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23 Unbelievable Raccoon Fun Facts That Will Leave You Amazed

illustration of raccoons
Get ready to unmask the fascinating world of raccoons as we dive into a treasure trove of whiskered wisdom and bandit-masked brilliance!

1. Built-in Fuzzy Sensors

Who needs high-tech gadgets when you're a raccoon with built-in fuzzy sensors: Raccoons have paws that are packed with mechanoreceptors and topped with cat-like vibrissae, enabling them to distinguish edibles and sense objects without even touching them, making these mischievous mammals nature's ultimate explorers!
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2. Cleanliness Obsession

If cleanliness is next to godliness, raccoons must be heavenly creatures with their intriguing pre-dining rituals: Despite their love for dipping their food in water like a meticulous chef, raccoons are actually not very good swimmers and can struggle in aquatic situations.
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3. Tree Parkour Experts

Channeling their inner ninja turtle, raccoons have mastered the art of paw-to-paw combat and tree parkour: Their hind feet can rotate 180 degrees, empowering them to effortlessly descend trees headfirst, while their ultra-sensitive paws function as tactile radars to investigate objects, especially when seeking submerged delicacies. Beware, though, these masked rascals can put their climbing skills to mischievous use by invading homes and staging neighborhood takeover operations.
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4. Furry Palm Readers

Who knew raccoons were part-time palm readers? These furry fortune-tellers use their hands to get up close and personal with their grub: Raccoons wet their paws before handling food to collect two-thirds of its sensory data, ensuring they're always dining intelligently and adapting to urban living like seasoned pros.
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Night Vision Superpowers

5. Night Vision Superpowers

Who needs night vision goggles when you've got raccoon eyes? These furry little bandits come with their own built-in nocturnal superpowers: they possess a reflective membrane called tapetum lucidum in their eyes, which greatly enhances their vision in low-light conditions, allowing them to navigate and locate food sources with ease during their nighttime escapades.
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6. Trash Can Thieves

Step aside, human burglars: raccoons are the real masked bandits in town, ready to scale your fences and raid your trash cans! The serious reveal: sporting dexterous paws akin to human hands, raccoons excel at climbing and manipulating objects, making it a breeze to topple and pry open urban garbage bins in pursuit of a delicious midnight snack.
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7. Honey Bandits

Who needs Winnie-the-Pooh when raccoons are the real honey bandits: These fascinating furballs are known to raid beehives, using their sharp claws to rip apart hives, and savor the sweet spoils – all while putting their bee-sting immunity on the line in the quest for liquid gold.
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8. Auditory Magic

Raccoons may not be able to appreciate your favorite dubstep tracks, but those furry DJs are spinning some serious auditory magic of their own: These natural-born noise connoisseurs can hear frequencies from 100 to 40,000 Hz, surpassing human capabilities, although they still have their own version of a "what did you say?" moment with certain auditory sensitivity thresholds.
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9. Red Panda Cousins

If raccoons wore red coats and partied with the weasel crowd, they'd call themselves red pandas: Contrary to popular belief and their deceptive name, red pandas are not related to giant pandas but rather share a closer kinship with raccoons, skunks, and weasels, according to fascinating evolutionary studies.
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Seasonal Menu Curators

10. Seasonal Menu Curators

Move over, Gordon Ramsay: raccoons have been curating their seasonal menus way before we started to classify them as tiny trash connoisseurs! Seriously though: raccoons showcase preferences for certain foods, with their diet shifting according to seasons and food availability, enjoying summer's diverse bounty of meats, fruits, nuts, and corn, while stocking up on fats during autumn to survive the lean winter months, even displaying a slight penchant for invertebrates over vertebrates.
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11. Master Pickpockets

Cunning pickpockets known for their expert thieving skills in the animal kingdom's underground black market of trash cans, raccoons can give the most skilled human thieves a run for their money: These mischievous bandits are equipped with four slender fingers and a thumb on each front paw, allowing them to manipulate objects with impressive dexterity, although they still lack the ability to grip or pick up objects like their human counterparts.
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12. Horizontal Jump Champs

If raccoons were Olympic athletes, they'd ace the long jump but wouldn't quite make the cut for high jump: These chubby, short-legged creatures can only leap up to 4 feet high vertically, but they can astoundingly jump 5 feet horizontally from the ground and even cover as much as 10 feet when jumping from a height.
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13. Sensing in the Dark

