I used to be indecisive…

…but now I'm not so sure

penguins, polar bears and igloos


I just have to get something off my chest… Penguins, polar bears and igloos do not go together!  Penguins and polar bears are not found together (unless in a zoo) and neither of them would live in an igloo!!  There – I feel a bit better now.

Every winter the place is awash with cute ‘winter scenes’ involving polar bears and penguins – advertising, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, children’s clothing, picture books… the list goes on.

polar bear penguin

This is the sort of thing I am talking about.

Last week I spotted a winter scene which had been built in the Christmas department of a Garden Centre with the happy couple (polar bear and penguin) sitting in front of an igloo fishing through the ice. Good grief! Even the Coca Cola company shows polar bears and penguins together.  You would think that someone in that massive company would have pointed out the advertising agency’s mistake.

Polar bears live in the Arctic, penguins in the southern hemisphere particularly in Antarctica – they won’t be partying together!

Now, on to the matter of penguins and igloos.  I’m pretty sure no penguin has ever built an igloo.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think there is anyone south of the equator who would live in a house or shelter built from snow blocks.  Yet here we have Pingu, living in his igloo.

I suppose the flaw in my argument is that neither penguins nor polar bears drink Coca Cola (particularly out of the bottle – they should really be using a glass of course!), nor do penguins play the accordion, wear party hats or eat party food, but having them live in an igloo is just all wrong!

I try not to let it annoy me, but can you tell that I am not succeeding?  As a teacher, I often have to correct children’s confusion over where these animals come from, so perhaps that’s why I have such a bee in my bonnet about it.

And now a silly joke to finish off with – it is one of my favourites,

Q.  Why do polar bears not eat penguins*?

A.  Because they can’t get the wrappers off.


* I think this might be a particularly British joke – Penguins are milk chocolate covered chocolate sandwich biscuit bars filled with chocolate cream.


Does anyone else find the polar bear/penguin thing annoying, or is it just me?


24 thoughts on “penguins, polar bears and igloos

  1. Oh yes, yes, YES! I am so with you on this issue.
    Cute as they are, they could not be living farther apart!

  2. I guess I have never equated any of those images with reality, but, if I must be honest, I also had never thought about where each of them lives. So blame it on my ignorance.

  3. Heehee… you made me laugh with this one. I was actually saying to the OH just the other day whether or not Polar bears could live in the Antarctic if they were transported there, given that the ice cap at the north pole is supposedly receding and making life difficult for them. They might like a change of diet from seals and walruses. Of course the penguins may have different ideas on the matter. 😀

  4. Love this rant, Elaine. You’re so pedantic, but we teachers often are. Of course you’re quite correct. We get Penguins here in Florida, and I have no trouble at all getting the wrappers off. 😃

  5. Heh heh, can’t say it’s ever really bothered me 😉

  6. I thnk we can probably blame Disney that cuteness wins out over geographical facts. Maybe Disney ought to make a film about climate change showing the igloos melting and the Penguins having to move although it might be a bit grim after “Happy Feet”. Penguin biscuits are very similar to our Aussie Tim Tams, we can get them in Australia but only in specialist stores usually.

  7. Hahaha. Of course, you haven’t considered the possibility that penguins like to visit polar bears for a little break at Christmas?? And, if they’re far from home, they’ve probably booked into an AirB&B igloo for a few days 😉

  8. I can’t remember ever seeing ads like these. Maybe we don’t have them but I’m sure there are some which are equally as annoying in their inaccuracies.

  9. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed any images of penguins and polars living together. Except at the zoo.
    And now I want a Penguin (the chocolate bar, that is).

  10. I hope your Penguin craving has settled down – or have you sent for some? 🙂

  11. Elaine! I totally understand your rant. I teach kindergarten in Canada, and I face this problem regularly….problem is, many of my workmates do not see the point of correcting the children’s misconceptions. Child-led play-based education has it’s downside as well!

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