Right now, there is a screenshot around Twitter claiming that elephants are religious and have seen practicing “moon worship” with 50,000 likes and 17,000 retweets, now is the time for a good old-fashioned internet tail dunk. The question asked on the tweet “Why didn’t anyone tell me that elephants have religion and worshiped the moon?” In addition, “Who is keeping this information from me?” The answer is probably 1) because it is irrational and 2) science, because it is stupid.
Ronald K. Siegel studied the predecessors of religious beliefs among African elephants and concluded that “elephants are aware of the natural cycle, because they are involved in” moon worship, “wax moon branch swinging and ritual bathing when the moon is full” Pliny the Elder’s observations The conjecture also notes the elephant’s reverence for the heavenly body.”
In the classic case of “check your sources”, if you go to the Wikipedia entry you will notice that the passage has been removed – because it is controversial. Ronald K. Citing the archive page for Siegel’s work leads you to the death of a psychologist in the 1980s. The study notes that “elephants are aware of the natural cycle, such as worshiping the moon,” weaving wax branches on the moon, and bathing when the moon is full “, but one Ronald K. lists his work as a reference Siegel, since 1977.
This paper lists C. Claire as a reference, referring to Pliny the Elder as the primary source of information. Pliny – while giving us many valuable records right after he was born in BC – wrote a lot of weird misinformation for us to carry the first one. Among other fictional claims about elephants, he once wrote that elephants and rhinos are natural enemies and that elephants are “the joy of gaining love and glory and a dimension that is rare among men, even possessing the notions of honesty, prudence and justice.”
He further believed that lambs could grow from the soil like weeds. In short, this is not the person you claim to be your “religious elephant”, especially if it is the only record of such behavior. The elephants themselves are cool enough to worship and claim the moon. They actually show some signs of “mourning” their dead, meeting the dead person repeatedly as they decay, and making voices around the dead elephant, showing signs of a strong bond between the animals. These are lightweight, can understand human gestures, and even mimic human speech.