Title text: Did you know sociologists can't explain why people keep repeating that urban legend about bumblebees not being able to fly!?
There is an often repeated legend that according to the laws of aerodynamics, bumblebees cannot fly. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that all the mechanics of bumblebee flight are not known and that the approximations to the aerodynamics equations which work well for fixed-wing aircraft, do not work for bumblebees. In recent years, there have been more sophisticated computer models of bumblebee flight, and they have discovered how bumblebee wings produce adequate lift.
This strip is a reference to Bee Movie, in which the main character, Barry B. Benson, enlists the help of other bees to land a plane with the last reserves of pollen on earth. The opening quote of the movie repeats the Bumblebee legend, followed by saying, "The bee, of course, flies anyway, because bees don't care what humans think is impossible."
The strip also creates a fallacy that because experts can't explain something, they must not be able to understand it (when in reality, the fact in question should be verified first). For example, in this case, it is stated as fact that bumblebees can fly planes. Since physicists can't seem to be able to explain why that is, physicists have more to learn. Without the knowledge that bumblebees can't fly planes (the knowledge physicists are implied to lack), it's assumed physicists would continue working on the problem ad infinitum until a layman pointed out the assumption is not true.
- Science fact:
- [A bumblebee is perched on the yoke (control column) of an airplane.]
- Physicists still can't explain how bumblebees can fly airplanes.