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Truth behind 'terrifying' images of reindeer with glow-in-the-dark antlers

Truth behind 'terrifying' images of reindeer with glow-in-the-dark antlers

The bizarre phenomenon of reindeer with glowing antlers was made for a very specific purpose

If someone told you that they had just seen a reindeer with antlers that were glowing in the dark, you'd be forgiven for assuming they were lying, or hallucinating.

Images of reindeer sporting glowing antlers have been going viral on the internet, leaving people asking one question - why?

Just so we're clear as well, this is not the result of manipulated images, or someone typing the prompt 'reindeer in Tron' into an AI image generator.

As weird as it is to take in the images are in fact real, and have not been manipulated.

So what on earth is going on with them?

That's like something out of a horror movie. (@AMAZlNGNATURE / X)
That's like something out of a horror movie. (@AMAZlNGNATURE / X)

Well, those of you who were fearful that this was some sort of reindeer anglerfish hybrid that uses its glowing antlers to lure in its prey, you are absolutely correct.

Just kidding.

Unsurprisingly, this is not some sort of evolutionary development in the reindeer.

So what on earth is causing the antlers to glow?

Well, it's not the reindeer, nor is it any sort of luminescent bacteria or fungus either.

It's because humans painted the reindeers' antlers with paint that glows in the dark.

Now you may be wondering that explains the 'how' part of the glowing antlers, but the question of 'why' is still very much unanswered.

To answer that, let me set the scene.

You're driving down a very dark road at night when seemingly out of nowhere you slam into a reindeer.

If only you could have somehow seen it coming on the pitch black nighttime road.

Well, that is when people had the bright idea to paint the antlers of the reindeer with glow in the dark paint.

Imagine spotting that late at night. (@AMAZlNGNATURE / X)
Imagine spotting that late at night. (@AMAZlNGNATURE / X)

The antlers were painted rather than the reindeer's sides as they would be visible from every angle.

Finland's Reindeer Herders Association explained the rationale behind the paint, writing: "The aim is to prevent traffic accidents. The spray is being tested on fur at the moment, but it may be even more effective on the antlers, because they are seen from every side."

So did it work? Sadly, it was not shown to have any real impact on the number of collisions involving reindeer.

Explaining why, they said: "Drivers often mistook reindeer with reflectors for people in the dark, thinking they wouldn't run into the middle of the road when they saw car headlights approaching."

They added: "And the deer would tear the reflectors off."

Featured Image Credit: @amazlngnature/X

Topics: News, World News, Animals