TikTok learned hibernation doesn’t mean animals go to sleep for six months

Science TikTok just discovered hibernation doesn’t mean animals literally sleep for months on end — and it’s blowing people’s minds. 

The conversation started when a user admitted her ignorance about the subject and it seemed she wasn’t the only one. 

A bunch of TikTokers just figured out what hibernation really means.

@ido_coke

i just found this out like 3 months ago #fyp #xyzbca

♬ The Reason – Hoobastank

The user @ido_coke posted a video where she made the startling confession. 

“When I admit that I thought hibernation meant the animals go to sleep for literally four to six months,” the video caption read.

Then Hoobastank’s song “The Reason” played as the singer sang, “I’m not a perfect person.” 

The video received over 9.3 million views on TikTok.

“I swear my elementary school teacher told me they sleep until the spring,” one user commented.

“So this is news to me,” another wrote.

“That’s literally what they told us,” someone added.

So what do animals do during hibernation? 

Hibernation is a way for animals to conserve energy during adverse weather by dropping their body temperature and slowing their metabolism. In fact, animals who hibernate can bring their metabolism down to five percent of their normal rate. 

During hibernation animals periodically may defecate, get up and move around or eat food. However, “waking up” a hibernating animal can be dangerous since their physiological state is changed and vulnerable. 

National Geographic cites dwarf lemurs as an example. The animals lower their heart rate from 300 beats per minute to less than six, their brain activity can be undetectable and they can go 10 minutes without breathing. 

Thank you, TikTok, for another delightful science lesson.

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