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Wet Owl refers to several images of wet owls, in particular, one image of a wet Barred Eagle owl with a tired look on its face. The image, as well as several additional images of water-logged owls, became the increased subject of memes and reactions throughout 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.
The most popular wet owl photo used in memes, showing a wet owl with a tired or grumpy look on its face, was taken by photographer and YouTuber David Hoffman. On March 29th, 2022 he made a community post on his YouTube channel sharing the photo with its backstory, writing:
"Dear Subscribers, Members & Patrons: Yesterday after more than three months of no rain here in Northern California, it rained. And my wife and I decided to go out and walk in it. Everyone knows how miserable it can feel and how wonderful it can feel. We went to the Elkhorn Slough and there was no one there. Silence. Except for the rain. We had our rain gear on. But I took off my hat and just got wet like this poor owl. And then, too soon say the weathermen and the water resource folks, it stopped and there were these puffy white clouds that were just so beautiful. The birds started to sing. And then out of nowhere on what we thought was an unused railroad track, an Amtrak train came by going very slowly filled with people. The birds yelled at it. Loud. And the train was gone and it was silent again except for a few droplets of rain and the birds singing.
One of the earliest memes using the image was uploaded to the Russian website 2pricolisty in a Demotivational Poster compilation on October 17th, 2016 (shown below).
On May 24th, 2021, TikToker @chantelleef posted a video where she expresses a fear of wet owls, showing two images of wet owls, gaining over 2 million views in 10 months (shown below). On June 16th, Tumblr user killue posted the image of the tired-looking wet owl, gaining over 11,000 notes in nine months.
On August 13th, 2021, iFunny userrandomshit20 posted a meme using a screenshot of the owl after being posted to /r/whatisthisanimal comparing it to a divorced man, gaining over 12,400 smiles in seven months (shown below).
On February 20th, 2022, Redditor CrispyMcNuggNuggz posted the image to /r/oddlyterrifying, gaining over 6,600 upvotes in a month. On March 18th, 2022, a Redditor posted the image to /r/funny, gaining over 1,400 upvotes in 10 days. It was also posted to /r/interestingasfuck that day, gaining over 4,800 upvotes in 10 days. On March 19th, Redditor walkie_stalkie posted the image to /r/photoshopbattles, gaining over 23,000 upvotes in nine days and inspiring over 250 comments including numerous photoshops (examples shown below, see "Various Examples" for more).
On March 19th, TikToker @cirruslyyesterday posted a video where she reacts in shock after learning what a wet owl looks like, showing the tired wet owl, gaining over 2.7 million views in nine days (shown below, left). TikToker @the.josh.wright posted a similar video on the 23rd, gaining over 1.2 million views in six days (shown below, right).
Starting in early 2023, the Wet Owl popularized in Indonesia under the name Digidaw or Diggie Daw. On January 24th, 2023, Facebook user Dabkid Lynx uploaded a post about adding skin script for the character Diggie from the mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and after adding it, the skin he expected is revealed to be Wet Owl. The post received more than 4,300 reactions and 3,700 shares in two weeks (shown below).
In Lynx's comment section, Facebook user Mad Samidi commented on Alpin's comment with "Digidaw," a parody name of Diggie (shown below, left). A Few hours later, Facebook user Ethereal Cross uploaded a cropped image of Lynx's photo, then added the text "Diggie Daw." The comment received 66 reactions in about two weeks(shown below, right).
On January 31st, 2023, Facebook page "Hoax Harvest Moon Back To Nature Indonesia" uploaded an image of a Harvest Moon: Back To Nature edit by adding the Wet Owl saying "digidaw… digidaw…". The post received 459 reactions and 65 shares in approximately one week (shown below, left). On January 30th, 2023, Instagram user @ra_wib uploaded Diggie fan art as Wet Owl with an advice animals format, reading "begitulah hidup. Kadang diatas, kadang diggiedaw" (Eng. There goes life. Sometimes on top, sometimes diggiedaw). The post received 256 likes in one week. On February 2nd, 2023, the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang official Facebook page reuploaded @ra_wib's edit. The post received more than 11,000 reactions and 1,000 shares in five days (shown below, right).
 2pricolisty – Fresh demotivators for every taste
 TikTok – chantelleef
 TikTok – cirruslyyesterday
 TikTok – the.josh.wright
 Reddit – interestingaf
 Reddit – oddlyterrifying
 iFunny – randomshit20
 Reddit – whatisthisanimal
 YouTube – community post
 Facebook – Diggie Skin
 Facebook – Diggie Daw
 Instagram – Diggidaw diggidaw aye aye
 Facebook – "Namanya juga lyfe ya, baca diggiedaw sampe keselek 🤣🤣 ":https://www.facebook.com/MobileLegendsGameIndonesia/posts/pfbid0hKHWJDpAJU1Hx8qXtbp9f3z4pB94qf51KPZNE1TVhbF8Dih2zdnuzEz2UojS9ztYl
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