It’s cold in Florida, so you know what that means: falling iguanas. No, seriously. The U.S. National Weather Service's 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 footpath 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 footpaths are not necessarily dead nor are they frozen. They just kind of hit pause on life for a little until their bodies warm up.
— Daniel Cohen (@DCohenNEWS) January 22, 2020
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, immobilised state. In the middle of the footpath, though? Rough, but I guess it’s better than the side of the road like his friend below.
— Kahtia Hall (@KahtiaHall) January 22, 2020
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!
— Eric Blake ???? (@EricBlake12) January 22, 2020
[DJ Khaled voice] Another one!
⚠️WATCH OUT! ⚠️Here’s proof of cold stunned iguanas. They can fall from trees. Thank you to our Storm Team 5 meteorologist @SteveWPTV for snapping this picture. FYI It’s not dead. @WPTV #FloridaWinter #amcrew pic.twitter.com/fTnajB19rc
— Janny Rodriguez (@JannyReports) January 22, 2020
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.
— Whitney Leon (@AriesSun) January 22, 2020
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 (-1 degrees Celsius) and Fort Lauderdale fell to 29 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.6 degrees Celsius). Miami bottomed out at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) 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.