Northern Finland is experiencing its largest lemming migration in 20 years, according to this article in Helsingin Sanomat’s “International Edition” (we never miss an issue!).
Though the little rodents (Norway lemmings, Lemus lemus) have not yet begun swarming in a locust-like frenzy, they have been turning up all over Lapland, including drowned in the nets of salmon fishermen, clinging to the oar of a rower and attached to a woman’s ankle as it bit her.
Isn’t this how The Omen starts?
One popular myth about lemmings is that they react to overpopulation by leaping off of cliffs to their death. While they sometimes do fall to their deaths, they are not consciously committing suicide. Instead, overpopulation and density triggers a migration reaction in the little rodents, causing a frantic and single-minded migration across long distances in search of greener pastures. They are often be so focused on moving forward in a frenzied rate, that they can plunge straight off of embankments, as seen in this video.
They might look cute, but they do not have a reputation for cuddliness. Lemmings can be fierce little buggers, bearing their teeth when approached and decimating entire sections of countryside of vegetation. In fact, the word “lemming” comes from the Norwegian “lemmus” which means destruction.
Are there any up-and-coming death metal bands in our reader-base? Feel free to use the name. Lemmus Lemmus: Princes of Decimation. We are also partial to the name, World War IV.