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Strange subreddit of the week: Bears with beaks

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While the media portrays them as predators and picnic basket thieves, bears are actually one of nature’s most beautiful creatures. The next time you are near a bear, stop for a moment to appreciate the creature. Its majestic fur. Its massive stature. Its glistening beak.

That’s right. Beak.

Drinking in the beauty of bears outfitted with standard mouths is easy. It takes a special caliber of netizen to admire those mammals that nature (meaning Photoshop) has decided to outfit with a sharp—yet distinguished—beak.

That’s where r/bearswithbeaks comes in.


Photo via uptoke/Imgur

The subreddit, which was created in July 2012, collects submissions of all varieties of bears sporting new beaks. Have you ever wondered what a “polargull” would look like? Perhaps you feel that a black bear with the face of a flamingo is pretty good idea. Maybe you have an entirely different understanding of the term “bear.”

Unsurprisingly, r/bearswithbeaks has its origins in another Photoshop-heavy subreddit.

“The original idea for the subreddit sprouted when somebody posted a bear with a beak on the popular subreddit, /r/birdswitharms and it was suggested by fellow mod deezp1 that somebody make it a subreddit of its own,” moderator SylarFox told the Daily Dot. “After several hours with nobody taking action I decided that these gorgeous, majestic creatures needed to be seen and have a haven for their photographs to be flaunted.”

Initially home to only a handful of subscribers, BearsWithBeaks shot to prominence in October 2012, thanks to a post on r/wtf. Today, over 3,000 redditors are subscribed.

“The main reason for its growth was a post that was made that mentioned r/bearswithbeaks in the title,” moderator MattTrobinson explained. “It made front page and brought thousands of visitors to bears with beaks. The amount of subscribers increased by 180,000 percent overnight and it stayed No. 1 in subscriber growth on stattit.com for the remainder of that week.”

The regular submissions and overall popularity of the subreddit has been consistently amusing for its moderators.

“I laugh just about daily thinking that 3000+ redditors subscribe to this subreddit because of a comment I made,” moderator deezp1 said.

“It really goes to show you that ANYTHING can be made into a subreddit. I can't really explain the appeal, but learned with reddit, you never try to explain the appeal with any particular subreddit, you learn to kick back and enjoy its individuality and glory.”

“I think the best part of this subreddit is the diversity in the beaked bears,” added SylarFox. “We get a lot of different types of the rare species that make themselves known, although a few less informed redditors seem to think that the marsupial koala bear counts.”

As far as submissions that stand out in some way, deezp1 points to an Oct. 17 submission that grouped together several bears with beaks.

“A user wanted to make a BearsWithBeaks collage for their Facebook profile,” he explained. “It just makes me think how silly yet awesome this subreddit is and the fact that other users/subscribers have grown so attached to it they would add it to their Facebook is beyond me. It's absolutely great!”


Photo via CarrionCrawler/Imgur

With this kind of attention now being drawn to beaked bears, hard questions were certain to arise, like what noise a bear with a weak would make.

“I often imagine that it would have a low pitched roar-like sound that you hear in a bear but it would have the patterns and songs that you hear in birds,” MattTrobinson responded. “If I had to be more specific, I would say that it would sound similar to [the sound produced] if Godzilla tried to yodel.”

Now that we’d like to see.

Photo via petcson/imgur