While the word “sloth” might conjure up mortal sin and eternal damnation for some, to others it inspires an entirely different image: furry strange creatures of untold cuteness which, more often than not, seem to elicit choruses of involuntary cooing.
Sloths may be odd creatures, but their charm is undeniable. They are the world's slowest mammal; so unhurried, in fact, that algae grows on their fur, which also plays home to beetles, moths and other small insects. The algae-embellished coats conspire with their long claws and funny little faces to add up to a strange combination of irresistibility.
Much of their charisma comes courtesy of their smiles and exaggerated eyes. And while our logical brains may find folly in ascribing human emotions and gestures to animals, our hearts can’t help it. Those beguiling grins and big eyes in collaboration with that lethargic, gentle nature – they probably couldn’t hurt a fly even if they wanted to – add up for a wonderful antidote to all that is aggressive and too fast in the world.
Plus, since their main objective is to hang around in trees all day, they are especially well-equipped for clinging. Basically, they’re creatures that have evolved to be perfect huggers. All together now: “awwwww.”
So in honor of the arboreal darlings, we present some of the Internet’s sweetest sloths.
1. Judy Arroyo: sloth whisperer
Judy Arroyo has the ultimate sloth-lover’s dream job: she runs the Aviarios Del Caribe sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. Here we get a tour of some of the cutest sloth faces to ever grace the Internet.
2. Baby sloths learn to climb
Gym class at the orphanage never looked so fun.
3. Taz has an itch
Imagine having an itch and only being able to scratch it in slow motion?
4. Bath time for baby sloths
Because the only thing cuter than sloths getting a bath is baby sloths getting a bath!
5. Meet the sloths
Just more sloths being so cute that we run the risk of hyperventilating from over-exuberant sighs.
6. Sloth bodily functions 101
In this clip from BBC Earth, David Attenborough (who is almost as cute as a sloth himself) explains a few sloth facts after attempting to startle one of the unflappable cuties.
7. Happy sloths, not worrying
Yawning sloths, swimming sloths, eating sloths, sleeping sloths and the ubiquitous sticking-out-the-tongue sloths all grace this video, which is sure to make you happy.
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