Interesting stories & videos

Watch these videos about the curious life of Carl Linnaeus!

In Carl Linnaeus' 70 years on plant Earth he made quite an impact, but even so, some historians think of Linnaeus as quite egotistical, hard to get along with and stubborn.

There are lots of interesting stories to tell but here are a few to get you going:

  • Linnaeus and his pet raccoon
  • Linnaeus goes bananas
  • Linnaeus vs The Hydra
  • Linnaeus learns how to tell the time... using flowers
  • Linnaeus creates Homo

All of our videos can be found here.

Linnaeus and his pet raccoon

Linnaeus had a pet raccoon called Sjupp (pronounced 'Shh-up'). Linnaeus would follow Sjupp around taking notes. Sjupp didn't like this much. Nor did he like it when Linnaeus cut him up to see what his insides looked like.


Squelch!

Linnaeus goes bananas

Bananas are exotic plants that will not grow naturally in the strange continent of Europe. They enjoy a warmer, wetter environment than Europe offers and can take up to a year to grow their fruit.

However... the Royal Family of Sweden tasked Carl Linnaeus with the challenge of growing this delicious yellow plant for them. Did he succeed? You'll have to watch the video to find out.

Linnaeus vs The Hydra

It's not a fair battle is it? One is world famous, sharp, cunning and a little bit malicious, and the other is a Hydra.

Linnaeus travelled to Hamburg in Germany to visit the only known specimen of a Hydra. Safe to say, Linnaeus debunked the myth of the Hydra (and then left Hamburg very quickly).

Linnaeus learns how to tell the time

In the days before smartwatches, people must have been late every morning.

Linnaeus spotted that flowers opened and closed at different points of the day, and he dreamed that he could create a garden that would help him tell the time.

Spoiler: it didn't quite work.

Linnaeus creates Homo

Yes indeed, Carl Linnaeus is the person responsible for creating our shared scientific name 'Homo sapiens'. Homo sapiens means thinking man, or wise man.

Linnaeus is the reason we refer to all species with two names: Humans are Homo sapiens, all pet dogs are Canis lupus, cats are Felis catus, the Indian rhino is Rhinoceros unicornis. This way of naming things became popular thanks to Linnaeus back in the early 1700s.


Who was Linnaeus?

Find out more

Young Linnaeus

Find out more

His career and legacy

Find out more

Linnean Learning

Find out more