89 Interesting Facts About Bears

Last updated on May 5th, 2023

Bears in Tales and Legends

70. The White Bear King Valemon

Cursed by a witch, Valemon turned into a white bear who roamed the Norwegian woods. He defeated the witch, broke the curse with the help of a princess, and married her.

71. Jean de l’Ours

The hero is half-bear, half-human who got bullied because of his hairy appearance. It is an adventure tale where an outsider saves princesses, gets betrayed by his companions, and regains his rightful place by his bride.

72. Juan del Oso

In Spanish-speaking populations, Juan del Oso is a famous tale about a man whose father was a bear. He is extraordinarily strong because of his ancestry. Juan del Oso is credited with moving mountains, thus changing the course of rivers.

73. Mooin, the Bear’s Child

A jealous stepfather tried to get rid of his young stepson, but the boy was rescued by animals and the man died as a consequence of his actions. A she-bear raised the boy in the forest, along with her cubs. Upon her death, he named himself after her and declared to everyone that he is her child.

74. Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A girl sneaks into the empty house of a bear family. She eats their food, breaks their chair, and lies on their bed. The bears soon return and see the chaos she created. It is a cautionary tale for children who misbehave.

Grizzly Bear and her cubs. Interesting facts about bears
Interesting facts about bears. Photo © Chase Dekker

Popular Fictional Bears

75. The Jungle Book

Mowgli is a boy raised by wolves. A sloth bear named Baloo becomes his mentor. This classic adventure tale inspired countless novels, comic books, symphonies, films, and animations.

76. Ted Movie

A talking teddy bear becomes a boy’s best friend, but the arrangement gets problematic in adulthood. The comedy stars Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, and Mila Kunis.  

77. Yogi Bear

In Jellystone Park, Yogi Bear and his sidekick, Boo Boo, can often be seen stealing picnic baskets from visitors and evading Ranger Smith. Yogi likes to speak in rhymes and considers himself smarter than the average bear.

78. Winnie the Pooh

The popular cartoon character was based on an actual black bear cub named Winnipeg. A soldier brought it home after World War I and gave it to the London Zoo. The author’s son loved it and named his teddy bear after it. 

79. Care Bears

The animated Care Bears Movie was a box office hit in 1985. Usually, films come first and toys based on them would follow. This film was the opposite as it was inspired by an already successful toy line. 

Jumping Polar bear cub. Interesting facts about bears
Interesting facts about bears. Photo © Paul Van Slooten

Bears in Art

80. Chauvet Cave Art

Archeologists found prehistoric paintings of bears and other animals on the walls of the Chauvet Cave in France. These are among the oldest artworks in the world at 32,000 years old. Remains of humans and cave bears were also found in the area.

81. Morning in a Pine Forest

This oil painting by artists Ivan Shishkin and Konstantin Savitsky is one of the most popular works of art in Russia. It shows four bear cubs playing on top of a fallen tree that has been split in half.

82. Dancing Bear Sculpture

The dancing bear is a common subject in Inuit art. These sculptures are challenging to create because they need to depict movement while maintaining balance on one leg.

83. Steel Bear Sculpture

A 5-meter bear sculpture honors the memory of John Muir in his native town of Dunbar. Muir was a Scottish author, zoologist, and botanist who travelled to America and spurred the development of national parks to preserve wildlife.

84. Not Forgotten, But Gone

An NFT featuring the skeletal image of a golden miniature bear sold for $1 million in March 2021. It was made by the contemporary artist WhIsBe, known for his gummy bear mugshot series.

grizzly bear climbing a tree
Interesting facts about bears. Photo © Wirestock

Bears in Spirituality

85. Viking Cloaks

Viking warriors wore bear skin to invoke their spirit and gain superhuman strength. They were called the Berserkers, a Norse word that means “bear shirt”.

86. Nanook, Master of Bears

The Inuit worship Nanook, a powerful polar bear that decided whether hunters are successful or not. They gave male bears spirit weapons and female bears needle cases, for their use in the afterlife.

87. The Spirit Bear

The Kermode Bear has a white coat and dull white claws. Indigenous people in Canada hunted black bears but not these white bears, as the latter holds a special place in their oral traditions. This reverence contributed to their preservation.

88. Celtic Bear Goddess

In 1832, archaeologists found bronze figurines depicting Gallo-Roman gods in Bern, Switzerland. Among them is Artio, a name that comes from the Gaulish word “artos” which means bear.

89. Founding Father Tangun

The lord of heaven had a son who ruled over the Earth. He granted a bear’s wish to become human, and she gave birth to Korea’s first king named Tangun. A public holiday celebrates him and the nation’s formation.