There is a little-known town called Dumbarton in the United Kingdom, outside the town there is a creek called Overtoun which is even less known, but the nearby Overtoun bridge is very famous.
It is known as the bridge of death for dogs, especially older dogs.
For decades, many dogs have run to this bridge to “commit suicide”, they jump from the bridge to end their lives, and this is what makes this small bridge famous around the world.
Animals commit suicide
Do animals really commit suicide? Many people have observed many cases of animals committing suicide, for example, the famous ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle gave an example when studying the behavior of horses. The king of Scythia had a mare that gave birth to a very beautiful stallion. To produce a better horse, he mated the stallion with its mother, but the stallion refused to do anything. King Sisuya covered the mare with cloth so the young male did not know it was his mother and completed the mating. But when the king of Scythia lifted the veil over the mare, the colt sprang out and jumped off the cliff.
This story is in many books, and no one knows if this is true or not, but a similar story happened to a camel, but in the end it was not the camel that committed suicide. killed the owner.
The most famous suicides of other animals may be the frequent deaths of stranded whales. However, studies have found that these so-called suicides may not be caused by the animals themselves actively seeking death, but by accidental tragedies caused by a number of factors.
For example, a group of pilot whales runs aground, because their social structure is stable and they always follow the swimming path of the leader. Once the leader whale becomes ill or disoriented and swims ashore, the others will follow the currents of the herd and run aground.
In other cases when whales and dolphins come ashore alone, they are mostly stranded because of injury or illness, pushed ashore by currents or lost their ability to navigate due to illness, or become lost and entering a narrow waterway, inability to judge direction and other reasons.
In short, animals appear to be emotionless before active death.
The Phantom of the Overtoun Bridge
However, the suicides of dogs at Overtoun Bridge are a fact, and there have been many reports in history. The New York Times ran an article last March describing a woman named Lottie Mackinnon who took Bonnie – a Border Collie dog for a walk to Overtoun Bridge three years ago and had just reached the end. On the bridge, Bonnie appeared to be controlled by something, as if possessed by a strange energy, then it jumped onto the bridge’s railing and jumped down.
Fortunately, when Ms. McKinnon crossed the woods and plunged into the 15-meter-high canyon to find Bonnie, Bonnie was only injured, she sobbed and tried to bring him to the hospital, where the dog was later rehabilitated. healing treatment.
According to locals, since the 1950s, at least 300 dogs have jumped off the bridge, and at least more than 50 have died, an average of about one a year.
Rumors even say that more than 600 dogs jumped down to commit suicide. This bridge is therefore called the “Suicide Dog Bridge”.
The explanations of the locals in Dumbarton are filled with supernatural colors. A local taxi driver, Alastair Dutton, said people in Dumbarton are very superstitious and believe that there are ghosts here, you can see or feel ghosts here.
Paul Owens, a resident of the town believes that behind all this is a ghost. This ghost is Miss White from Overtoun, and many people who grew up here have also heard her story. This woman is a widow, she fell into grief after the death of her husband in 1908. She lived alone for more than 30 years.
One woman even said that when she took her Labrador dog to Overtoun Bridge for a walk, her hound suddenly stopped and stared at something invisible on the bridge, but she felt it. It was revealed that it was a woman in white.
The truth about the Overtoun bridge
Of course, these explanations cannot convince most people, especially those outside the locality.
A dog psychologist named David Sands believes that from a dog’s perspective, they can’t perceive the actual height of the bridge, instead all they see is a tall wall and as thick as stone. In addition, the residues in the urine of male ferrets in the area with a bad smell could be the culprit that lured the dog to jump off the bridge.
After these strange incidents received widespread international attention, the UK’s animal welfare organization sent habitat expert David Sexton to investigate what caused the dogs to commit suicide. .
The first thing Sexton noticed was that in these mysterious jumps, the jumping dogs appeared to have jumped from the same side of the bridge when it was clear, and the dogs were all long-nosed breeds.
After Sexton found nests of rats and ferrets in the bushes by the bridge, and squirrels under the bridge, it was suspected that the smell of these animals irritated the dog.
To test his idea, Sexton spread the scents of these animals into an open area, then released dogs of the same breed as the dogs that had jumped the bridge before and found that 70% of the dogs. This dog will immediately run to the place where there is a scent while the remaining 30% will be indifferent and go somewhere else to play.
Sexton concluded that the reason these dogs “commit suicide” when jumping from the bridge may be because the urine of the male ferrets has a strong odor, they just want to catch the ferrets.
So the dogs that jumped off the Overton Bridge did not kill themselves, nor did they see ghosts invisible to human eyes. What they see, or smell, is the weasel under the bridge that the human eye can’t see.