Bitter cold weather has settled all along the East coast and extended as far West as Texas and as far South as Florida. Last night, I slept in a sweatshirt, hat, and two pairs of socks, and still woke up with a frozen nose. It's really that bad — and if I think it's bad for me, it's worse for anyone living in a climates that don't typically get all that cold (or shouldn't be getting this cold, I should say).
People in areas unaccustomed to these temperatures are really struggling to get through the worst of it, but there's a non-human population that can't deal with it, either. Animals in more traditionally tropical climes are completely stunned.
Iguanas are falling out of trees.
And sea turtles are floating to the surface of the water:
A stunned iguana or floating turtle hasn't necessarily passed on to the next life. Many of them can recover when the cold passes, with proper care. Iguanas are generally considered an invasive species in Florida, so people are mostly just taking photos of them slumped on the ground and then walking away.
Which is perhaps for the best, as this warning indicates picking up a frozen iguana may end with it waking up in your arms and biting the crap out of you. We understand that the intentions are good, but just leave the chilly little guys alone — it'll be better that way, we promise.
PSA: THE IGUANAS FALLING OUT OF THE TREES IN SOUTH FLORIDA ARE NOT DEAD!! I REPEAT.... THEY ARE NOT DEAD. JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE!— Queen Reality (@queen_reality) January 4, 2018
The sea turtles are getting royal treatment, however. Pictures of rescue groups gathering these poor, cold, sleepy turts is heartwarming (though physically, I remain EXTREMELY cold):
Cold stunned sea turtle ALERT! Prolonged exposure during times of extreme cold can be fatal to sea turtles. Immediately report any cold stunned turtles that you locate by calling us at 361-949-8173 ext. 226 #NPS #seaturtles pic.twitter.com/0MsTXK3fLu— Padre Island N.S. (@PadreIslandNPS) January 4, 2018
Stay strong, animals. Summer will come again. Now I have to go chip the icicles out of my stove.