Why Does Every Squirrel in Boise Look Incredibly Depressed This Week?
There you were. Just minding your own business as you were taking a walk during your lunch hour. All of a sudden, you discover a squirrel just laying on the sidewalk like this.
Aren’t you a little concerned about him? Why does he look so sad? Did someone steal all of his acorns? Is he sick? Did he melt? Well, truth be told, you’re not really that far off on your last guess. Boise’s in for an absolutely scorching week with temperatures expected to reach 106º by Saturday.
We’ve reached the part of the summer that this insanely popular Idaho weather meme likes to describe as “Hell’s Front Porch.”
When it gets that hot, hanging out by the pool isn’t even fun anymore. You’re as soaked as you would be in the pool because you’re drenched with sweat. Even pools without heaters or solar covers start to feel like bathwater. And putting back on your flip-flops? OUCH! They feel like they just returned from a field trip to the surface of the sun.
Now’s not a bad time to get caught up on the second half of Stranger Things: Season 4 or go see Top Gun: Maverick…again. Anything to soak up that sweet, sweet AC! Unfortunately, these cute little squirrels don’t have the option to duck into the air conditioning when it’s just a little too hot for them. That’s why they look so depressed. That spread-eagle, sad-looking position you see them laying in is actually something called “heat dumping.” It’s also been nicknamed “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 a string of 100º+ days. So, the squirrel didn't melt. He just came close to it.
Splooting isn’t something exclusive to squirrels. Many dogs do it, too. Especially short dogs like corgis!
Just how long are these scorching temperatures expected to last? According to The Weather Channel, at least six days!
- Wednesday, July 27: 103º
- Thursday, July 28: 104º
- Friday, July 29: 104º
- Saturday, July 30: 105º
- Sunday, July 31: 106º
- Monday, August 1: 100º
While that streak of triple-digit seems oppressively long, it won’t set a new record. The record for most 100º+ days in Boise stands at nine. It was initially established in 2003 and then tied in 2006, 2015 and 2021.
Looking for non-sploot ways to keep cool? Splash pads, ice cream and cool movie theaters are perfect options. Here’s where you can find those options in and around Boise!