Tippy the Fainting Squirrel becomes YouTube star as video of cute collapsing rodent goes viral

Thousands of fans attempt to diagnose bizarre condition

A black squirrel has become an internet sensation after footage of it repeatedly collapsing was uploaded to YouTube.

Nicknamed ‘Tippy the Fainting Squirrel’ for fairly self-explanatory reasons, the clip shows a foraging black squirrel that is unable to stay on its feet for more than a few moments. Following a second or two of unconsciousness, Tippy gets back to his feet and continues foraging, only to collapse again soon after.

The footage, which failed to have any views in its first five days but has received over 150,000 since Saturday, was originally uploaded to YouTube by user Honor Via. It has also prompted extensive debate over exactly what could be causing Tippy’s bizarre ailment.

Initial speculation focussed on the fairly innocent explanation that Tippy may have eaten too many nuts and was collapsing due to fatigue. That account now appears to have been dismissed, however, as experts begin viewing the video.

One theory is that Tippy may have ingested a small amount of toxin or poison and that he is temporarily suffering from orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure) which will cease when the toxin is fully flushed out his system.

Others have speculated that Tippy may be narcoleptic – a theory that appears to be backed-up by a message posted by the video’s uploader which said Tippy habitually leans against the trunk of the tree while climbing. This would suggest Tippy may have had his fainting problem for a long time - potentially his entire life - and has taught himself the best coping techniques.

Others are far more worried for Tippy and believe he may be suffering from some sort of brain parasite or tumour. With a long, cold winter ahead, many are concerned by Tippy’s prospects, considering his significantly reduced ability to forage ahead of the hibernation period.

Another line of thinking is that the cute rodent may be sick with myotonia congenita – a neuromuscular channelopathy that affects the movement muscles. A video showing “fainting” goats suffering from the disorder has previously gone viral (see video below), although up until now the condition was thought to have been limited to certain breeds of dog, pony and, of course, goats.

If Tipsy is suffering from myotonia congenita, his fans need not be overly concerned. Although the ailment looks dramatic, it is actually a lot like muscle cramp. Essentially the sufferer’s muscles relax and contract at random, causing them to repeatedly fall over but without any pain or muscle damage.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Managed IT Services Provid...

    Recruitment Genius: 1st / 2nd Line IT Support Engineer

    £20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Designer / Developer

    £12000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: New Full-time, Part-time and Fr...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Web and UI Designer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral