And perhaps nonexistent creatures live there too!

Lewis and Clark narrator (Jeff Bridges, and I quote from memory): The explorers believed the prehistoric creatures such as the wooly mammoth might live in the west.

Think of how odd this way of phrasing this is: Of course, Lewis and Clark did not think "prehistoric creatures" existed in the west. "Prehistoric creatures" are those that died out before "historic" times: the elephant and the mammoth evolved about the same time, and the reason we call the mammoth "prehistoric" is it disappeared before any people with writing met it.

What Lewis and Clark actually thought was something like, "We don't know if there are still mammoths around: perhaps there are, somewhere out west." The difference in phrasing makes a significant difference in how we view their mentality: the documentary's way of putting it makes them look a little silly, while the second way accurately shows that they were simply ignorant of some things we now know.


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