These are some of the stupidest outdoor online searches we could find.
Most people can probably agree that the internet is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, anyone who can connect to it has access to basically all of humanity's knowledge since the beginning of time. You can also connect with just about anyone via high-speed connection.
On the other hand, it can also reveal just how uneducated people are.
Many Americans are already pretty uneducated on the great outdoors, but we were curious to see just how much.
What we found was both hilarious and a little bit frightening.
We found most of these strange searches using Google. If you've ever done a search, no doubt you've noticed how it tends to auto-populate with some of the most popular searches. As an interesting side note to this, I have an extension installed on my browser called Keywords Everywhere. It's pretty useful for online writers.
Basically, this tool tells me the number of times per month people are searching for each topic, so I tried to feature only searches which are getting a decent amount of searches per month. The volume of searches makes some of them even more frightening!
The Great Lakes
As a life-long resident of Michigan, I just HAD to see what people were asking about the Great Lakes. I finished this search wanting to bang my head against the wall at the stupidity I saw.
Two popular queries ask if the lakes freeze or if they have tides, which I can let pass if you've never been to the Midwest. But another popular search asks "Do the Great Lakes have waves?"
Seriously? Do they have waves?!? There are approximately 70 searches a month for this! I guess these people have never been near ANY body of water before.
Another question generating 880 searches a month asks: "Are there Sharks in Lake Michigan?" I guess people are very confused about this, because another 120 a month ask if there are whales in the Great Lakes.
There are a number of questions along the lines of: "Are the Great Lakes salty?" That search is done 320 times a month! Another bad one asks if the Great Lakes are man-made! About 170 people a month look this up. How do these people function in life?
Confusion about deer, moose and elk
As an avid deer hunter, I had to see what people were looking up about my favorite cervid.
The first really dumb thing that pops up is: "Do deer have teeth?" That sees 260 searches a month.
The fourth search down asks if deer have antlers. Approximately 390 people a month just can't figure that out. I'm just glad the "Do deer have eyelids?" search didn't have a ratio of searches next to it.
I changed up the search a little from there and typed "Why do deer" The sixth search down wonders why deer run into cars, with 170 searches a month.
I expanded the search to moose and found that 40 people a month ask if moose eat wolves. I don't even know how to respond to that one! Another search generating 390 results a month asks: "What does a moose look like?" I'm seriously worried about the person who asks that one. Please go outside more!
Of course, maybe I shouldn't be too surprised by that last one. The same people Googling that are probably the same ones asking: "Are moose and elk the same?" That search generates an additional 140 searches per month! Despite some foreign tendencies to refer to moose as elk, you can still insert a sigh here.
I shifted my search of the weird to bears. The second thing that pops up was "Are bears related to dogs?" At least 1,600 searches for this happen each month! The next dumb search I found was "Can bears climb trees?" I really hope they're not typing that on their smartphone while an angry bruin is chasing them.
Much further down the list, with 110 searches a month is "Can bears jump?" Who asks these weird questions?
At least 70 people a month search for "Where do bears poop?" Hasn't that been answered at length already?
I decided to inquire about bear spray, and found some unexpected questions. Up to 20 people a month asked: "Does bear spray work on snakes?" What?!? Another search with a search volume of 50 per month is: "How to fight a bear with bare hands." Someone has watched "The Revenant" one too many times.
If you search for coyotes, it appears 480 people a month look up: "Can coyotes climb trees?" At least 320 people a month ask the same question about wolves. If you think those are funny, an even more popular search is "Can alligators climb trees?" Over 1,000 people a month ask that question!
Oh, and at least 590 people a month ask if crocodiles are immortal.
Another 1,400 people a month can't tell the difference between fresh and saltwater by asking if piranhas live in the ocean.
You know, it's one thing to not know anything about camping, hunting and the backcountry, but it's a whole other to not know the basic laws of nature! These are probably some of the 1,300 a people a month who Google: "Is Sasquatch real?" Well, if you read it on the internet, it must be true!
Weird hunting and fishing questions
Fortunately, I found very few stupid hunting and fishing questions. It seems most people Googling either pastime at least know the basics. Most of the questions are generic ones: "Can I hunt on Sunday in New York?" or "How long is Texas deer season?" Pretty standard stuff.
There are lots of searches for free fishing days by state, too. But don't worry, I did find a few gems.
At least 40 people a month Google: "Can you hunt penguins?" Another 90 ask if they can hunt on their own land! Fifty people a month ask if you can hunt bald eagles. WHY?!? Why would you want to do that?
Google has at least 5,400 searches a month on "fishing with dynamite." That's a scary one. Plus, there are 20 searches a month for "Can you go fishing while pregnant?"
One of the more humorous questions that gets searched for 110 times per month is: "Why can't I catch any fish?" I think we've all been there before!
Let's help these people out
You might think these searches are stupid or hilarious and that there is no hope for these people. But I think it just shows how disconnected many people are from nature. They just need a little help.
Not everyone is an old-school outdoorsman or woman with tons of outdoor gear and a pop-up camper.
So, I suggest we make it a point to find people who aren't knowledgeable about nature and introduce them to the outdoors this year. You may just find some new allies for hunting and fishing along the way!