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Owling refers to the act of sitting in a perched position while looking off into the distance as to mimic the posture of an owl. The fad was created as a response to another photo fad called “planking”.
A thread was posted to Reddit on July 11th, 2011, entitled “Seems to be an increase in planking photos, so…” featuring a demotivational stye image macro of a woman perched on railing with the caption “OWLING because planking is so two months ago”.
The first Urban Dictionary definition was created the same day:
The act of displaying oneself on-top of miscellaneous objects in a sitting position while holding your knees. Let’s go owling tonight on-top of signs!
Search queries for “owling” increased dramatically on July 12th, the day after the first Reddit post.