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!
Since its debut in September 2013, it’s been seen over 350 million times and named the top trending video of 2013 on YouTube. Like all videos, it quickly gained popularity as people passed it around to one another via social media sites on the Internet.
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 encounter a fox in the wild, would it be likely to 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?
One thing Ylvis got right is that foxes can make a variety of sounds. Even though we might say that the sound a dog makes is “woof,” the reality is that dogs can make many different types of sounds, including 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.
If you click on the links and listen to these real fox sounds, you can understand why it might be hard to reduce these sounds to something simple, like “woof” or “meow.” You’ll also probably realize that you’ve never heard these sounds before.
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, we don’t tend to run into them often. Because they’re active at night, we often mistake their sounds for other nocturnal creatures, such as the owl, when we 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!