Ex-Nasa engineer’s DIY Mission Impossible-style obstacle course for squirrels gets over 6M views!

Squirrels are underrated. When Mark Rober, the DIY genius tells us to not take our friendly neighborhood squirrels lightly, we have to take him seriously. After all, he has battled them exactly one year ago, during the peak of lockdown, by creating a trap where the squirrels emerged victorious. The accidental YouTuber got into the task of creating this course as the squirrels kept eating the food he set up in the bird feeders in his backyard. Speaking of pandemic activities, we must say Mark has taken a creative spin-off from the traditional banana bread making and the end results are surely more entertaining!

Enter the Squirrels, the most popular and ring-leader Phat Gus with 3 other accomplished cohorts who take merely a few days to figure out the obstacles that took Mark and his friend over 2 months to make. Robb’s first squirrel obstacle course was inspired by the show American Ninja Warrior, but this time, failing that, he turned to grander inspiration like Ocean’s Eleven and Mission Impossible. The obstacle course begins with a casino entrance, followed by a rolling bar and a helicopter crashing to a wall of moving bricks (giving me a distinct Harry Potter – Diagon Alley entrance scene) vibe. Including a sum total of 9 obstacles, the course includes fun obstacles like a simulated laser room and the finale being a wooden safe, punningly name “Fort Knuts”.

The joy of getting your hands dirty is something all product designers are well aware of. This fun, quirky DIY project may look like it is full of laughs, but it includes some serious planning behind it. On our end, we root for the underdogs, who in this case are the squirrels – the simple, cute looking furry beasts who have outmaneuvered the big bad human! As the video reaches almost 6.5 Million views on YouTube in under 24 hours, we know this entertaining backyard soap opera has left us pining for more. Coming soon (we hope) Oceans 13, err.., I mean Fort Knuts 13!

Designer: Mark Rober