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A Few Fall Fun Facts

Mattie Smith, Staff Writer

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Autumn is here! With the new season comes changing weather, holiday festivities, and an extended case of the sniffles. Whether you enjoy autumn or you don’t, these fall time facts are sure to add some pumpkin spice to your life.

 

Blind as a bat?

Bats are often perceived as spooky creatures because of their nocturnal, blood-drinking habits. One myth about bats is that they rely on echolocation due to poor eyesight.  While it’s true that these mammals use echolocation to hunt, not one out of 1,100 species of bats is blind. In fact, some species have better vision than humans! Bats use echolocation at night in addition to good eyesight, not in place of it. Accuracy is the reason bats use both eyesight and vocals to find prey. When it’s dark and their dinner is flying around, bats need to utilize all of their unique traits to zero in on insects. So in reality, “blind as a bat” doesn’t really make sense. The little Halloween creatures can see just fine!

 

Fall leaves? Yes please!

The beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves are one of the most loved aspects of fall. Changing leaves in New England attract tourists, and as kids we love jumping in piles in our own backyards. An iconic part of the season, the hues we see in autumn are actually present all year.  Different colored pigments are always inside the leaf, just below the surface. In summer when there is lots of sunlight, a chemical called Chlorophyll dominates a leaf’s cells and masks out other pigments. However, when sunlight decreases during the shorter days of autumn, other colors are able to be seen. So, leaves don’t actually change in fall, they’re just low on Chlorophyll. The leaves may not be as healthy, but we can admire their beautiful hues!

 

Bobbing for (more than) apples.

Today, this traditional game is most often played at festivals or parties around Halloween, but bobbing for apples used to be of greater significance. Hundreds of years ago, British women trusted bobbing for apples as a way of knowing if their courtships would last. Potential beaus would be assigned certain apples in the barrel, and the woman would try to bite into the apple of the man she wished to court. If she succeeded in one bite, their romance was destined to last forever. Two bites meant that their love would fade as time went by. Finally, if it took the woman three bites to get the apple, her relationship was doomed. Although it sounds a little silly to us, the origins of apple bobbing were based on superstitious ways of thinking. Who knows, when you’re attending parties this fall, maybe destiny will reveal itself within fruit.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Google.

 

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