by Inigo del Castillo in New Trends on Monday 23 September 2013

They have arrived to take over the world. But don’t worry, take your time, they’re not in any rush. The Sloth. A furry mammal indigenous to the South American rainforests. It is slow and lazy, but at the same time, cute and cuddly. You could say they are the South American versions of the panda.

But unlike Pandas, Sloths were never poster animal of every boy and girl’s dream – until now. They were ignored for much of their existence mainly because of their association with one of the seven deadly sins.

Enter the internet; a place where people come together to socialize, connect, and share their weirdness. In May 2011, a YouTube video of a sloth being carried by a park ranger across the road to the tune of “I Believe I Can Fly” was uploaded. To date, it has been seen by more than 9 million people.

Fast forward two years later, Sloths became more mainstream via actress Kristen Bell on the Ellen Degeneres Show. In it, we saw how Kristen adorably broke down upon realizing her boyfriend would let her meet a Sloth at her birthday party. The YouTube video of that interview has now hit more than 16 million views.

SO to recap: That’s two videos and 25 million views for the slowest most seemingly boring creature on Earth. Fancy that?

Sloths have now crossed over to film via The Croods, an animated adventure-comedy about a prehistoric family with a pet sloth. In art, the most endearing by far have been by an anonymous sloth artist over at shittywatercolour.com. Presumably commissioned by sloths themselves, this artist has turned important works of art and famous people into sloths. For example: Mona Lisloth, The Slothue of Liberty, Iron Sloth, The Fellowship of the Sloth, Slothniss Everdeen, Albert Einsloth, and plenty other.

In memes, well, you can check them out here and here. Warning: Looking at too many sloth photos can stimulate our body’s sloth glands, which in turn makes us want to have our own sloths.

So what’s the real deal with sloths? Why are we so mesmerized by them? Ok I’m gonna take a long shot here.

Maybe somewhere deep down inside of us we’re all sloths? Maybe some part of us is cheering on the sloth, that despite its natural handicap, it can still achieve something? Sloths are not the fiercest, the fastest, or the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom.

The same way we are not the fiercest, the fastest, or the most intelligent creatures in human society. But like the cute and irresistible sloth, we inch our way towards our destination, our goal.

No matter how slow, we crawl with our dishevelled but majestic sloth hair flowing side to side in all its glory. And like that popular road crossing sloth, we shine and fly to the tune of “I Believe I Can Fly.” Internet, take a bow, you made the underdog of the underworld the king of the web. Sorry cats.