I hear he made it to France, eventually.
September 30, 2014 1:22 AM   Subscribe

A squirrel goes swimming (SLYT). A mesmerizing video of a squirrel at the beach. It's hard not to wonder exactly what is going on in that fuzzy little creature's head. Also, what's up with the birds?
posted by vernondalhart (69 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Two things. First, I never knew squirrels could swim. Second, the video confirms that seagulls are assholes.
posted by alexordave at 1:34 AM on September 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


With the just the right original melancholy soundtrack, we could be looking at the winner of next year's Academy Award for Short Film (Live Action).
posted by fairmettle at 1:47 AM on September 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Is anyone else terribly worried that he's not going to make it back? Is it squirrel suicide?
posted by el io at 2:10 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is it perhaps instead a misidentified lemming?
posted by chavenet at 2:14 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


With the just the right original melancholy soundtrack, we could be looking at the winner of next year's Academy Award for Short Film (Live Action).

May I suggest: György Ligeti - Requiem For Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Two Mixed Choirs & Orchestra
posted by Auden at 2:21 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jonathan Livingston Squirrel!

Really though... I totally empathize with that squirrel. He's trying so hard to fit in.

He swims across the ocean and finds his dream in North Korea.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:22 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are they seagulls? Kind of look like guillemots to me.
posted by orrnyereg at 2:32 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Keep swimming little squirrel. Keep swimming.

Certainly stay clear of Britain. Those fuckers will eat anything.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:32 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of Herzog's deranged penguins.
posted by martinrebas at 2:46 AM on September 30, 2014 [15 favorites]


The 2-3 birds that follow him out and get pretty close are Herring Gulls, commonly known by the more generic 'seagulls' in the UK.
posted by biffa at 2:46 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meant to add, most of the birds we see are oystercatchers, I think maybe some curlews at one point.
posted by biffa at 2:55 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Update: That little squirrel actually made it to England, where he hung out with the Beatles during their Abbey Road sessions. Really. Here's the proof if you don't believe me.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:57 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Update: That little squirrel actually made it to England
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:57 AM on September 30


Umm... Ramsgate is in England, in east Kent. The little fella was clearly aiming for France or Belgium. They have lots of nuts over there.
posted by Decani at 3:23 AM on September 30, 2014


Very disappointed to find that Herzog's Deranged Penguin is not an actual species.
posted by Devonian at 3:35 AM on September 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


It's like a real life ending to Plague Dogs...

Is someone chopping onions in here?
posted by PenDevil at 3:39 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are they seagulls? Kind of look like guillemots to me.

I thought the same thing, but the bastard seagulls showed up later in the clip.
posted by Nevin at 4:24 AM on September 30, 2014


Norman Maine!
posted by kinnakeet at 4:25 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe he just wanted to see if his nuts would taste better salted?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:32 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, god, poor squirrel. I can't imagine this ending well for him or her, but I have a fantasy vision in the back of my mind's eye where's he's rescued by an owl and a pussycat in a pea-green boat, and they all make it safely to the land where the Bong-Tree grows.
posted by drlith at 4:46 AM on September 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


Where did squirrels originally evolve and how did they get to multiple continents? This may be a clue.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:52 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Digging digging digging. Hard thin shelled nut. Crack. Mmm protein. Delicious ocean nuts. Dig dig dig. Bubbles in water are where nuts are. Soft meaty fatty yummy.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 4:52 AM on September 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


There seemed to be a giant, mythic back story involving faith & followers & doubters and sacrifice playing out - sometimes it felt like Christ-the-Squirrel, then more like Ulysses-the-squirrel.

(Amazing little oddball film - nicely shot too).
posted by Jody Tresidder at 4:58 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Digging digging digging. Hard thin shelled nut. Crack. Mmm protein. Delicious ocean nuts. Dig dig dig. Bubbles in water are where nuts are. Soft meaty fatty yummy.

