The ORLY? Owl Has Died!


Update 2/12: Turns out it may have been a hoax. Makes sense since I can’t pin down an official story from anywhere. That should been a big clue to me, but of course gullible me ignored the warning signs. Oh well…

For those who have no clue what the ORLY? owl is, check out Wikipedia.

Today, well yesterday now, was a sad day — the ORLY? owl died. 🙁

Thursday, February 9th, 2006 Posted: 10:07 AM EST (1507 GMT)

SanDiego, California (AP) — Jonathan, the Snowy Owl made famous as the “ORLY” owl, has died in captivity in the San Diego Zoo.

The owl, which was 17 years old, died Tuesday afternoon after the sudden onset of pneumonia. He was young for an owl in captivity, however wild owlsonly live an average of 15 years.

David Phillips, executivedirector of the San Diego Zoo, said Jonathan had been in good healthbut started showing signs of lethargy and loss of appetite on Monday.

“This is a long sad day for us,” Phillips said.

One of his handlers, Dale Richards, also said Jonathan died quickly. “We checked his respiration rate and it was a little irregular … he wasn’t doing too well,” Richards told The Associated Press. “Early in the evening, he passed away.”

The textual phrase “o rly?” wasfirst popularized on the SomethingAwful forums. The phrase wasinitially one of many used during the FYAD sub forum’s fad ofcompressing words by removing unnecessary letters. While “O RLY?” issimply shorthand for “Oh, Really?”, the most common image macro comesfrom 4chan, where for a short while, the word “repost” was wordfiltered to “owl”. The Image macro and its attached phrase then spreadrapidly throughout the Internet.

Copied from (couldn’t find original AP article)

16 thoughts on “The ORLY? Owl Has Died!

  1. Is there actually a real owl with this name? I always thought it was just made up. The wiki article says the identity of the owl is not really known. So, yeah must be a hoax.

  2. The Sand Diego Zoo’s Public relations department said via email that they “have not had that species at the San Diego Zoo for many years and have never had one by that name.”

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