If you've taken a walk across one of NYC's parks in the past weeks, you might have noticed squirrels sprawled out on the ground, quite literally lying face down with their limbs outstretched and looking pretty odd. Worry not, though!
According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the cute little animals are trying to keep cool by "splooting." That's a word we won't forget.
Sometimes referred to as heat dumping, explains the agency, splooting involves a stretched-out position on a cool surface that helps reduce body heat. Basically, it’s exactly what we feel like doing when we return to our apartment after a day spent walking around the blistering hot city on an average day in the summer. Squirrels of New York, we feel you.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation introduced the general masses to the funny term in a tweet. In response, followers delighted in showing off their own pets (not squirrels!) splooting at home or out in the wild. Clearly, stretching out on the floor is an activity enjoyed by all sorts of animals: have you ever seen a dog in the summer?
If you do see a squirrel splooting, let it be. It is just relaxing and trying to survive the season's high temperatures.
Below, scroll through a series of photos of the animals in action. They're going to all put a smile on your face, we promise.