Angular Momentum – Groundhog

Investigator Dwight Fisher sent us this report from the field:

I was taking a much needed rest from my scientific pursuits with a collection of technical support staff in a local vegetarian restaurant located on a busy street near downtown Athens, Georgia.

One of the staff looked out the window and said, “What is that?”

I replied, “It is a groundhog or a woodchuck”. We were in a heavily populated area and it seemed the odds of a groundhog successfully navigating to this point were very small. In addition, it was April and I’m really not too familiar with groundhogs outside of February in Pennsylvania.

The groundhog appeared to be interested in crossing the street toward the vegetarian restaurant. As the groundhog approached the street we attempted to warn the animal not to cross the street. This consisted of speaking English behind a plate glass window and probably was not effective in alerting the groundhog to the danger it was facing. However, the ground hog looked across the street toward us and hesitated as cars whizzed by in both directions. We were at least somewhat relived when the animal turned around and began to move up a side street but it disappeared under a parked Chevrolet Suburban. We never saw the animal emerge and so we ate our meal while watching the parked car.

Eventually a woman entered the Suburban to drive away. We all stopped eating and watched intently as the vehicle began to move. The groundhog had not wandered away but rather had climbed up on the driveshaft of the vehicle. It made a valiant but misguided attempt to hang onto the driveshaft but groundhogs are simply not equipped for gymnastics and it fell off. In horror we watched as the animal began to run in front of the rear wheel. We all gasped and cried “NO!” having become somehow attached to a small animal that appeared interested in our vegetarian restaurant but strangely took refuge in the bowels of a Chevy Suburban. Suddenly it spun around and only the tail of the groundhog was impacted by the rolling rear wheel of the Suburban. While this was not fatal or even apparently debilitating it was clearly motivational and the groundhog ran off.

Other customers had noticed our attention to the window and the event was witnessed in part by at least one other customer and the waitress did see the groundhog after it had sprinted 50 meters or so and required a bit of a breather before continuing to panic.

I don’t yet know what to make of this.

If you know what to make of it, please get in touch with Investigator Fisher at .