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Raccoon hands are nature's most wonderful and terrifying appendages

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Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

An imposter has taken over my social media timelines.

He’s a raccoon: the masked menace of the great outdoors. Not only does he have a burglar face, he has human hands. Why? How? Sometimes I am kept awake at night, wondering if one of these little creatures is going to unlock my front door, cook a waffle, braid my hair, and text all of the people in my phone with swift dexterity. (Do raccoons even live in New York City? I need to know if these are geographically relevant fears or not.) Seriously, have you ever watched a raccoon’s hands in action? It’s both freaky and enthralling!

In a recent Mallory Ortberg post for The Toast, she calls raccoons out: “YOU SCRUBBLEMENT UP YOUR WITCH HANDS AND I DON’T TRUST IT, THAT IS A HUMAN ATTRIBUTE AND I WANT YOU TO LEAVE THAT TO US” Wow. Those are some feelings! But can you blame her after watching this raccoon straight up loot some cats’ food?

Or after seeing this raccoon take the opposite tactic, by petting — okay, basically mauling — another cat?

What is happening right now? I hear you, cat.

Not all raccoons use their hands for feline intimidation. This guy just wants to eat some grapes, thank you very much.

And this musically inclined fellow, who longs to be the newest member of Florence + The Machine.

It's disturbing. It's unnatural. I really don’t like it. But I find myself unable to look away. What will be next? Needlepoint? Using a pottery wheel? My one small saving grace is that because of the recent slew of viral videos showcasing these multitasking paws in action, at least I know I’m not the only one who’s obsessed.