions. A fear of snakes, also known as “Ophidiophobia”, is among the most common phobias in the world. But why? Well, according to some scientists, the fear is in our DNA. Those early human ancestors who learned to avoid snakes are those who lived to pass on their genetic material. But in the modern world, and in most climates, snakes aren’t lurking around every corner waiting to strike. Should you encounter one, show it respect by giving it space, as you should any wild animal - the likelihood of an attack is very low. Stereotypes aside, they’re actually fascinating creatures who help control other small animal populations.

#3: Killer Whales

That name doesn't help much. It's true that orca whales have killed humans before. There’s an important distinction to be made though… no fatal attacks on humans by orcas have ever been documented in the wild; just in captivity. In fact, the few recorded attacks outside of Marine Amusement Parks were, for the most part, accidental collisions or a case of mistaken identity. Are they superb hunters? Absolutely. But they’re not man-eaters. They’re actually incredibly intelligent, playful, social creatures that are a joy to observe and study - but only in their natural habitat.

#2: Wolves

Despite passing positive moments in the pop culture spotlight, wolves continue to feel the weight of their “big bad” reputation. From their roles in fables, which include “eating grandma” and “terrorizing pigs,” to their longstanding feud with farmers over just who those cows technically belong to… wolves have long been the villains. Now… we’re not trying to pitch them as being cute and cuddly. We’re just saying that they should be respected, treated with reverence and appreciated as the majestic creatures they are. Embrace the wolf! Just not literally.

#1: Sharks

The apex predator of the sea, the shark has struck fear in the hearts of a generation of moviegoers, and earned itself a week's worth of programming on Discovery Channel every year. The shark is an impressive animal – and one that should be treated with respect. Like a pit bull however, it’s best not to generalize. Though sharks come in many shapes and sizes, they all share one thing in common – they’re victims. Victims of exaggeration, demonized for their hunting skills. But sharks usually don’t target humans – some prefer plankton – and though dangerous, they can also be quite playful!