Squirrels eat meat.
posted by ennui.bz at 5:12 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


With the just the right original melancholy soundtrack

And may I suggest some Mahler ....?

They're pretty much the same length, so you can watch the first and listen to the second.
posted by carter at 5:14 AM on September 30, 2014


It's hard not to wonder exactly what is going on in that fuzzy little creature's head.

DISSAKER DROWD THE EVERMORE
DISSAKER DROWD THE SEA
DISSAKER DROWD THE EVERMORE
BUT NOT AS MUCH AS ME

posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:15 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Maybe it is infected by some Cordyceps variant that compels it to swim where some creature may devour it and continue the cycle?
posted by Renoroc at 5:15 AM on September 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Very disappointed to find that Herzog's Deranged Penguin is not an actual species.
posted by Devonian at 11:35 AM on September 30


Very disappointed to find that Herzog's Deranged Penguin is not an actual band.
posted by Decani at 5:16 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


this video is… dismaying
posted by From Bklyn at 5:19 AM on September 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


It's fine, nothing to worry about.
posted by tinkletown at 5:32 AM on September 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


Yeah... I can't help but feel like Marge Simpson, depressed about her failing business, glancing up at a poster on the wall of her office with a picture of a cat hanging onto a clothesline by its front paws, with a caption saying "HANG IN THERE!"... "Hrmrmrmrmmr... that cat is probably long dead."

Putting aside the existential dread, though, I got a different vibe from the birds than several others here seem to have gotten. At first they were like "That crazy squirrel's following us! Look out!" and tried to get out of his path. Then eventually he got through them all, and they were like "What's that crazy squirrel doing? Let's follow him to find out!" Then eventually as he got close, and eventually into, the sea, one last bird was following him ever so closely, "Dude, seriously, WTF, come on back to land dude, this is not a good idea."
posted by Flunkie at 5:38 AM on September 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


one last bird was following him ever so closely, "Dude, seriously, WTF, come on back to land dude, this is not a good idea."

Given that the last bird was a gull, I'm pretty sure it was thinking, "Hurry up and drown so I can eat you."
posted by clawsoon at 5:44 AM on September 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


ricochet biscuit:
DISSAKER DROWD THE EVERMORE
DISSAKER DROWD THE SEA
DISSAKER DROWD THE EVERMORE
BUT NOT AS MUCH AS ME
That's an amazing bit of verse, but where-oh-where is it from??

I've tried the Googles, and they do nothing.
posted by clawsoon at 5:49 AM on September 30, 2014


Given that the last bird was a gull, I'm pretty sure it was thinking, "Hurry up and drown so I can eat you."

I was just glad they turned off the camera before the gull started pecking.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:53 AM on September 30, 2014


No really, it the squirrel's fine.

(This video upset two of us enough that I've done a google search to reassure myself and allow me to get back to work)
posted by tinkletown at 5:53 AM on September 30, 2014 [10 favorites]


That squirrel's a regular Bob Hyde.
posted by grumpybear69 at 5:59 AM on September 30, 2014


That's an amazing bit of verse, but where-oh-where is it from??

From a 1972 novel by David Gerrold: When HARLIE Was One. It is presented as a piece of poetry written by a fledgling AI, the titular HARLIE, while trying to learn how language works. It has stuck with me and came to mind at about the 2:12 mark when the squirrel stands on his hind legs and -- and I know I am anthropomorphizing -- seems to survey the vast and endless sea with a weary and resolute air. Arboreal animal gazing out to sea, thinking peculiar and unknowable thoughts = "dissaker drowd the evermore."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:00 AM on September 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


Any Scarlett Johansson fan could tell you, the squirrel is actually an alien tourist adventuring under the skin of a squirrel's body.
posted by idiopath at 6:03 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The combined talents of Ingmar Bergman and Lars von Trier, could not have filled me with more melancholy.
posted by Suggestive_Bobcat at 6:08 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


The red squirrels and I would be quite pleased if all they grey squirrels in the UK would do the same. They're an invasive species in the UK and are slowly wiping out the native red squirrels.

