Not even one year after one woman’s pet raccoon unofficially claimed the superlative of World’s Chillest Animal after eating a shit ton of weed, a new animal — or animals, I should say — have assumed the title. Right now, as I write this, capybaras around Japan have been stewing in massive fruit-filled baths for more than a week. I may not yet be ready to make it official, but I have to say: I like these bitches’ lives.
While the Japanese Twitter @capybarahp puts out capybara-content year-round, since mid-December, the account has predominately featured images and videos of the massive rodents soaking in steaming-hot baths, brimming with bright-yellow yuzu. Fighting their heavy eyelids, either in a pleasantly dissociative state or that trippy one between being asleep and awake, the capybaras are relaxed as hell — how I imagine it must feel to be stoned when you’re a chill person, and not an incredibly anxious one who experiences mild psychosis after taking one hit of a joint.
The photos and videos are extremely aspirational:
This one, with the placement of the stick, is unrivaled.
According to Japan’s national public broadcasting organization NHK, the yuzu-filled onsen, known as yuzuyu, is a winter-solstice tradition that dates back the Edo period; it’s believed to ward off potential illness. Capybara have been partaking in the tradition for a far shorter time than their human counterparts — specifically, ever since the Izu Shaboten Zoo graciously introduced the treat in 1996. Today, multiple zoos around the country have delighted their giant rodents with this treat.
I’m trying to reach this level of euphoria.