Home Animals 15 Groundhog Day Fun Facts (Video)

15 Groundhog Day Fun Facts (Video)

And you might think you know all there is to know about the infamous day. Here are some fun facts according to Time Inc. I bet you didn’t know. Susana Victoria Perez (@susana_vp) has more.

Here are some things you need to know about groundhogs:

  1. They are considered rodents. Groundhogs are considered a type of rodent known as a marmot, which is closely related to squirrels.
  2. They fill in for hedgehogs to predict the weather. The origins of Groundhog Day can be linked to Candlemas Day, a holiday that was brought to the United States by the Germans. In Europe, hedgehogs or badgers were used to predict what the weather would be. When German immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania, they found a large number of groundhogs, which resemble the European hedgehog.
  3. Punxsutawney Phil is the official groundhog forecaster on February 2, but many states have their own (like New York’s Pothole Pete).
  4. Phil’s full name, granted by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, is Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.
  5. Groundhogs only live six to eight years, but folklore suggests that Phil sips a magical drink that gives him seven more years of life.
  6. The Germans originally chose a hedgehog as their animal forecaster. They turned to groundhogs instead when they discovered a large amount of them in Pennsylvania.
  7. Hibernation is similar to being in a coma. When groundhogs hibernate, their heart rates drop to five beats per minute and they can lose up to 30 percent of their body fat.
  8. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts a three-day celebration leading up to Groundhog Day.
  9. The popular movie of the same name (starring Rockland County resident Bill Murray) gave meaning to the phrase “groundhog day”: to repeat something over and over again.
  10. Phil’s fans have been able to get text message alerts of his predictions since 2010. (Text “Groundhog” to 247365, in case you’re interested.)
  11. According to ABCNewsthe National Climatic Data Center found that there is no correlation between Phil’s prediction and the actual weather forecast.
  12. Punxsutawney Phil has been in charge of telling us how long winter will wear on (and, conversely, when spring will finally bloom) since 1887, all based on whether or not he sees his shadow on the morning of February 2nd
  13. When Phil is not busy predicting the weather at Gobbler’s Knob, a rural area about two miles outside of Punxsutawney proper, he lives in the town library.
  14. Punxsutawney Phil was apparently named after King Phillip. Before that naming took place, he was called “Br’er Groundhog,” which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
  15. Phil’s batting average for weather predictions isn’t exactly the greatest: A record of his findings shows that his shadow-based predictions have only been right about 64.4 percent of the time. (He got it wrong in 2017.) But don’t blame Phil!  “Unfortunately, there have been years where the president has misinterpreted what Phil said,” retired handler Ron Ploucha told PennLive. “Because Phil’s never wrong. Phil’s prediction is 100 percent correct, and we blame the variants on the Inner Circle president’s interpretation of Phil’s prediction.”



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