Red squirrels are the smaller cuter ones you'd use in a kid's cartoon, rather than the greys which you'd use in advertising to appeal to troublemaking industrial lager drinkers.
posted by davemee at 6:10 AM on September 30, 2014


Very disappointed to find that Herzog's Deranged Penguin is not an actual species.
posted by Devonian at 11:35 AM on September 30

Very disappointed to find that Herzog's Deranged Penguin is not an actual band.
posted by Decani at 8:16 AM on September 30 [+] [!]


Or at the very least a metafilter user name.
posted by Fizz at 6:19 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Really, this should be the soundtrack.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:22 AM on September 30, 2014


I SHALL BE THE PROGENITOR OF A NEW RACE OF AQUA-SQUIRRELS
posted by XMLicious at 6:26 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Flunkie: I got the same vibe as you. The birds looked first concerned for their safety, then concerned for the squirrel's.

Not including the gull, of course.
posted by vernondalhart at 6:28 AM on September 30, 2014


I was forced to read The Awakening in college! Nice to finally get around to seeing the movie.

First, I never knew squirrels could swim.

Technically, you still don't. You know they can swim…for a while.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:33 AM on September 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


> AQUA-SQUIRRELS

Yes, this. In my mind, they will all wear pirate hats, wield cutlasses, and speak with an affected pirate accent.

Nice to see there is at least one squirrel out there who knows how to make a decision and stick to it.
posted by tempestuoso at 6:34 AM on September 30, 2014


If you are tempted to Google "seagull eating squirrel"--uh, I saved you the effort. It is A Thing.
posted by drlith at 6:35 AM on September 30, 2014


Technically, you still don't. You know they can swim…for a while.

Technically, it is also true that Michael Phelps can swim... for a while.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:36 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone remember "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J4PGiJl2dQ
posted by scolbath at 6:45 AM on September 30, 2014


This is just evolution in action people. Squirrels are taking to the water all over. In a thousand generations, they'll look like Great White Sharks.

Furry Great White Sharks with big bushy tails that feed on nuts that have washed out to sea in rivers.
posted by Naberius at 6:48 AM on September 30, 2014


And then FLOOF as his tail caught the breeze & he was off on his adventure, across the high seas with the wind at his back. He would find the Golden Peanut of the Lost Tribe of Amazonian Squirrels. And then he would eat it. Oh yes he would. Nom nom nom nom.
posted by scalefree at 6:55 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh god, that was haunting. I can't help but feel he's like squirrel Virginia Woolf, headed out to sea with nuts in his pockets....Dearest Nutkin, I can no longer bear...I was much too far out all my life, and not chittering but drowning...
posted by Diablevert at 7:01 AM on September 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


ricochet biscuit: Technically, it is also true that Michael Phelps can swim... for a while.

I'll ignore that and pretend you said Martin Strel.
posted by clawsoon at 7:09 AM on September 30, 2014


That's not a squirrel; that's clearly a rat that the seagull is eating. Tail is too skinny and fluffless
posted by trif at 7:13 AM on September 30, 2014


Keep swimming little squirrel. Keep swimming.

Certainly stay clear of Britain. Those fuckers will eat anything.


There's a very good recipe in the wonderfully titled Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle cookbook.
posted by sobarel at 7:21 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I always assume weird animal behavior is due to rabies, because I'm an optimist like that. I know it causes most animals/people to be hydrophobic, but in some there's this great thirst.
posted by Lardmitten at 7:23 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


OMG I don't care if you're up a cliff GO DOWN AND RESCUE THE SQUIRREL ASSHOLE
posted by Salamander at 7:30 AM on September 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is definitely fable material…The Squirrel, The Gull, and the Sea…paging Mr. Aesop!
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 7:33 AM on September 30, 2014


Also, if you need a soundtrack, this seems oddly appropriate: SQÜRL - Spooky Action at a Distance.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 7:48 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Technically, it is also true that Michael Phelps can swim... for a while.

