Thursday 23 January 2020

Out cold: unseasonal temperatures litter south Florida with stunned iguanas

The weather forecast warned it would be raining reptiles and Floridians recorded encounters with lizards feeling the chill

Lauren Aratani in New York

Wed 22 Jan 2020 23.19 GMTLast modified on Thu 23 Jan 2020 02.22 GMT

It truly was the night (and day) of the iguana.

After the National Weather Service (NWS) sent an unusual alert to south Florida residents on Tuesday night warning them of possible “falling iguanas” in light of unseasonably low temperatures, residents were indeed treated to a show of rigid reptiles out of the sky (or, actually, the trees).

The not-so-small creatures were seen motionless in the middle of sidewalks and backyards. While they looked dead, they were actually just too cold to move. Iguanas start becoming sluggish when temperatures drop below 50F (10C) and are susceptible to freezing once temperatures drop to around 40F (4.5C). When frozen, they easily fall out of the trees they call home, appearing lifeless even though they aren’t dead.

Floridians shared videos of the phenomenon, giving Twitter an up-close look at the green-scaled reptiles that are probably dreaming of warmer climates, or at least spring.

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