The Black Lion

Melanism: an increased amount of black or nearly black pigmentation of an individual or kind of organism

Black Lions Don't Exist

Let me first make it clear, there has never been a document case of an actual black lion. There has never been any plausible account or evidence to suggest that a black lion has ever existed and in my opinion no such lions ever has existed.

However it's existence is not scientifically implausible as melanistic examples exist of eleven species of felines, including many other large cats such as jaguars.

However the purpose of this article is to document circulating pictures of black lions and demonstrate that they are all either fictional, or hoaxes.

Black Lion Pictures

The development of photo-manipulation software like Photoshop has led to a lot of black lion pictures being produced for artistic reasons, but then circulated as real.

2012

  • This majestic black lion (shown right) is lent plausibility by a grizzled muzzled. However comparison with the original image demonstrates that it was produced by photo-manipulation.
  • Another example from the same year can be traced back to artist PAulie on DeviantArt where a white lion was transformed into a black one.

Black Lion "Sightings"

Some pictures and videos are accompanied by eyewitness accounts. But alternative explanation are available for what the witnesses actually saw.

2008

2007

  • A wandering creature dubbed "the Dartmoor Beast" was speculatively identified as a black lion. but turned out to be a large black dog.

Lions that are Dark or have Black Patches

Some lions have dark coloration, but they are not entirely black in color. For example Ethiopian lions are sometimes referred to as black lion because they have partly black manes.

1975

  • In 1975 a lion was born at the Glasgow zoo that had a large patch of black fur. This male lion called Ranger had a large black patch on his foreleg and chest--suggesting that melanism may people possible but was expressed here via mosiacism, where one animal has body parts with different genotypes. Ranger was apparently infertile. You can see pictures of Ranger as a cub and adult here.

1880s

  • Naturalist Sir Henry Layard described a dark brown, but not black lion in Iran. This lion was probably from a now extinct lion species that was darker in color than modern lions.

Symbolism

  • Black lions do appear in heraldry such as on the coat of arms for Flanders, Belguim.

  • Dreaming of a black lion suggests that your big plans are in peril and you need to be careful.
  • The black lion appears in the Bible (depending on the translation used) as a symbol of strength.

Summary

As also explained in the following video, all evidence for black lions can easily be explained away. So I think that they exist only in our imaginations. Please give you opinion below:

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Do black lions really exist

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2 comments

CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 2 years ago

Thank you for writing this amusing 'expose'. It was a great read. I didn't know anyone thought there were black lions. What we do have is black-maned lions where only the mane is blackish, but the rest of their body is the normal golden colour of lions. Up, interesting, funny and useful.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

black mane but orange brown body, never seen a black lion unless he had sunburn

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