While I’ve never been a Jersey Devil fan (of either the hockey team or the cryptid), I know there are a few of you out there who lie awake at night wondering if one of these terrible creatures will jump through your bedroom window and eat your face. To clarify again, when I say ” terrible creature, I’m not referencing Cam Janssen.
A debate has been raging over at Reddit, regarding a photo making the rounds. Rumor has it, the (below) picture was taken in New Jersey and speculation is that it’s a Jersey Devil.
Lets take a look at the photo and then we can get to the core of this claim:
Yes, it looks to be some odd looking creature straddling a wooden fence. But, if you put your thinking cap on, you probably don’t need me to tell you what it is. I’ll give you 30 full seconds, startiiiing NOW!
OK, times up! For those of you who are still stumped or just don’t care either way, take a look at this photo tracked down by NJ.com:
Here’s another angle of the same furless squirrel we posted about an hour ago. In this photo, it shows clearly the physical traits of a fox squirrel. The angle on the last photo does a good job of demonstrating how easily we can be mistaken when trying to identify an animal that is somehow different from most others of its kind. Without fur, every muscle and wrinkle as well as the true length of a squirrel’s tail is more obvious, changing our perception of what we’re seeing. In both photos, the most telling attributes are the signature ears and the head of a fox squirrel as well as the way the animal postures itself…and the pecan in its mouth is giveaway, also!
In fact, both pictures are not from New Jersey at all, but from Oklahoma. More specifically, The Oaklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation Facebook page.
I could say it amazes me that something so explainable can be turned into a viral clusterbomb, but I’ve seen it happen too much lately.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, just follow this tip: If ever you witness something strange, before doing anything else, run this short and to the point sentence through your mind: “The simplest explanation is usually the right one”. That’s Occam’s Razor! Simply looking for something familiar will indicate an ID or at least give you something to go on. In this case the head and ears, not to mention the size of the animal are a very good indication as to the identity of this critter. (Did I just use the word “critter”?)
I think this is all wrapped up! Don’t forget to tip your waitress and thanks for flying reality airlines.