Fact 1. Polar bears are big. VERY big.....Adult male bears weigh 352-680kg (that’s 780-1500lbs in old money) and are between 2.4-3mlong (7.9-9.8feet). Adult females are roughly half the size. This is contrary to some western human couples seen at the supermarket checkout where the female can be up to twice the size of the male and have a voracious appetite and a very bad temper when crossed.
To give some perspective, I am 14 stone and a bit which is roughly 196lbs or 89.4kg and I am 6’ tall, about 2m. So I am, at best, less than half the size of the smallest female, a quarter the size of the smallest male and, get this, less than a seventh the size of the larger males. So I shan’t be going out and picking a fight with one just yet and I would advise you not to, either.
Fact 2. Polar bears are white.....There is a clue here in the name, polar bear. They live in the Arctic region, which is the cold bit at the top of the earth; the word Arctic comes from the Greek Arktikos meaning ‘near the bear, arctic, Northern’ and that comes from the word Arktos, meaning bear. The name refers to the northern celestial constellation Ursa Major ‘The Great Bear’, not to be confused with John Major who was something else entirely, according to Edwina Curry!
So the polar Bear is white to afford it camouflage as it hunts for seals and things in the snow and ice. It blends in and it looks nice. Some humans, who are also white, spend a lot of time and money trying to look brown but end up orange. They don’t blend in, and this does not look nice.
Fact 3. Polar bears are not, I repeat NOT, cuddly.....You would be very hard pushed to get your arms round one, even if you could get close enough. Their breath would probably smell of blubber and they would be cold and wet. The mothers nurse their cubs until they are about two and a half years, then they chase them away to fend for themselves.
They scavenge and will eat anything and if they are hungry they can kill and eat humans and even other polar bears. Some male bears will kill and eat bear cubs. But when they are full they just chill out, a bit like humans, although there have been no reported incidents of polar bears slouching on the sofa with a beer watching dancing on ice.
Fact 4. The picture of a polar bear on a mint is a fake....Fox’s glacier mints have used a polar bear, called Peppy, in their advertising, since 1922. As we know (see fact 1) polar bears are very big. Fox’s glacier mints are very small; they have to be to fit into one’s mouth. Do the maths, it just wouldn’t work. The Coca-Cola advert of 1993 is even more confusing as it shows Polar bears watching penguins dancing. Polar bears inhabit the Arctic and penguins the Antarctic. A distance apart of some 12000 miles or 20000km!
In the 1980’s Cresta used a singing polar bear in sunglasses to advertise its soft drink with the phrase ‘its frothy man’. They had to withdraw the drink from the market due to its high sugar and acid content. This would not have bothered a real polar bear.
Fact 5. Male polar bears have a baculum....That's not a degree in Norse Mythology but a penis bone. The baculum is kept in the abdomen and when the male polar bear wants to mate a set of muscles push it into the penis and, hey presto. No messing, job done. There is no going out for a romantic candlelit seal and a glass of wine first.
Male humans do not have a baculum, and it's a question of blood flow and hydraulics rather than bone and muscles. Depending on age and health and how scared he is of the female there may be a delay until the required level of elevation is required. The female human may need to show patience and tenderness whilst this process takes place. Bending over the frozen food counter in Iceland saying 'Quick Donald do me like a polar bear before the security guard gets here' may not be the most conducive environment. Recent advances in medicine have resulted in the availability of a magic pill that can assist male humans. Male polar bears need no assistance.