Why Does Every Squirrel in Boise Look Depressed This Week?
If you saw a squirrel laying on the sidewalk outside your home like this, you'd be concerned about it too, wouldn't you?
Did someone steal all of his acorns? Is he sick? Did he melt? Well, you're actually not that far off on the last one! It's already hot in Boise and we're bracing ourselves for even more oppressive temperatures by this time next week. Next Monday's high is an outrageously toasty 106º.
When temperatures get that hot, relaxing outside isn't any fun. If you're laying out by the pool, you're as soaked as you would be in the pool because you're drenched with sweat. Even pools without heaters start to feel as warm as bathwater. When you put back on your flip-flops they feel like they've been sitting on the surface of the sun. Ugh.
This is the perfect time to duck inside and binge watch your favorite show or dip into a movie theater to catch A Quiet Place: Part II or Cruella. Anything to soak up, that sweet, sweet air conditioning.
But these sad little squirrels? They're not so lucky. They have to stay outside when it's almost as hot in Boise as it is in the Sahara. That's why they look so depressed! That spread-eagle, sad looking position you see them laying in on hot days is actually something called "heat dumping." It's also occasionally called "splooting."
According to Southern Living, squirrels pancake themselves out like this on hot days to expose as much of their bodies as they can to some sort of cool surface. It could be a shady spot of cement in one of Boise's dozens of parks, a tree branch or even your deck. This helps the squirrels lower their body temperature so that they're not totally miserable when we have nine straight days of temps over 100º. So, the squirrel didn't melt. He just came close to it.
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FYI, we're not joking about nine straight days of temps over 100º. Here's a look at your extended forecast where it could very will happen:
- Saturday, June 26: 100º
- Sunday, June 27: 102º
- Monday, June 28: 106º
- Tuesday, June 29: 107º
- Wednesday, June 30: 107º
- Thursday, July 1: 105º
- Friday, July 2: 103º
- Saturday, July 3: 102º