If You Don't Want To Know What An Owl Looks Like Naked, Look Away Now


Katy Evans

Katy is Managing Editor at IFLScience where she oversees editorial content from News articles to Features, and even occasionally writes some.

Managing Editor


Don't look at me! Anan Kaewkhammul/Shutterstock. 

Have you ever wondered what an owl looks like without any feathers? No, us neither actually, but somebody asked and the Internet has delivered. Now we know that owls are at least 90 percent feathers. OK, maybe that’s not scientifically true, but seriously, look how fluffy they are!

Owls are, of course, amazing. They can rotate their head almost 360 degrees, they have lopsided ears – all the better for hearing you with, my dear – and are collectively known as a parliament.


The Internet, however, is freaking out at what they look like naked.

Twitter user Dana Schwartz is obviously of curious, and brave, mind as she googled the now immortal words “what owls look like without feathers”, which produced this image that you now cannot unsee. 


She then followed it up with this.


Once you get over the unexpected horror and start looking at the specimens, these photos are actually fascinating. Not least because they show just how thick an owl's feathers must be to basically double the size of the bird.


Jeffrey Meshach, deputy director of World Bird Sanctuary, confirmed to Buzzfeed that these are specimens of barn owl. 

“The bird in the center is what a barn owl would look like with almost no feathers,” he said, referring to the second image. “It’s actually a great photo showing how much feathers change the appearance of a bird.”

And because it's the Internet, people offered up their own "naked" animal discoveries. We'll leave you with this image of a bristleless hedgehog. You're welcome.



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  • barn owl,

  • naked animals,

  • hairless,

  • featherless,

  • bristleless