Why are groundhogs called “whistle pigs”? One TikToker found out firsthand, after investigating a mysterious noise during a hike.
Namely, viewers seemed as confused as Herbolsheimer about the strange noise he heard during his hike.
“I heard some kind of emergency whistle on my hike,” he captioned the video.
Herbolsheimer, seemingly on a fairly isolated trial, then begins to explore the noise. Eventually he realizes the source isn’t an emergency whistle at all — it’s a groundhog.
Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks, a name that, despite what nursery rhymes may tell you, has nothing to do with wood. The name instead comes from “wuchak” a Native American word likely used by the Algonquin people. That said, there’s no solid evidence that “wuchak” actually referred to woodchucks.
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Meanwhile, groundhogs got the nickname “whistle pig” thanks to exactly what Herbolsheimer discovered. The high-pitched sound is often used as a defensive mechanism, or to signal that they’re in danger.
Most TikTokers had no idea that groundhogs made such a bizarre noise. Many compared the sound to an emergency alarm or a smoke detector.
“Wait it’s groundhogs that make that noise?” one user asked. “I thought it was birds.”
“Omg this happened to me my first time visiting WA,” another added. “I thought for sure someone was in need of help.”
“I wasn’t expecting this,” another wrote.
Camping content has long been a source of viral content on TikTok. Last year, a 21-year-old gained enormous popularity after chronicling his life camping inside his Toyota Prius. And, of course, there are countless famous pages dedicated to the “van life,” in which people forgo their traditional living situations for a life on the road.
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