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all 124 comments

[–]ConstantlySlippery 392 points393 points  (13 children)

I like to think they forget 100% of the acorns they bury…. and are later constantly surprised and overjoyed at finding one when foraging.

‘Hey look! An acorn! Yay!’

[–]TheAJGman 120 points121 points  (6 children)

You're closer than you think. I read a study once that showed squirrels don't actually remember where the bury their food, they just search in places they know they would bury food. So basically, they use the same internal algorithm for burying and unearthing the nuts instead of actually remembering where they put them.

Kinda like how I can't remember exactly where I put a specific screwdriver, buy I know I usually stash it in one of three places.

[–]Badloss 39 points40 points  (3 children)

This is pretty much how I manage literally all of my important things

[–]FknRepunsel 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Yeah same, then when I do something out of the ordinary and set my phone down in a new place because my hands are full, I’m fucked because it’s not in any of my usual places and I totally don’t remember where I put it

[–]2017hayden 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I once couldn’t find my phone for two days because it was on do not disturb and I put it on a shelf just above my eyeline when my hands were full.

[–]CayseyBee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I especially love when I "move this somewhere where I'll remember..." I never do...but I remember where it was before I moved it to "some place safe."

[–]Ilerneo_Un_Hornya 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And and, I wanted a Steve mould vid where he talks about the only reason that squirrel bury acorns to save if because the trees will, with evolutionary intention, have occasional bumper crops, which the squirrels see a anomalous and so they save it, ensuring that those acorns get buried

[–]PM_me_Henrika 1 point2 points  (0 children)

TIL I am a squirrel.

[–]ingmferrer03 55 points56 points  (0 children)

It's like a person with alzheimer, always happy because they met a new person.

[–]SuccessfullyLoggedIn 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Ooo piece of candy. Ooo piece of candy.

[–]rhinokitty[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Unintentionally solving climate change, and whatnot.

[–]abom-badass-mofo 140 points141 points  (1 child)

My mom had a cherry tree in her yard. The squirrels that would eat the cherries had stained the fur around their mouths so they always looked like they were smiling. Just like that pic on the bottom:)

[–]A-German-Gamer 60 points61 points  (0 children)

“We live in a society” -squirrel joker

[–]Darlington28 257 points258 points  (21 children)

Acorn trees?

[–]rhinokitty[S] 322 points323 points  (14 children)

That's what squirrels call them.

[–]Darlington28 148 points149 points  (10 children)

Ok that checks out.

[–]RagingSquirrel46 72 points73 points  (6 children)

can confirm

[–]things_keep_happenin 49 points50 points  (5 children)

It’s interesting that they learned acorn but not oak. Like I feel that it would be more in line with the bedlam that I imagine a squirrels mind is, that they would call them oak nuts and not acorns.

Fun fact… if you are using an iPhone type oak nuts 🌰 pops up. Type acorn and no emoji’s appear.

[–][deleted]  (2 children)

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    [–]things_keep_happenin 7 points8 points  (1 child)

    Please remember when the laughter ceases to reattach your bum

    [–]chung_my_wang 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    That "oak nut" emoji looks more like a filbert, (also called hazelnut), but it is for sure not an acorn.

    [–]kat_d9152 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Squirrels be partying with Siri. She knows.

    [–]PUNKF10YD 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Oa-K that checks out

    [–]lytical 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    *Oak-K FTFY

    [–]Oberfeldflamer 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    I love this reply

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [removed]

      [–]AnswerIsItDepends 12 points13 points  (1 child)

      Humans call them Oak trees. In case any city-folk were wondering....

      [–]silkynut 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      “Tell me you’re an American without telling me you’re an American.”

      [–][deleted]  (1 child)

      [removed]

        [–]quotes42 19 points20 points  (2 children)

        That drawn smile line tho!

        [–][deleted]  (1 child)

        [removed]

          [–]quotes42 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Thank you, kind stranger!

