This Raccoon Engages in Tatonnement by Washing a Phone

Tatonnement is a noun that means trial and error or experimentation. We have all been in a situation where we have tried something again and again, or participated in scientific research where trial and error is a matter of fact. Experimenting and conducting trial and error is something that humans do often, but you might not think to look to the animal world to find instances of trial and error as well.

The noun tâtonnement is a French word that means trial and error. The French used it to describe the way they climbed new mountains where the route to the top was not always known or obvious. Although the French may have perfected the art of mountain climbing by trial and error, our friend the racoon is a little behind the times.

Racoons are known to be curious creatures. They stick their adorable paws places they don’t belong (like the cat’s food dish!) and like to get their paws on anything they possibly can. When they do find something they like, they will obsessively wash it as a means of exploring the item. Some people have pet racoons, and these people are well aware that racoons will dunk anything in the nearest water bowl. This might include something precious, like your phone!

Racoons are curious and adorable, and the following video will do nothing to persuade you otherwise.


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