National Possum Day

A cute possum with a friendly smile, sitting on a tree branch, surrounded by vibrant greenery and beautiful flowers..
National possum day illustration

Drape yourself in your comfiest blanket and get ready to hang out - because we're talking about National Possum Day! Yes, this is the day we put our regular lives on pause (or should we say 'possum') to celebrate these adorable, misunderstood critters that have tickled our fancies and sometimes even squeezed our hearts a little, all with their wide-eyed charm.

When is Possum Day?

It's national possum day on the 17th October.

What's The Buzz All About?

National Possum Day is an unofficial tribute to these furry marsupials who are often unfairly stereotyped as pests by many. Through this day, possum enthusiasts aim to shed light on the important ecological role they play, helping control pests like bugs and ticks. The first major spike in online mentions for National Possum Day takes us back to October 17th, 2020, sparking an impressive 99 online chitter-chatter about these underrated critters.

Let’s Break Those Stereotypes, Shall We?

Now, you might be thinking - 'Possums? Really?' Oh yes, indeed! Possum personalities are so much more than those big, scary eyes and grin on a dark night. Possums are actually rather gentle and prefer 'playing possum', i.e., feigning death rather than picking a fight. Isn't that the most non-confrontational you've ever heard a wild animal be?

A Day Possum-Lutely Worth Celebrating!

So how can you celebrate this day without ruffling any possum fur? You could read about possums, share some insightful possum facts with your friends, or if you have some in your backyard, simply watching them could be quite amusing too! Just remember – they are wild animals and must be respected as such.

Embrace The Possum Love!

In conclusion, National Possum Day is all about celebrating the often overlooked contributions of our possum friends. So next time you spot a possum trundling along your fence at night, give it a friendly nod. They deserve a little love too!

History behind the term 'Possum'


The Arrival of 'Possum' in English

The term 'possum' made its way into the English language around 1610. It was derived from the term 'opossum' used by the Powhatan tribe of Virginia. The Powhatans referred to these marsupials as 'apasum' or 'wapathemwa.' The English settlers modified the term to 'opossum' and eventually shortened it to 'possum.'


Introduction of Possums to Australia

In 1807, Australian explorer Matthew Flinders introduced four Common Brushtail Possums to Australia while returning from a voyage. These possums were native to eastern Australia and Tasmania. Over time, they adapted to the Australian environment and spread across the continent, becoming an iconic part of Australian wildlife.


The American 'Opossum' vs. Australian 'Possum'

As the term 'possum' gained popularity in Australia, it led to confusion with the American 'opossum,' a marsupial species found in North and South America. While both belonged to the marsupial family, they were distinct species. To differentiate between the two, Australians started referring to their native species as 'possums,' while Americans continued using the term 'opossum.' This semantic distinction continues to this day.


The Cultural Symbolism of Possums in Literature and Music

During the 1920s, possums gained cultural significance and became subjects of various works in literature and music. Renowned American writer, Walt Disney, featured a possum named 'Pogo' as the main character in his comic strip series, which later became a comic book franchise. Additionally, various songs, like 'Possum Up a Gum Stump' and 'Possum Holler,' celebrated the playful nature and unique characteristics of possums, adding to their cultural presence.


Possums as 'Iconic' Australian Animals

In the 1970s, possums cemented their status as 'iconic' Australian animals. They captured public interest and became symbols of Australian wildlife. Tourists flocked to Australia hoping to catch a glimpse of these furry creatures. Possums were often depicted in Australian art, literature, and advertisements, further solidifying their cultural impact and association with the continent.

Did you know?

Did you know possums are immune to most snake venom and are also remarkably resistant to rabies? The protective layer on their double-layered fur coat allows them to withstand venomous snake attacks and chill temperatures like a pro. Talk about being tough cookies!


awareness fun animals nature education wildlife

First identified

27th August 2015

Most mentioned on

17th October 2020

Total mentions


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