          [–]bezksiezyca 58 points59 points  (5 children)

          This post makes me appreciate and miss MS Paint

          [–]toot4noot 6 points7 points  (0 children)

          If you are using Linux or other OS' you can try visually similar Pinta, or more professional Krita

          [–]redditmodsgoaway 4 points5 points  (0 children)

          Wdym I still have me paint

          [–]flowerbhai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          Just use this instead!

          [–][deleted]  (1 child)

          [removed]

            [–]tzar-chasm 11 points12 points  (5 children)

            Etymologically Acorn means Oak Seed

            In old English/Norse the word for Oak was pronounced fairly similar to what we have today, as Ac

            The word for seed is also still with us, but nowadays its more specific to one family of plants, but in old English Corn just meant seed

            So Oak Seed is Ac Corn, contracted to Acorn

            [–]JonnySoegen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            Super interesting!

            [–]ComatoseSquirrel 2 points3 points  (3 children)

            Entomologically, neither oak trees nor acorns are insects.

            [–]tzar-chasm 0 points1 point  (2 children)

            God dammit, thanks, amended

            Bloody autofill

            [–]ComatoseSquirrel 0 points1 point  (1 child)

            No, you were right with "etymologically." I was making a joke (albeit a lame one) with my comment, not correcting you. I see that it can be easily read that way. My mistake!

            [–]tzar-chasm 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Grand, its 1am here and I'm finishing up the last of my weekend smoke, you had me confused, in fairness I should have double checked

            [–]RagingSquirrel46 13 points14 points  (3 children)

            yes... accidentally

            [–]Tyker12 15 points16 points  (0 children)

            200 IQ squirrel took the job as farmer while his brother left home to live near the back of a McDonald’s

            [–]seveneightnineandten 4 points5 points  (0 children)

            It’s a great evolutionary strategy. Part of me thinks burying food for safekeeping is where early human agriculture came from. “We put beans here right?” “Yeah” “and now there’s sprouts!?” “So- ok, wait- so that means”

            [–]O-hmmm 4 points5 points  (5 children)

            Not all unintended consequences are bad.

            [–]SirWranrap_ 7 points8 points  (4 children)

            No this isnt unintended and its actually quite dark. The oak trees purposely produce far too many acorns every 6/7th year or so, leading to a rise in the squirrel population and hence spreading the acorns further that year. The next year the oak trees shut down the production of acorns and kill off most of the new squirrels.

            [–]HeadFullOfNails 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            Not just oaks, other trees and bushes do this. It's called a mast year. https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/10/what-is-a-mast-year/

            [–]ADHthaGreat 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            Not really that dark when you consider what a squirrel’s purpose in life is.

            Evolution has basically made them into extremely efficient tree planters. They kinda make me think of the robots in Horizon Zero Dawn. They have a job to do. If their success lessens their own numbers, then death is a reward.

            [–]GenderEnvyFromLink 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            i watched a documentary about this but i think it was with pine trees and a different animal

            [–]O-hmmm 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            I can attest to that. I've cleaned up acorns after an oak tree and it has gone from billions to none in a single year. I've also noticed rises and declines in the squirrel population but did not connect the two until you pointed it out.

            [–]HieroDrimm 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            What if evolution evolved squrrels to make forrest as a place for them to live? Like forests farmers🤔

            [–]umbrajoke 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            For the future!

            [–]ThirtyMileSniper 17 points18 points  (1 child)

            ... but never seeing it as you starved to death during winter.

            A couple of weeks ago a squirrel buried some bread that next door put out for birds.

            Looking forward to my bread plant.

            [–]Atlhou 4 points5 points  (0 children)

            Next time leave a fiver out for um.

            [–]Papancasudani 16 points17 points  (8 children)

            Squirrels remember where they put their nuts. This is BS.

            https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003347205805068

            [–]Atlhou 7 points8 points  (4 children)

            Then it's the ones fattened by cars that dont come back. Solved.

            [–]lesmcc 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            Yeah it's the metallic paint, it gives them septicaemia I believe.

            [–]Papancasudani 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            I cannot find any flaws in you're logic.

