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Squirrel Obstacle Course Reveals Squirrels’ Ninja Abilities

Mark Rober, the YouTuber and former NASA engineer responsible for everything from blasting porch pirates with glitter bombs to educating people on how germs spread, has made a squirrel-proof bird feeder for his latest project. And if that doesn’t sound like one of the most exciting backyard projects ever, you have made a mistake. Because Rober’s squirrel-proof bird feeder is also a squirrel obstacle course and squirrels, apparently, are little furry ninjas.

Rober recently posted the epic squirrel obstacle course to his YouTube channel, noting that this was his mechanical solution to the problem of squirrels stealing bird seed from his bird feeder. But because Rober’s solutions to everyday problems come from a brain that builds Mars rovers, they come out like this.

The squirrel obstacle course features a bunch of obstacles that look like American Ninja Warrior, and one that literally is. The obstacles range from a treacherous horizontal rope ladder to a large maze to a pad that launches any squirrels that stand on it for too long. And the reward? A full chest of walnuts—which, if you were unaware, are squirrels first choice in nuts.

The best part of the video—aside from the innovative course itself—are the four squirrel contestants who run the course in the video. The squirrel contestants, which are all as athletic as a “rodent sized Simone Biles,” feature Marty, Frank, Rick, and Phat Gus. Although Phat Gus has a name change occur midway through the video; you’ll have to watch to find out why.

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The squirrel-obstacle course crew. Mark Rober

Ultimately, Rober notes that the squirrel obstacle course demonstrates just how crafty and physiologically tuned the little rodents are. And it is indeed hard to overstate just how incredible squirrels are at retrieving nuts. In fact, you could say their abilities are totally… bananas.

What do you think about this squirrel obstacle course? Are you realizing the glory of squirrels in a whole new way, or were you already aware of these mad skills? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Feature image: Mark Rober