Synaesthesia Discovery

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Rabbit Holes and an “Unfair” Game


Recently, my husband Ryan and I watched an episode on River Cottage Australia with interest. It was showing viewers how to catch wild rabbits from rabbit holes.

Rabbit holes are big problems in country Australia, and our farm is no exception. Every time we go there, kids and I spend some time filling in them. When we left the farm two weeks ago, Ryan saw a wild rabbit run under our house. He was very concerned.

When we returned the farm yesterday, a dead rabbit was lying in front of our house. We had a bit of a shock. What we heard from the neighbour was that the government re-introduced Myxomatosis, a virus that infects rabbits, in order to have them under control.

Myxomatosis was first introduced in Australia more than 50 years ago. It wiped off 5/6 of the whole wild rabbit population in Australia within two years. Later on, rabbits developed more resistance to the virus, and the same method no longer works as effectively as before.

Animals adapt to their environment by developing traits and physical features to suit their survival. I believe the human race does the same.

It is estimated that one out of 23 people in the world have some form of Synaesthesia. The genetics of Synaesthesia is still unknown. If this trait existed in ancient humans, my view is that Synaesthesia may have provided some benefits in human evolution, hence, the gene has survived. I am not a scientist, and my view is purely based on my observation and instinct.

Apart from getting rid off rabbit holes, another activity that I enjoy doing with my children at the farm is playing card games. They are really good at Snap or any card games that require players to find matches. I used to suspect that they cheated somehow, until one day, Skye innocently gave away his secret which was concurred by Thomas.

They can SMELL cards!

A different card image triggers off a different smell. For example, a green EVE card in the Wall-E game evokes a butter milk smell. When another identical green EVE card appears, the elicitation of the same smell signals them that a pair has been found. Skye told us that he would announce to his friends, ‘sorry guys, I need to smell around a bit.’ He pretended it was a joke as no one had ever suspected that he had this synaesthetic ability. Then he put his nose closer to the cards that were revealed earlier to trace back the card he needed.

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry when I was learning their secret. But all I can say is that having card Synaesthesia definitely has given them some advantage over me!

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