The Swiss Family Robinson is a good story, but I find it difficult to suspend disbelief because the island is biogeographically all wrong. Over the course of the story, they encounter flora and fauna from almost every continent, on an ostensibly oceanic island. Granted, Hawaii has come to resemble the Swiss Family Robinson’s island, but that is because of a history of introductions both deliberate and accidental.
I remember reading an essay by Barbara Kingsolver in which she expressed her difficulty with fictional works that got their nature facts wrong – birds singing on the wrong continent, full moons two weeks apart, that sort of thing. She said, “Even fiction needs to be fact checked.”
Surely Kingsolver and I are not alone in this. What are some of the most egregious nature mistakes that ruined a story for you?