Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by jolie from AL. jolie Wonders, “What does the fox say” Thanks for WONDERing with us, jolie!
What does the fox say? That’s the question asked over and over again in the viral video “The Fox” by Norwegian comedy team Ylvis. Have you heard it? We bet you have.
Since its debut in September 2013, the video has been seen over 350 million times. It was even named the top trending video of 2013 on YouTube! Like all viral videos, it quickly gained popularity. Millions of people passed the video around on social media.
Those familiar with the song may think that a fox says, “Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!” Or perhaps it’s “Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!” “Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho!” and “Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!” are also possibilities.
But are those accurate? If you were to hear a fox in the wild, would it say any of those things? Sadly, animal experts will tell you that those things are NOT what the fox says. Wouldn’t it be fun if it were true, though?
In Norway, the members of Ylvis might hear either the arctic fox or the red fox. In the United States, you might hear several other types of foxes, such as gray foxes and kit foxes.
One thing Ylvis got right is that foxes can make a variety of sounds. In this way, they’re a lot like dogs. We might say the sound a dog makes is “woof,” but dogs can actually make many sounds. These include barking, whining, growling, and howling. Likewise, foxes can make several different sounds (although their vocal variety isn’t quite as extensive as a dog’s).
Foxes belong to the scientific Canidae family, like dogs and wolves. Because of their smaller size, though, they tend to hunt more like cats. Their vocalizations also resemble a mixture of both dog and cat sounds.
One of the most common fox vocalizations is a raspy bark. Scientists believe foxes use this barking sound to identify themselves and communicate with other foxes.
Another eerie fox vocalization is a type of high-pitched howl that’s almost like a scream. Scientists believe that this howl might be used by foxes as a mating call.
Did you click on the links to listen to these real fox sounds? If so, you may understand why it would be hard to describe these sounds with simple words like “woof” or “meow.” You may also realize that you’ve never heard these sounds before.
Why is that? Foxes are very common creatures found in many different types of habitats around the world. So why don’t we have words for what they say?
The lack of a quick answer to the question of what a fox says probably has a lot to do with the fact that they’re nocturnal wild animals. Even though they’re fairly common, humans don’t run into them often. Because foxes are active at night, people often mistake their sounds for other nocturnal creatures, such as the owl, when they do hear them.
If you did have to translate a real fox sound into English, how would you spell it? How would you then translate what you wrote into Norwegian? It’s a little known fact that animals don’t speak the same sounds in every language.
For example, a dog’s “woof” in English might be a “guau” in Spanish, a “waouh” in French, a “bau” in Italian, a “gav” in Russian, or a “wan” in Japanese. So who knows? Maybe Ylvis isn’t so far off after all…once you take translation into account!
Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2