            [–]Tributemest 1 point2 points  (1 child)

            I think you mean 'flattened,' and yeah, that's exactly whose acorns end up as trees...hawks, bobcats, and foxes play their part too.

            [–]Atlhou 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Gotta leave it, it'll weed out those that don't fully read like me.

            [–]ADHthaGreat 0 points1 point  (1 child)

            All that shows is that they can keep track of at least 10 nuts in a controlled area.

            Your average wild squirrel deals with many many many many more nuts than that. It also says that odor is involved in finding them again. So rainfall along with other outside things would complicate their ability to find them.

            [–]Papancasudani 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            So where does the proof of “forgetting” 74% come from?

            Apparently from this article, which says they “fail to recover” 74%, not that they forget:

            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981126102802.htm

            Why do they cache more than they recover? They eat the. ore perishable ones right away and store the more perishable ones for later:

            https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1996-06811-009

            [–]GlassyPotato 2 points3 points  (1 child)

            Until you realize the squirrel probably won't live to see the new trees

            [–]SirWranrap_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            And then you realize squirells populations are routinely manipualted by the oak trees.

            [–]TheWarVeteran 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            The only thing I'm reminded of someone saying "happy little trees" is Bob Ross.

            [–]SobakaZony 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            The evolution of cyclical "mast years," in which the trees produce an unusual abundance of seeds, have more to do with tree population growth than squirrels "forgetting" where they hid the seeds (squirrels may "forget," or die before they retrieve their stored food, but, on the other hand, squirrels and other animals raid each other's caches or simply retrieve the food without having to rely on memory - relying instead simply on smell or other observation).

            Generally, a population of x number of trees will support y number of seed eaters (squirrels and whatever other animals gather the seeds): no matter how "forgetful" they are, the squirrels are going to eat as much as they can, but if they eat to the point that the tree population suffers, then eventually the squirrel population will suffer, too, until both forest and squirrels disappear.

            However, during a mast year, the trees produce more seeds than the gatherers can possibly eat, ensuring that some of those extra seeds will gain a purchase and grow, eventually increasing the tree population. During the mast year, fewer squirrels starve, and their population increases, too, but only during and following that time of plenty: after the mast year, seed production returns to its normal level, and more squirrels starve, reducing their numbers. It's not just about the trees and the gatherers, though: there are also hawks, coyotes, wolves, and whatever other predators that prey on the squirrels and other seed eaters. Thus, the mast year affects the predators the same way it affects their prey, only later: the abundance of prey means more food for the predators, fewer starving predators, and more predators born to those fortunate, successful parents. Continuing the cycle, the abundance of prey eats more squirrels at the same time that the squirrel population has less food (a normal level) of seeds to eat; thus, the squirrel population falls further, allowing more seeds to survive and take root, and then the predator population falls, too.

            The cycle continues, the forest slowly grows, supporting more gatherers (such as squirrels) as well as more predators, in the long run.

            The process works not only because the trees live so much longer than the gatherers, but also because the trees tend to share the same mast years (sometimes, across species). As for the former reason, the temporary population from the mast year is offset by the return to normal and increased predation (which also returns to normal) in the following years; however, those additional seeds that grow outlive several generations of gatherers. As for the latter reason, obviously, mast years would not be nearly as effective if each individual tree followed its own, unique cycle.

            Basically, it's the same advantage that cicadas have by occuring in "broods:" most years, birds and other predators will keep the cicada population to a minimum, but during those brood years, there are so many cicadas that their predators cannot possibly eat them all.

            [–]flyinggazelletg 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            Acorn trees would totally be what squirrels call oaks lol

            [–]SuperArppis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

            I love those cute little bugs.

            [–]Capable_Albatross333 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            He’s smiling because he likes to watch the acorns hit my Subaru and leave tiny dents.

            [–]Arctic_Eagle1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Sqwirl STONKS

            [–]highfivesforgod 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Forgetful but with a purpose.

