Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Weaselpecker. Wait…what?
Kim Kardashian move aside, there’s a new sensation set to break the Internet and no, we are not still discussing #TheDress. Well, we are, but it’s not that. Enter the new craze taking the world by storm, yes people we are talking about none other than the now infamous Weaselpecker. As the spellcheck function tries to forcefully impose me to separate these two words, I click right and proudly add the term to my PC’s dictionary as I have a strong feeling that the popularity of the picture may well result in a new induction to our daily vocabulary.
The image in question is pretty much exactly as it says on the tin, a baby weasel commandeering a woodpecker who has taken flight with the little cretin still attached to its back. Some have questioned its authenticity crying ‘wizardry’ over the unbelievable shot, while others have claimed it was taken in some far off land where weasels ride freely on the backs of woodpeckers. The somewhat disappointing truth however is that the photo was taken by amateur photographer Martin Le-May while he was out walking and bird watching in the, not so magical, town of Hornchurch, Essex.
Le-May was alerted to the peculiar scene after hearing the bird squawking in distress and managed to whip his camera out just in time to catch the unusual spectacle. While this all seems very humorous it has come to light that the devious weasel was actually trying to kill the woodpecker in this vicious attack. Luckily enough the woodpecker responded rapidly and flew upwards still accompanied by the dastardly villain that had managed to weasel his way on board. According to Le-May eventually the plucky creature had no option than to let go of his prey and admit defeat, running cowardly back into the undergrowth to find a new, hopefully less challenging, victim.
While the image alone has set tongues wagging all over social media, what has really been catching our attention in the Pic PR office is the incredible meme parodies it has spawned. So I thought I’d give a quick run down of some of our favourites…
Taking the top spot in my books is an adaption of that awkward Oscar encounter between John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson. Travolta has been superimposed into the Weaselpecker image and is seen to be slyly kissing the pair who despite the tense situation still look nowhere near as uncomfortable as Johansson did at the Academy Awards.
Next up, who could forget Miley and that bloody wrecking ball? Apparently the singer will never live that video down, especially now it has been immortalised in spectacular Weaselpecker-esc fashion! The singer is seen straddling both animals in the provocative manner we have come to expect.
Probably the most tweeted edit of the now famed image depicts the Weaselpecker, ridden by none other than shirtless Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Some have gone even further by adding in a stormtrooper fast on the heels of the unlikely looking mile high club.
Keeping it up to date with other recent viral crazes the photo has be given the Kardashian rework with a butt exposing Kimmy K mounted on top of the unbelievable duo. Madonna also took a ride in one edited version with that notorious cape breezing along behind her! And even #TheDress has gotten in on the action with a reinterpretation that features the Black/Blue/White/Gold fashion statement affixed to the weasel/woodpecker twosome.
One thing is for sure, Le-May has gained some excellent coverage for the well-timed image and with numerous interview offers, this once amateur photographer may well have accidently catapulted himself to a professional status.
Unless you happen to be the woodpecker, this is all harmless fun and just goes to show just how powerful the viral abilities of the Internet are. Brands should take note and seek to create viral campaigns that mirror just some of the success that has been achieved by these recent fads.