Just what is Splatoon 3’s mysterious animal that is spreading through Splatsville?

Image Credit: @ItsPeepance on Twitter

Splatoon 3 contains a feature that lets players post their own hand-drawn illustrations in-game. It’s believed that once a posted image has gathered a certain level of attention, it is then frequently shown in other players’ in-game plazas, and many players enjoy creating and sharing their drawings. Recently, illustrations of a mysterious animal has begun to pop up repeatedly, and it has already developed into an in-game meme, Nintendo Life reports.

Strange illustrations of this mysterious animal seem to have first appeared around November 20. The many different posts all feature an animal that has four legs and a long nose. It may at first give the impression of an anteater, but it has very few distinguishing features, leading most players to simply call it an “animal” or “he.”

Of course, it is not an animal that is featured in Splatoon 3, nor is it an existing character or internet meme from elsewhere. The mysterious animal, while simple in design, has become popular and posts featuring it have steadily increased. A lot of players are bewildered at the sheer number of posts showing this animal of unknown origin. Drawings of the animal are often accompanied by questions like “who is this man?” or profound comments like “Delicious” and “He knows all.”

But where on earth did this animal come from? When the question was posed on Reddit, a user named chefmaeda claimed that they were the creator of the illustration. According to them, the animal is their favorite thing to draw and is a little in-joke among their friends. One can, in fact, find old Twitter posts by chefmaeda that feature the same mysterious animal. It seems likely that the mysterious animal was indeed created by chefmaeda and that their in-game drawing has spread through Twitter and the Splatoon 3 plaza.

From what we could discover, the earliest appearance of the mysterious animal seems to be a post from November 2021 on question-and-answer social networking site CuriousCat. In response to being asked, “best animal?” chefmaeda posted an image of the mysterious animal in question. There are also numerous other illustrations of the mysterious animal that chefmaeda has drawn.

The questions surrounding the animal’s ecology are many, like, “Why does its body length expand so rapidly?” and “Why was it depicted as a dangerous individual that is on the No-fly list?” Contrary to its appearance, is this animal actually highly dangerous? The more that you learn, the more the mysteries deepen.

The mysterious animal has become incredibly popular among many Splatoon 3 players, possibly due to its cute appearance or enigmatic nature. There is even a lot of what could be called mysterious animal fanart among the posts featured in the Splatsville plaza. In regard to the animal’s reception, chefmaeda stated on Reddit that “i love seeing everyone have fun with this silly thing.”

It should be noted that there are rules surrounding posts in Splatoon 3, and any posts that violate these rules are not put on display in the plaza. On the other hand, as long as the rules are followed, just about any illustration can be posted. Players can often see many posts about seasonal topics and other things completely unrelated to Splatoon 3. Having such a freely usable space may have given birth to the strange phenomenon of in-game memes that have nothing to do with the game at all.

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-12-02 19:13 JST)