11 Cool Facts About Polar Bears

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11They Performed In Ancient Rome

Matt Weber: August 18, 2013 | 69,302 views
The ancient Romans had a thing for blood sport. While the gladiator games are the best-known Roman pastime, the mob enjoyed watching animals die as well. These gory shows (venationes) usually involved hunters (venatores) facing off against a wide array of deadly animals. However, to spice things up a bit, the Romans would also pit beast against beast in a real-life version of “Animal Face-Off.” Lions would fight tigers, brown bears would battle bulls, and things could get really crazy with the endless combinations of crocodiles, pythons, hippos, and hounds.However, not all of the matchups were fair fights. According to Roman poet Calpurnius Siculus, the Romans would flood an amphitheater and then fill it with seals. Then they’d release the polar bears. What resulted was a one-sided, literal bloodbath that probably left the bears asking, “Are you not entertained?”

10Polar Bears Aren’t White

Sure, polar bears look white, but as the old adage goes, looks can be deceiving. The bear’s outer hairs (called guard hairs) are actually see-through, and its undercoat is really colorless. So why do polar bears look white? Well, inside each guard hair is a hollow pocket of air. When sunlight hits a polar bear’s outer coat, all of the wavelengths of light bounce off these air pockets, causing the polar bear to appear white. But even this classic look can change. Depending on the time of year and the position of the sun, polar bears can look yellow as well as brown. Sometimes the ones in captivity even turn green thanks to algae growing inside their guard hairs (but that wouldn’t look so good on a soda can).However, if you shave away all that fur (something I strongly advise against), you’ll discover the polar bear’s true color. Under that shaggy, colorless coat, the polar bear’s skin is actually black. This black skin absorbs heat from the sun, which keeps the bear warm in the cold Arc
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