Many billions and billions of innocent Facebookers were suddenly taken hostage last week in a dangerous siege sparked by what some are now attributing to a disturbing trend that isn't showing any signs of going away.
You may have thought this was just a temporary shift in the Internet animal power structure. You may have figured your cousin was just dabbling in silly pictures of giraffes for a short-lived laugh, and would soon get back to posting endless videos of Lil' Bub or Grumpy Cat memes, accompanied by your aunt's comments like 'LOL ain't it the truth!'
Shockingly, this may just be the sign of a deeper, far more sinister trend in animal-related Facebook memes—giraffes may be overtaking cats in popularity.
According to the world's most reputable science journal publication, the NY Post:
[The] meme may not be an isolated phenomenon: If anything, it’s part of a broader trend that has seen the zoo denizen’s popularity rise in line with the slope of its neck. Much like the ever-finicky and spoof-worthy cat, the giraffe has become an “it” animal.
WHOA. An 'it' animal? Is the giraffe the new cat or the new Chloë Sevigny? Will we soon be seeing giraffes pop up at your favorite red carpet celebrity event? Will they demand spots in line at the gifting suites at award ceremonies alongside movie stars? Will they have their own section at Vegas hot-spots like Tao and the Keno tables at Excalibur*?
What say you, experts?
“Giraffes are overwhelmingly popular” right now, says Steve Feldman, a spokesman for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a trade group based in Washington, D.C. (Feldman estimates that there are 525 giraffes currently housed in AZA-accredited zoos — a number that has “been steady over the past couple of years.”)
Hey! Them's is fightin' words! But surely there is some hope for the cat!
Retailers are also picking up on the giraffe trend. TheBigZoo.com, an online purveyor of animal-themed toys, books and apparel, has doubled its selection of giraffe items in the past five years, with offerings ranging from a giraffe pencil sharpener ($2.69) to a five foot-tall stuffed giraffe ($115).
“Giraffes are definitely a top-five animal,” says Chris Gober, owner of TheBigZoo.com, which is based in Magnolia, Texas.
Hold on. $115 for a stuffed giraffe? Damn, those really are 'it' animal prices.
Scientists speculate if this trend continues, LOLCats could become extinct by the year 3075. I certainly don't want my children growing up in a world without pictures of cats captured in awkward moments and then captioned using sentences and phrases with hilariously incorrect grammar and spelling. Giraffes can never take that from me. Never.
Here at Jezebel, we made various efforts to contact cats for a comment on the giraffe situation, but our calls were repeatedly ignored, sniffed at, walked over, swatted under the table, and laid across in front of a large ray of sunshine coming in from an open window.
*It's fancy to me, you guisse!
Image via Shutterstock