Halloween is fast approaching, so expect hoards of witches and skies full of bats, bubbling cauldrons, vampires and cats. Watch out for mummies and zombies and ghosts at your back. Collect lots of candy and spook out your friends, there’s lots in store before that frightful night ends!
At Thinktank, we have our spooky science week so come and join us for a scare fest! We have our Science of Fright show , spooky arts and crafts , hair raising science and we’re topping it off with our Spooky Science Night on the 28th of October.
In arts and crafts, we’re making flappy bats and creepy cats and here I’m going to tell you a little bit about why bats and cats are scary and a lot more about why they are cool.
‘Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a teatray in the sky’
Bats aren’t really much like teatrays, but that’s probably a good thing. Most people think they are quite ugly and if you looked at a bat, you might well agree. They have a dark appearance, unusual wings, furry bodies that remind people of mice and really big ears. And, some people are put off by the fact some bats rather like drinking blood. The good news is those bats don’t live in the UK; the bats living here like insects. Yum!
Bats are pretty much nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and they are the only mammals that can truly fly. Although, they are associated with Halloween, it’s a bit too late to stay up for bats and most of them are actually hibernating. Sweet dreams.
A fear of bats is Chiroptophobia and they hang upside down to sleep. Though they like caves, an old building will do, but no coffins please.
The coolest thing about bats is they use echolocation, which means they use echoes to find things. The sounds they make are too high for most humans to hear but some children can hear them. The echoes they get back from the sounds they make let them know if anything is ahead of them…
So it’s really unlikely they will bump into you…
What are vices?
And eating mices.’
So what does it mean if a black cat walks in front of you? The answer: nothing really. But many people believe it does.
Some people think a black cat coming to your home means you will be successful.
Some people think they are good luck.
Some people actually think black cats are witches in disguise.
And a black cat crossing your path? Well, some people think that’s good luck but most people think it’s bad luck.
On the 27th of October it is black cat day. This is because black cats are really hard to find a home for because some people think they are bad luck. But actually they’re quite cute…
Cats are quite interesting in general though. Egyptians used to worship them and they have never stopped being accustomed to a royal lifestyle, with female cats sometimes being called a queen. They can sleep for 13-14 hours a day and they very much like licking their coats to keep them clean. As you might know, cats are hunters and like catching mice, rats and birds, but don’t often eat them. Instead, they bring them to their owners as a present, which is usually just what they don’t want.
A group of cats is a clowder, a male cat is a tom and baby cats are called kittens. Cats are very sneaky and good at creeping up on things and have excellent night vision allowing them to see things in low light. In fact, they can see in light six times dimmer than humans need to see. They also have very good hearing and can smell really well.
Good job they are small though, otherwise who knows, humans might be a tasty snack…