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Squirrels and Other Animals Are Splooting in the Heat (and We Totally Get It)

Across the country, rising temperatures are finding squirrels and more splayed out on the ground—a position known as splooting.

Written by
Calin Van Paris

Welcome to splooting season. This summer has brought a record-breaking heat wave, with temperatures around the world consistently reaching triple digits—and then remaining there for days or weeks on end. And just like us (or perhaps even more so) animals are feeling the effects.

Between widespread drought, wildfires, and extreme heat, ecosystems are being threatened and wildlife around the world over is facing an increased risk of disease, displacement, and death. So, obviously, anything that our four-legged friends need to do to get even slightly more comfortable is fine by us. Some need to sploot.

Across the country, rising temperatures are finding squirrels, bears, dogs, and more splayed out on the ground. The hilarious-looking practice is known as splooting—an equally silly moniker—and is a means of keeping cool.

According to the National Park Service, which announced the arrival of #SplootSeason on Instagram, the spread-eagle position is both comfortable (who doesn’t love a full-body stretch?) and practical, with close proximity to cool surfaces and a lack of movement coupling to lower core body temperature.

NYC Parks warned residents away from splooting squirrels, reiterating that the posture (or lack thereof) is no cause for concern. “It is sometimes referred to as heat dumping,” they added, though we prefer the technical term.

The takeaway here? If this summer’s heat finds you laid out on the couch, on the floor, in a park, on the beach—well, that’s just fine. It’s #SplootSeason, after all, and we all need to do whatever we can to weather this wave.