The cat-worshipping turkey cult video, explained

Are they trying to raise the dead?

Sep 20, 2019, 3:22 pm

Internet Culture


Siobhan Ball

Sometimes you’ll see something on Twitter that just cries out for an explanation, and this now-viral video of turkeys circling the corpse of a cat is certainly one of them.

The video, posted by user @haunterhaha, received over 67,000 likes and lots of reactions.

Speculation included the turkeys being a coven of witches.


Or a demon summoning.


Or some other sort of cultic behavior.


A surprising number of people saw references to the Handmaid’s Tale in this video, too.

Shame shame shame
Whose fault is it that Fluffy is dead?
Her fault. Her fault. Her fault.

It turns out that there’s a much more mundane explanation for the ominous circle. When the video first surfaced in 2017, National Geographic ran an article explaining it, and it turns out that the turkeys are just confused as hell and trying to make sure the potential predator is actually dead.

“My guess is they are puzzled by the strange behavior of the dead or dying cat,” says Hughes, “[and wanted] to get a better look, without getting too close.” The result, he says, is a circle of turkeys—mostly females—all eyeing the potential predator’s carcass, but none of them wanting to get any closer.

Not all Twitter users are buying it, however, and remain convinced that there’s something sinister in the turkeys’ behavior.


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*First Published: Sep 20, 2019, 3:22 pm