The Happiest Animals On Earth

quokka smiling but not looking at the camera

Quokkas shot to fame overnight as the happiest animal on Earth, because of a quokka selfie. This put Rottnest Island and Western Australia on the world map forever.

Quokkas belong to the marsupians family such as kangaroos. They are no bigger than most domestic cats. They move very much like kangaroos on their hind legs and are nocturnal. The source of their names is very interesting. A Dutch sea captain, Willem de Vlamingh, actually mistook the quokkas for giant rats and named the island ‘Rotte nest’ which is derived from the Dutch word ‘Rottennest’, which means ‘rat nest’. The word ‘Quokka’ is derived from a Nyungar word, the native language.

They do not look like it, but they are known for their ability to climb trees. Their diet is generally consisting of many types of vegetation. They are famous for their lack of fear of humans and interact with humans easily. The simple reason why they are known as the happiest animals on earth is because of the way their jaws are shaped. When their jaws are gapping, naturally a curve is formed on their mouths, which results in an upward curve.

The trick to scoring that money shot selfie with a quokka is patience and more patience. You have to be prepared to get down on the ground and get a little dirty because touching or carrying them is strictly not allowed and carries a hefty fine. So speaking from experience, you have to be extremely patient and just lay low and keep taking multiple shots.

failed quokka selfie

Not perfect. So I have to try again.

quokka too close selfie

Too close! Like I said, you need tons of patience. So try again.

quokka smiling but not looking at the camera

Almost there!

quokka selfie money shot

And voila! Finally! A quokka selfie! Although you only see four photos, I took more than 30 photos to get this. And you can tell from my face I am straining to keep my smile.

Our guide is so nice to give us this bag of salted caramel hand made by locals and it is not for sale anywhere. Handcrafted from Rottnest Island salt.

rottnest handcrafted salted caramel

Our guide Shirley introduced us to this gelato shop (I am ashamed of myself for missing out on this the previous time I was in Rottnest Island in December), the gelato is handcrafted and each flavor is limited. Of course, it does help that on a hot day of summer, a gelato is a lifesaver for all of us. Thanks, Simmo’s.

handcrafted gelato simmos


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