Groundhogs and prairie dogs: What happens when five other animals see their shadows
Less consequential than the groundhog, but still.
Everybody knows that, when a groundhog sees its shadow, it means there will be six more weeks of winter; lesser known is that, when a prairie dog sees its shadow, it means there will be a buy-one-get-one-free day at the Denver Zoo on Sunday -- which got us wondering: What might be the consequences when other animals see their shadows? In our tireless effort to serve you, dear reader, we assembled our crack team of scientists and sent them out into the field, where they've been for the nine years, collecting data and living on a diet of fruit snacks and tubers. They bring back these results.
Shingleback skink Though it's unusual evolutionary design of appearing to have two heads ostensibly serves the purpose of disorienting predators, our scientists discovered a more unexpected side-effect: When the shingleback skink sees its shadow, its immediate reaction is to bite its other head like the mythical snake Ouroboros, thereby creating a never-ending feedback loop of time, similar to that experienced by Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Fortunately for the skink, it pretty much does the same thing every day, anyway.
Bald Eagle There is no recorded instance of a bald eagle ever seeing its shadow, but based on science and -- to a lesser extent -- math, scientists speculate that if a bald eagle were to see its shadow, it would be much like the chaos that would result if Chuck Norris were to ever somehow fight a clone of Chuck Norris: Put simply, it would rip open the quantum fabric of the universe like a run in a cheap pair of nylons.
The Kraken We've all been brought up to believe that the Greek god Zeus was the one to order the release of the Kraken, but if you think about it, that is ridiculous. In fact, there is a scientific explanation for the Kraken's release back in those Athenian days, and it is simply that the Kraken saw its shadow upon the sea floor and became so horrified by its own visage that it fled ashore, howling not out of rage, but out of sadness. Yeah, sure, it was clever that Perseus killed him with the help of the severed head of Medusa and an adorable dynamatronic owl, but really, the poor guy was just misunderstood.
Howler Monkey The ancient Mayans, on the other hand -- they might have been on to something. Back when they were plotting out their ridiculously long calendar, they celebrated the howler monkey as a god of the arts. Interestingly, the howler monkey god's depictions almost always featured two monkeys, not just one, and it turns out there might have been a reason for that -- science tells us that if two howler monkeys see their shadows at the same time, it sparks an electromagnetic anomaly that, like the butterfly that flaps its wings and the hurricane that results, can have some far-ranging and freaky-ass avante-garde consequences. During the last known example of this phenomenon, Williamsburg hipsters were observed to have become compelled, seemingly without cause, to create performance art pieces that involved opening cans of Spaghetti-O's and smearing that shit all over themselves.
Wolverine Objectively speaking, the wolverine is pretty much the most badass animal ever to exist. A fearless loner built like a tightly wound coil made out of razors, it has been known to fight bears twenty times its size and climb mountains for no discernible purpose but just to do it. Luckily for humanity, nothing really happens when the wolverine sees its shadow. Because if it did, God help us.
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