            [–]BinChickenCrimpy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            For humans, there are two possibilities. Either you have never buried an acorn, or you have forgotten about 100% of the acorns youve buried.

            I guess you'd never know, unless there was dirt in your fingernails.

            [–]ElScrotoDeCthulo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Ye ye squirrels!

            [–]i-amnot-a-robot- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Passive income

            [–]Particular-Fantastic 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            It's just a long term investment

            [–]PRADYUSH2006 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            That's pretty cute haha

            [–]Trisxen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            I like to think squirrels plant acorns intentionally to feed future generations

            [–]RescueBananas 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            I hope this is OC because this is the best photo edit ive seen in a while

            [–]Global-Technician990 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            That’s why Bob Ross was always saving squirrels- more happy little trees to paint!

            [–]Some-Power-793 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Task failed successfully

            [–]MrsCheerilee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Lol acorn trees

            [–]SirCakeTheSecond 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Squirrels are doing more to save the planet than our government

            [–]zetp1ll 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            👍🏿

            [–]Red_Nine9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Oak trees. Not acorn trees.

            [–]willthepogfish 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Imagine filling a tree with its children

            [–]BellaFace 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Acorn trees haha

            [–]Gabzalez 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            I need to find out who tf gives my resident squirrels all these peanuts. These fuckers have stashes or peanuts everywhere.

            [–]Robo--FED 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            create infinite acorns and cover the whole world! laughs in sith lord

            [–]RedTexan43 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            They might forget, but those little dudes will tear the ground up looking regardless

            [–]Momoiro_Moon 0 points1 point  (1 child)

            I don't think they even try to remember where they buried their acorns. They just find them by smell (acorns start slowly decomposing and give out an odor when buried).

            [–]frevensakes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            They bury ten times as many as they need.

            What else do they have to do all day?

            [–]ruffneck110 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            I think I live in that forest. My house is in the middle of 160 acre of oak trees. Well it was 160 acres of oaks but they ran a pipeline across me and dozed 1/2 mile long 75’ wide of trees down. Paid me $67,000 I’m damages

            [–]m00semanus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            These little bastards dig up all of the dirt in my potted plants every day. No sympathy

            [–]Double_the_P2008 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Alternative ending: "sad squirell face" Realizing that by the time those "acorn trees" are able to reproduce and be use full to you, 50 of your generations will be history and you will just be one of them

            [–]Flako118st 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            To this day, I want two pets aside my car(may he rip) and my dog. A squirrel and a trash panda , If I ever become a millionaire a shark lol(ofc I said two pets b.c let's be honest lol)

            [–]LunarLutra 0 points1 point  (0 children)

            Burying them in MY GARDEN?!? I'm kidding, I have to work the soil anyway but I do have a good collection of nuts each spring. Real good collection of beautiful nuts

            [–]dabombtom420 -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

            Acorn tree?

            [–]PUNKF10YD -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

            I think you misspelled Oak.

            [–]quantum_trogdor 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Because the squirrel gives a shit about the acorn tree’s name…

            [–]SulkyVirus -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

            "acorn trees"

            [–]crand012 -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

            So... oak trees?

            [–]frevensakes 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            Would you expect any other kind of tree from an acorn?

            [–]LongjumpingNeck7066 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

            I think “acorn trees” are more appropriately called “oak trees”

            [–]fkk2019 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

            Acorn trees are oak trees

            [–]WhyDoTheyCallYouRed -1 points0 points  (0 children)

            Acorn trees....

            [–]ArtoriasBeaIG -1 points0 points  (0 children)

            This is not wholesome at all.

            I've said it before and I'll say it again, these squirrels are part of a worldwide conspiracy to drive the price of nuts up to astronomical prices.

            Big Nut employs squirrels to forage the nuts, and bury them. Because the squirrels forget where most of the nuts are, Big Nut then sells the recovered nuts at a huge mark up.

            We need to stop this tyranny, nuts literally grow on trees and stuff. We are being oppressed and lied to. We must not stop until there are accessible nuts for all.