Social media is just the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to viral videos. This week, YouTuber and bird enthusiast Mark Rober went viral for his efforts to create a bird feeder capable of stopping squirrels from breaking into the bird seed.
The result? An eight-part obstacle course that offered a challenge that was worthy of American Ninja Warrior competitions. The internet didn’t expect any less of Rober, who is a former NASA and Apple engineer, especially considering that he previously went viral for designing a glitter bomb to prank those who were stealing packages off porches.
With his latest invention, Rober wanted to trick the squirrels that broke through previous purchases of “squirrel-proof” bird feeders. He began constructing his complex obstacle course eight weeks ago. Once built, he woke up at 6 am every morning to photograph squirrels’ attempts at the course. He also set up 24/7 streaming cameras around the yard.
“This course was extremely challenging,” Rober comments in the video he posted Sunday. “But I will admit, in hindsight, that I completely underestimated my adversary.”
Over the course of a few days, four squirrels were able to conquer the course, much to Rober’s surprise. They mastered the obstacles, which consisted of a tightrope, a maze, pitchfork tumblers, a Slinky bridge, a tourist trap photo opportunity, and quad steps. The obstacles were inspired by reality show competitions, like Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior.
Eventually, Rober took the course down to replace it with a squirrel-friendly picnic table. He now willingly offers food to the furry visitors.
“When I started this two-month adventure trying to birdwatch, I had no idea I’d enjoy squirrel-watching so much more,” Rober says in the video. “Of all the animals, I can definitively say that now squirrels are my absolute favorite.”
Check out Rober’s viral video below.
Squirrel Obstacle Course — Sources
Mark Rober, YouTube