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Top 10 Adorable Animals That Became Viral Sensations

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Jessica Walsh.

There are a lot of animal internet sensations out there. From the Sneezing Baby Panda, to Dramatic Chipmunk, to Bizkit the Sleepwalking Dog, these animal internet celebrities sure produce some adorable animal videos. WatchMojo counts down ten animals that became famous through memes.

Special thanks to our users Leo Lazar Jakšić, Kate Auld, aidanmaddox, Stine Pedersen, Sean Hinojosa, VCcat and Nonabliss for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Animals%20That%20Became%20Viral%20Sensations


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Script written by Jessica Walsh.

Top 10 Adorable Animals That Became Viral Sensations

Gone are the days when the Internet was just for looking at cats that wanted a cheeseburger. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Animals That Became Viral Sensations.

For this list, we’re looking at animals – real or not – that have become a part of popular Internet culture. Whether they began as a meme or something about them inspired one, these furry (and maybe not so furry) celebrities of the web are now recognizable.

#10: Bizkit the Sleepwalking Dog

We’ve all heard stories about how when dogs sleep they act out their dreams – so cute. A dog running while lying in the middle of the floor is nothing new, but this puppy takes it to a whole new level AND was caught on film for all to see. Also known as ‘running dog,’ Bizkit has been on Animal Planet and across the web, with her sleepwalking antics causing more than a few giggles and concerned posts. But don’t worry: her vet has assured the family that a sleepwalking dog is completely normal, though they did get her a helmet with her name on it to protect her head and any nearby walls.

#9: Photobombing Sloth

Animals always seem to know where a camera is, much to their owners’ delight or annoyance. Sometimes the same can happen out in the wild, with hilarious results. Take Crasher Squirrel for example. Or better yet, the Photobombing Sloth. Originally intended as a sort of class photo for a group of students working in the Costa Rican jungle, this picture was taken by chance just as something moved into the frame. The resulting picture has been circulated around the Internet, with laughs and imitators ensuing. Some cynics screamed “PHOTOSHOP,” but whether it’s faked or not doesn’t matter: this slothy showoff is a star.

#8: Oh Long Johnson

Back when the Internet was in its infancy, strange and hilarious cat videos were shared via a show called “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” People sent in their funny videos for the world to see, and back in 1998 this cat was one of them. Backed into a corner and agitated at another cat’s presence in the room, this kitty doesn’t let out a meow or a hiss, but rather what sounds like worried muttering. This clip spawned several copycats (PUN INTENDED!), with even more videos popping up where animals make very human noises. While this one’s cute, strange and spawned merch, let’s not all start scaring our pets on purpose just so they’ll make weird noises…

#7: Yelling Goat

Like our last entry, this one involves animals sounding like humans. But unlike our last entry, this one doesn’t involve human-like words, but human-like screams. Several mountain trekkers have reported being startled by the sounds mountain goats, convinced they were actually humans calling out for help – or worse. Upon discovering that wasn’t the case, they of course had to come back with video proof, which the Internet put to good use. The yelling goat was popular enough before it was spliced together with popular music, but now – thanks to the Biebs and Tay Tay – this is one celebrity animal that’s set for stardom.

#6: Dramatic Chipmunk

Sometimes the smallest moment can catch the Internet’s collective eye, just like this little creature did. In Japan, Morning Musume is a popular idol group that was frequently featured on a show called “Hello! Morning.” In one episode, the girls were trying to decide what pet to buy, so a pet shop employee brought in various animals for them to check out. At one point, the chipmunk in question – or, in actuality, prairie dog – turned to look at the camera at just the right second. Then, there’s a quick zoom in and a random moment turns to Internet gold… especially after intrepid YouTube user magnets99 edited in the perfect music from “Young Frankenstein.”

#5: Lil Bub

Many pet lovers out there have found ways to turn some of the cutest and most unique looking animals into Internet gold. Such is the case with Lil Bub, a very cute and very popular kitten who was born as the runt of her litter, with a number of genetic mutations. Not one to be discouraged, her owner Mike Bridavsky used that cute face with its ever-present tongue to raise money and awareness for local animal shelters. While Lil Bub has trouble walking and travelling due to her various ailments, the adorable kitty has nonetheless made it around the world in the form of merchandise, as well as magazine, film, TV and Internet appearances.

#4: Sneezing Baby Panda

We’ve all been there, having a nice, serene moment at the zoo with our child sleeping in our laps, munching away on some tasty bamboo. When suddenly [sneeze]; a sweet Kodak memory becomes the video you must show your friends and play over and over again for instant laughs. Baby Mei Xiang and her mother Xue Xue were filmed at China’s Wolong National Nature Reserve for a documentary in the late-‘90s, and after the clip was uploaded to YouTube in 2006 it became a viral sensation. Mei Xiang moved to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. in 2000, and there are now several videos of her and her children – though none is quite as popular as the original.

#3: Grumpy Cat

There isn’t much out there this cat approves of, and if she does she’s probably been Photoshopped. Actually named Tardar Sauce, this Internet celebrity and her lesser-known brother Pokey have feline dwarfism, which causes their memorable upset faces. Grumpy Cat became the cat meme used to express a number of displeased thoughts and emotions as of 2012, when her pic was originally posted to Reddit. And with numerous TV and film appearances under her collar, she’s the only cat who can say she beat out Elon Musk and Neil Gaiman as the most popular star at the 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival. But don’t worry, Grumpy Cat would never approve of her popularity. Or anything at all, really. Hey!

#2: Nyan Cat

Who knew that the combination of a cherry Pop-Tart and an 8-bit cat would become so popular? The original animation was created by illustrator Chris Torres based on his own cat Marty, after Torres received separate suggestions to draw a cat and a Pop-Tart. Once it was on the web, YouTuber saraj00n combined the little animation with a popular Japanese Vocaloid tune, and this cute little digital cat has been inspiring everything from parodies to cosplay ever since. Even Sprint joined in on the fun by featuring Nyan Cat in an ad for one of their phones!

Before you run off to create your own home video pet meme gold, here are some honorable mentions:
- DJ Kitty
- Keyboard Cat
- Cupcake Dog

#1: Harambe

In May 2016, the news of a young child accidently getting into a gorilla’s pen at the Cincinnati Zoo caught the world’s attention, especially because the gorilla in question – 17-year-old Harambe – was killed in the incident. Within what seemed like seconds, everyone online had taken a side as to what was to blame: bad parenting, overzealous zoo officials, or an agitated primate. Did Harambe need to be put down? Who knows? But we can say this for certain: while this is a more recent example of online animal fame, very few celebrity beasts have had the honor of being at the center of a Fake News story during a U.S. Presidential election. So… there’s that?

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