The year 2020 is already a cult classic. Officially one of the worst times in modern history, it has been showering us with unwanted gifts like a creepy admirer. Now, with safety belts securely fastened and survival kits prepped, we are on our way into its very last quarter.

No wonder our last stock of sanity is depleting daily and most of us are basically on the verge of sending our brains into one heck of an overdrive. Like this squirrel. The poor little buddy has just become the symbol of our times and an unsung hero lost in the depths of confusion, akin to so many of us.

So as soon as the video of the squirrel freezing while munching on nuts was taken in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, it started circulating on social media and went viral. It has been viewed almost 470K times on YouTube, and it’s easy to get why. We’ve finally found someone we can truly relate to. And now, let ourselves pause and think.

This video of a squirrel freezing while eating nuts is going viral 

Image credits: ViralHog

And people couldn’t stop having fun in the comments

No wonder the video featuring a squirrel has gone viral. These tiny creatures are known for their quirky behavior, jumpy nature, and fluffy look.

In fall, squirrels spend a lot of time prepping themselves for the long winter season, so chances are, you’ll see them running errands, digging, collecting stuff, grabbing things, and munching on whatever nuts and seeds they can get their little paws on.

Meanwhile, the furry rodents may often look extremely alert and almost frantic, as seen in the viral video, but scientists have an explanation. With a mix of curiosity and social anxiety, they approach objects that strike their interest or promise food.

But living near the bottom of the food chain has imbued them with a keen sense of their surroundings, says Suzanne MacDonald, a York University professor. She told National Geographic that squirrels “should be skittish because they can be eaten by everything.”

The viral squirrel freezing up may also be explained by freezing behavior, which emerges as a response to fight, flight, or freeze stimuli that occur in prey animals. It’s believed that freezing happens before or after the fight or flight response is triggered.