Chameleon walking on a plant, Indonesia
© SnapRapid/Offset by Shutterstoc
Does this chameleon look a little insecure?
If it appears to be slinking away from the camera, maybe this chameleon is all too aware of the way some of us humanfolk see reptiles: as frightening at best, disgusting at worst. We know you die-hard reptile lovers are out there too, but it's undeniable that reptiles' reputation among people has suffered thanks to popular villainous depictions—from 'Anaconda' and 'Godzilla' to the serpent encountered by Adam and Eve. Even our everyday language throws shade on this vast class of critters: When's the last time you called someone 'reptile' and meant it nicely?
Reptile Awareness Day seeks to repair reptiles' rep among those repulsed, and ambassadors like this cuddly chameleon from Indonesia lead the charge. We won't say it wouldn't hurt a fly—in fact, with its independently moving eyes and lightning-fast tongue, it's probably hurt more flies than you ever will. But with their color-changing abilities and gentle demeanor with humans, chameleons have admirers even among the reptile-averse.