Sustainability

Iguanas Freeze and Fall in Florida Storm

Florida is experiencing an interesting phenomenon — iguanas are seemingly falling out of the sky. In actuality, they are falling from the trees due to the cold. The state usually maintains pretty warm weather, but recently temperatures have dropped to around 40 degrees in South Florida. Cold-blooded creatures like iguanas don’t produce body heat like we do, and their bodies start to get sluggish when the weather drops to around 50 degrees.

When it drops to the 40s, their blood slows, resulting in somewhat of a paralyzed state. Though they can wake up again when the temperature warms up, experts advise that you don’t move them into the sun.

Iguanas are actually not native to South Florida, and climb up trees at night to rest. This behavior, combined with the unusually cold temperatures, causes their bodies to freeze up, which makes them fall off their branches because they can’t hold onto them.  

According to MyFWC, iguanas aren’t the only reptile thrown off by the cold. Florida officials have also rescued nearly 100 sea turtles that were floating on the water or washed ashore, after they were stunned by the dipping temperatures. They’ll be kept in warmer water and released once the weather improves.