Physics of the Impossible – Psychic Animals

I just finished reading Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Impossible, which explores and explains a lot of the different things we see in science fiction novels. One of my favorite chapters was on telepathy.

te·lep·a·thy (noun): the supposed communication of thoughts or ideas by means other than the known senses.

Guess what? According to Michio Kaku, telepathy is not impossible – just not the kind of psychic powers that we see on tv – like mind reading, future telling (sorry, tarot aficionados!) The most interesting part of the chapter though, in my opinion, was a brief history on telepathy, which included the animals that duped humans. Here are the psychic animals (all horses, for some reason) that Kaku mentions.

(A photograph of Clever Hans, not Morocco, since obviously no one could have photographed 1590)

Morocco the Horse:  One of the earliest cases of a psychic animal, Morocco the Horse lived in the 1590s. Morocco could spell, do math, and identify people in a crowd. He was so popular that Shakespeare wrote him into his play, Love’s Labour’s Lost as “the dancing horse.”

Moth: Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here

is three studied, ere ye’ll thrice wink: and how

easy it is to put ‘years’ to the word ‘three,’ and

study three years in two words, the dancing horse

will tell you.

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