The 100th Monkey
It has come to my attention that many of you are not aware of the 100th Monkey effect! Wow, so sorry. As I said in an earlier blog Finding A Thread; there seem to be these “hundredth monkey” events. Although this “effect” has essentially been shown to be a wives tale, the concept has become a sort of “urban legion” through its rather odd mythical staying power. Let’s take a look. The story goes that in the early 1950s, some scientists observing macaque monkeys on the Japanese island of Koshima found that a troop of monkeys learned to clean sweet potatoes and the behavior spread quite rapidly to the younger generation which is an observation that frequently occurs in these sorts of studies. However, the twist to the 100th monkey story was that our scientist had been reported claiming that when a certain, large enough, number of monkeys in the troop on Koshima was reached (the 100th monkey) members of troops of monkeys on other disconnected islands were also “suddenly aware” of the sweet potato cleaning behavior.