Summer is in full swing. Folks across the United States are experiencing record-high temperatures, causing many to avoid staying out in the heat for too long. It can be tough to balance staying hydrated while also having fun in the sun – but have you considered splooting?
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Okay, in all seriousness, it’s best that we keep splooting to our animal friends. Oh, what’s that? You don’t know what it means to sploot? Well, we’re happy to explain! When temperatures rise, animals of all kinds get into a silly-looking position in order to cool down. You’ll know an animal is splooting when they’re lying on their stomachs with their arms, legs, and when applicable, tails stretched out.
Although animals have been striking these poses for who knows how long, sploot sightings seem to have increased recently, particularly in squirrels around Texas. Whether this is due to the increase in temperatures lately, the prevalence of social media, or both, one thing is for sure: It’s absolutely adorable.
Even our at-home animal friends sploot from time to time!
“One of my cats is a splooter on grassy areas,” one Twitter user said. “Nice way to cool off his belly!”
Sometimes, those unaware of splooting worry there is something wrong with an animal when they see it splayed out in an unusual manner. But Sarah Papworth, a conservation biologist at Royal Holloway, University of London, says that there is no reason to be concerned. In fact, it’s best to leave the creature alone so they can continue to cool down in their goofy little way.
Sploot like nobody’s watching. pic.twitter.com/31iGceEoQp— National Park Service (@NatlParkService) June 5, 2023
With more and more folks on social media sharing their sploot sightings, even the National Park Service is joining in on the fun. And, in doing so, are contributing to some of the best content you can find online.
“Not to be outdone,” the park service tweeted with a turtle joining in on the sploot action. “The turtle sploot. A toot? Still workshopping.”
While splooting truly is a joy to witness, experts like Andrea Rummel, a bioscientist at Rice Univeristy, are reminding us all that the best way to help our animal friends is to do what we can about the ever increasing temperatures we’re experiencing world-wide.
“For every kind of thermal regulatory mechanism, there is a point at which it doesn’t work anymore, and that depends on environmental temperature,” Andrea said. “Just like with humans, sweating works really well a lot of the time. But if it’s too humid outside and the water won’t evaporate, you can sweat all you want but it won’t evaporate off you and draw that heat away.”
The rare vertical sploot. pic.twitter.com/YgBy2gya4F— National Park Service (@NatlParkService) June 6, 2023
According to Sarah, one way we actually can help our splooting-friends is by doing what we can to make sure they have enough water. One way to do this is by setting out a shallow dish of water.
“Even heat-loving species can only thrive if they can also find enough to drink,” Sarah said.
The next time you’re out enjoying a nice summer day, keep your eyes peeled – you may just spot an adorable splooting!
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