Urban legends about birds abound, but one of the most bizarre stories involves penguin and planes.
According to some pilots who were stationed in the Falkland Islands during the Falklands War, they devised a game in which they would slowly fly over a group of penguins. The penguins—fascinated by the large, loud plane—would watch it fly over, follow the plane with their heads, and topple over onto their backs.
That’s right. Many people actually claim this happened. Even the Audubon Society Magazine apparently talked to someone about the phenomenon. Here’s the widely spread excerpt from Audubon Magazine:
A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous new game. Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly along it at the water’s edge. Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match. Then, the paper reports, “The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin colony and overfly it. Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins fall over gently onto their backs.
So, it this just a silly myth or is it based in reality? As of right now, all signs point to myth.