Well, I've watched him make it back, so he's one up on the squirrel.

OMG I don't care if you're up a cliff GO DOWN AND RESCUE THE SQUIRREL ASSHOLE

Interfering with nature is almost always a bad idea.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:55 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


FWIW while out kayaking just last week right out in the middle of a fairly decent sized lake, we saw a squirrel swimming, just like this.

Never seen anything like it before.

Maybe it's squirrel swimming season?
posted by flug at 8:50 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


De Voe:
It is said [squirrels] always travel to the east, often hundreds of miles, and when necessary to cross a river or lake they enter the water like dogs, if it is quite smooth. They will not enter the water when there is a ripple, as they swim very deep and of course drown easily; sometimes they are caught out in the rivers or lakes with a sudden breeze, just enough to agitate the water, when it drowns them, without they are lucky enough to catch a floating piece of bark or wood to mount upon, and with their tails curled up they are blown or wafted ashore. In this situation, I suppose, some writers have found them who assert that "when it becomes necessary to pass a lake or river, they lay hold of a piece of larch or fir, and mounting it, abandon themselves to the waves; they erect their tails to catch the wind."
posted by j.edwards at 9:03 AM on September 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


I assume it was just that squirrel's turn to make a run at Jimmy Carter.
posted by mullacc at 10:02 AM on September 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


The combined talents of Ingmar Bergman and Lars von Trier, could not have filled me with more melancholy.

Needs more Aronofsky.

She always used to dream of the sea. She would have wanted me to do this
posted by tigrrrlily at 10:33 AM on September 30, 2014


Virginia Sqquirrel?
posted by mrjohnmuller at 10:56 AM on September 30, 2014


Yeah, well now I'm depressed.
posted by malocchio at 1:10 PM on September 30, 2014


I always assume weird animal behavior is due to rabies, because I'm an optimist like that. I know it causes most animals/people to be hydrophobic, but in some there's this great thirst.

I am the same kind of optimist as you!

I assume the great thirst is probably all of them? Rabies makes it extremely painful to swallow, so (infected) saliva can't be swallowed, so the mouth becomes extremely infectious. Inability to swallow saliva can also create the signature foaming mouth.
Without being able to swallow, you can't quench thirst, and rabies victims would rapidly die of thirst, except that death from the virus occurs before then.
My understanding is that Hydrophobia is what happens when you see water and you're thirsty, so your body anticipates / prepares to drink (an involuntarily attempt to swallow) causing agony.

There is a heartbreaking video on youtube of a young child (about 5?) with rabies, where you kind of see it. There is a moment where someone brings a glass of water. His eyes light up when he sees it, he reaches for it, arms out, desperate for the water, full of hope, then you see the hope replaced with sudden pain, and suddenly he is instead struggling to make the pain stop.
posted by anonymisc at 2:33 PM on September 30, 2014


Very poignant, somehow.

Couldn't help thinking something like this was already drawn (or could have been scripted) by F. K. "König der Eichhörnchen" Waechter...

clawsoon, in case you're interested, that novel is here (ricochet's quote is on p. 50).

posted by progosk at 3:16 PM on September 30, 2014


In this situation, I suppose, some writers have found them who assert that "when it becomes necessary to pass a lake or river, they lay hold of a piece of larch or fir, and mounting it, abandon themselves to the waves; they erect their tails to catch the wind."

See? FLOOF!
posted by scalefree at 6:11 PM on September 30, 2014


As mentioned by davemee, Grey Squirrels are invasive and UK exterminators are allowed to set out poison baits to control the population. The anti-coagulants usually cause the rodents to seek water, and since his tail wasn't all curly and his steps weren't all hip-hoppy, I would say that the Gulls were likely fighting over scraps before too long.
posted by ambulocetus at 9:50 PM on October 14, 2014


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