Oh, those cunning little bandits! Donning their dashing Zorro masks, one might assume raccoons roam the night with unparalleled vision: Alas, their eyesight is, in fact, quite average, but these crafty creatures compensate by relying on their oh-so-sensitive paws to stealthily detect objects and locate food in the dark!
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14. Food Dipping Rituals

Raccoons: the masked bandits known for rummaging through garbage cans and boasting an unexpected affinity for conducting watery rituals with their meals. These nocturnal critters seem to believe they have a baptismal touch when it comes to dining: Contrary to popular belief, raccoons don't actually "wash" their food before consuming it. Researchers have found that they might be dipping it in water merely to examine and remove unwanted parts. True to their reputations as unfussy eaters, raccoons have a diverse diet ranging from meat to plant matter, and they're never too fancy to turn down a good ol' helping of roadkill.
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Houdini Paws

15. Houdini Paws

Step aside, Houdini: Raccoons are the true masters of prestidigitation with their tiny, thieving mittens! These little bandits employ their paws with sensitive pads and dexterous fingers to manipulate objects almost as well as human hands, making them experts in finding and gathering food – occasionally snacking from our garbage cans.
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16. Winter Couch-Potatoes

We all have that one friend who crashes on your couch and slyly nibbles on your leftover snacks: Raccoons too, go into a couch-potato mode during winter called torpor. However, if the sun is out and shining, they're likely to sneak out for the daylight buffet: Unlike a deep hibernation, raccoons venture out during torpor to forage for food when temperatures rise and shouldn't be mistaken as having rabies just because they are spotted during daytime hours.
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17. Jar-opening Bandits

How many raccoons does it take to unscrew a jar-lid? Just one, and it'll do it with the finesse of a medieval court jester turned locksmith: Raccoons possess highly dexterous front paws, enabling them to manipulate objects, open trash cans, doors, and even jars to access their favorite midnight munchies.
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18. Flexible Size

Step aside, diet-conscious gym-goers: raccoons are here to prove that size is just a number, and they're flexing their adaptable muscles across the scales! In the wild, these masked marvels can weigh anywhere from a dainty 14 lbs to a beefy 23 lbs, with some males even tipping the scales at heftier proportions: their average weight really depends on the bountifulness of their habitat and food availability, with males generally tending to be larger than their female counterparts.
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19. Eclectic Foodies

When raccoons aren't busy washin' their paws or raiding your trash can at 3 am, they secretly moonlight as culinary connoisseurs with an eclectic palate: these masked bandits nibble on fruits, berries, nuts, and even indulge in gourmet crayfish, mussels, and mice!
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20. Paw-casso Artists

When raccoons aren't busy wearing miniature masks for their weekend heists or mastering the art of lock-picking at the local B&E academy, they moonlight as talented paw-casso painters: These dexterous "little bandits" are capable of opening containers and picking locks with their front paws, and some have even been trained to create sought-after art pieces that fetch high prices in the sophisticated world of wildlife auctions.
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21. Communal Bathroom Fans

Raccoons: the masked bandits with a strict bathroom etiquette! These furry felons believe in the sanctity of shared restrooms, or "latrines," found near trees, logs, rocks, and even in human-made structures like attics and garages: In fact, raccoons are known to defecate in communal areas, and it's crucial to tidy up their droppings to prevent the spread of dangerous roundworms, especially among young children and the developmentally disabled who might accidentally ingest the eggs. So, remember, when dealing with these critters' latrines, suit up in disposable gloves and boots, and wield either boiling water or a propane torch for a thorough disinfection!
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22. Enhanced Sense of Touch

Who says you need opposable thumbs to have an impressive sense of touch? Meet the raccoons, the touchy-feely bandits with a dexterity that gives human hands a run for their money: Raccoons have over 60% of their cerebral cortex dedicated to touch, with five times the density of pressure sensitive cells in their forepaws compared to most mammals, brilliantly aiding them in tracking down food in aquatic or muddy environments. Plus, their great memory and intelligence can rival that of Rhesus monkeys!
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23. Solo Slumber Partiers

Move over, Golden Girls! Raccoons are kicking up their furry heels in their very own solo slumber party shenanigans: Despite snuggling together to brave the chilliest of winters, raccoons are mostly solitary creatures throughout the rest of the year.
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