I’m going to split my argument on this one. Yes, as animals, they are highly overrated. But we humans are a superstitious, cowardly lot.* We use the stupidest criteria possible to decide which animals are cool and which are not.
- Pandas look like bears. They’re not, but they look like teddy bears. (Also see koalas.)
- They’ve got that black-and-white color scheme. (Also see zebras.)
- Is a baby panda cuter than a kitten? No. Is it cuter than a baby octopus? Yes.
- They’re highly marketable. And profitable. (Now we get to the truth.)