It’s cold in Florida, so you know what that means: falling iguanas. No, seriously. The National Weather Service Miami office issued a warning Tuesday that temperatures could dip into the 30s and 40s on Wednesday, leading to iguanas plummeting out of trees. And Twitter users confirmed Wednesday morning that many iguanas did, in fact, do just that.
Meteorologists and local reporters documented the fallen critters and cautioned the public to keep their eyes peeled for the green suckers lying stunned on the sidewalk or falling from the heavens. After all, nobody wants to see the poor lizards squashed before they have a chance to warm up.
Remember back in elementary school science class when you learned the difference between cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals? Well, this is a real-world example. Iguanas are cold-blooded reptiles, and low temperatures (or low by Florida standards, at least) can incapacitate them. The fallen iguanas gracing the Sunshine State’s sidewalks are not necessarily dead nor are they frozen. They just kind of hit pause on life for a little until their bodies warm up.
This dude looks straight out of a Harry Potter film where someone hit him with petrificus totalus, a spell that leaves individuals in a frozen, immobilized state. In the middle of the sidewalk, though? Rough, but I guess it’s better than the side of the road like his friend below.
Or straight up on the road like this one. And for those wondering, it’s unlikely lil homie is dead. They all just look like it!
[DJ Khaled voice] Another one!
Here are some more where the homeowner was sweet enough to protect the iguanas from dogs who might otherwise think the animals are chew toys. Imagine your little puppy running into your house with an iguana in its mouth. No thanks.
Iguanas dealt with a similar shock in January 2018 when polar vortex-induced cold descended on Florida, wreaking havoc on wildlife. Iguanas themselves are their own form of threat as they’re invasive to Florida, and the state has urged people to kill them. It’s cold out and dangerous in these Florida streets, but the iguanas are hanging in there.
This year’s cold snap hasn’t broken any records yet. The National Weather Service reports that the record low for January 22 was back in 1985 when Miami hit 30 degrees Fahrenheit and Fort Lauderdale fell to 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Miami bottomed out at 40 degrees Fahrenheit so it’s iguana-falling-from-the-sky cold but not record-breaking. Luckily, the likelihood that any more iguanas will fall will reach zero by this afternoon as temperatures increase.