The Hundredth Monkey

Imo was a member of the troop on Koshima island. She discovered that sand and grit could be removed from the sweet potatoes by washing them in a stream or in the ocean. Imo’s playmates and her mother learned this trick from Imo, and it soon spread to other members of the troop. Unlike most food customs, this innovation was learned by older monkeys from younger ones. In most other matters the children learn from their parents. The potato-washing habit spread gradually, according to Watson, up until 1958. but in the fall on 1958 a remarkable event occurred on Koshima. This event formed the basis of the “Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon.”

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