The Null Device

Purple polar bear

A polar bear in an Argentine zoo has spontaneously turned purple. The startling transformation is believed to be a side-effect of dermatitis medication given to the bear. (With photo.) (via Found)

There are 14 comments on "Purple polar bear":

Posted by: ed Sat Jul 19 17:13:43 2003

hmm the image does seem photoshopped a bit...

Posted by: mitch http:// Sat Jul 19 23:33:02 2003

Who says you need genetic engineering to make animals turn funny colors!

Posted by: hot soup girl Sun Jul 20 03:44:00 2003

Well, the problem is that even if it were somehow possible for a medication to alter the bear's fur colour, it would only affect the fur currently being produced by the follicles. Not the previously existing fur, which isn't actually, y'know, alive.

Otherwise, cool bear.

Posted by: hot soup girl Sun Jul 20 03:54:56 2003

Oh, unless it was topical. Bah.

Posted by: hot soup girl Sun Jul 20 04:33:23 2003

Oh, unless it was topical. Bah.

Posted by: Ben Mon Jul 21 11:22:07 2003

It's The Endtimes! Polar Bears turning Purple!

Posted by: Mario http:// Mon Jul 21 15:41:00 2003

If this photo is real, i'll swallow my shoe! :-) Seriously, i've never ever read a news item on Ananova that didn't look suspiciously like a fabrication. As a matter of fact, I always google an Ananova's story and, lo and behold, I,ve never found evidence taht the story is real...

Posted by: Ben Wed Jul 23 04:18:55 2003

They sometimes lift stories from the New York Sun or the Weekly World News, and other journals of record.

Posted by: EECOLOR http:// Wed Jul 23 10:40:35 2003

There is film footage of the bear, so no photoshop.

Posted by: me http:// Wed Jul 23 12:25:11 2003

The photo is fake. It isn't even a polar bear - prolly just some russian brown bear

Posted by: Sean http:// Thu Jul 24 14:29:13 2003

I would have to agree with Hot Soup Girl. If the medication was given orally, you would expect each subsequent hair to be purple. The new hair replacing the old would be purple, but I think it would look matted rather than the whole bear being one consistent color like in the picture. If it was given topically, it seems too consistent. People aren't perfect, so they would put more in one area than the next. My conclusion -- probably a hoax.

Posted by: robt http:// Fri Jul 25 06:21:29 2003

The medication WAS topical. The bear is in a temporary cage such that it cant go for a swin and so wash off the substance prematurely.

Posted by: Me http:// Sat Jul 26 06:02:24 2003

I believe the polar bear was treated with Gentian Violet, a topical treatment for dermatitis, an atifungal, which turned its fur purple/violet. I dn't think it is anything more mysterious or neferious than that

Posted by: DanS http:// Sat Jul 26 12:45:05 2003

looks like a muppet. i want one!! of course i want a red monkey too.

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