Do bulls really hate the colour red?

10 Jan

When it came time to decide what I should learn today, the answer seemed obvious – time management.

It is so not my strong suit, which is how I came to be starting my research at 9.30pm, instead of kicking back with a new episode of Top Gear.

In my defence it had been an afternoon of petty irritations and annoyances – from the car door that deliberately shut on my leg to the elderly motorist (let’s call him Bert) who steadfastly refused to take his Volvo (OK I made that bit up, it was a Holden) above an earth-shattering 20km/h – in a 60 zone. Like the proverbial red rag to a bull, I thought, as the line of utes and hotted-up Barinas stuck behind him lengthened. And suddenly I had my next question.

But who you gonna call to find out whether this colour really does make these massive creatures see red? Well Mythbusters of course.

As a massive, if sporadic, fan of the show, I have long admired the way co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman have basically made a career out of blowing stuff up (and other assorted scientific endeavours). They’re living the dream with the kind of enjoyment I would get from a job/life that involved drinking frozen daiquiris all day. Only in the name of research you understand.

Anyway, my gut told me this was one myth they would have put to the test. And luckily I was right – fake matadors and all.

You can see their post-experiment report here, but the end result rated this myth as BUSTED. Here’s what they said.

Turns out, the colour red isn’t what causes bulls to attack. In fact, bulls don’t seem to have any colour preference at all. They’ll charge whichever object is moving the most, which means this old myth can get tossed right out of the ring.

Now to discover if they can be trusted in a china shop.

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