In Praise of Penguins: We've Got Babies!

©. vladsilver

What better way to celebrate National Penguin Awareness Day than by caving to the cute factor with videos of bitty penguins?

January 20 is National Penguin Awareness Day. As one of the most charming animals on the planet it’s tempting to ask: Why do penguins need their own awareness day? Why not promote the more cuddle-challenged underdogs? Where’s National Naked Mole Rat Awareness Day? National Blobfish Awareness Day?

But upon reflection, penguins really do matter. As poster children for the pristine habitats of the Southern Hemisphere, penguins have the je ne sais quoi to make people notice. They’ve become the accidental spokespeople (spokesbirds?) for Antarctica, the last great wilderness, and for that alone they need all the awareness they can get.

So with that in mind, we’re putting the "aw" in awareness with over-the-top cute videos featuring baby penguins.

First up, Snow Chick! From BBC One's "Snow Chick: A Penguin's Tale," we've got Kate Winslet narrating a clip of adorable Snow Chick as he takes his first little foray on the ice. It's hard to get much cuter than this.

Next another baby takes its first steps. A commenter puts it best: "any time i see something gross or disturbing i come straight to this video to cleanse my brain."

Here the BBC follows Emperor penguins from egg to adult as they do their best The Revenant skits, minus the whizzing arrows and gory body parts:

Penguins, they're just like us! If you've ever wondered how penguins don't constantly slip on ice ... well, they do. This clip features irresistibly cute penguins doing slapstick – and despite the pratfalls, they all manage to shake it off in the end.

Next up, secret agent robot penguins infiltrate the troops in the name of research. So odd, so cute.

And to round out the penguin round-up, here's world traveler Joel Oleson. In his goal to visit all UN Sovereign Nations by 2023 (and "still be employed and married") he ended up in Antarctica with special research permission. On the expedition shown here, they wore special suits and boots and were told that is was ok if the penguins approached them. And man did the penguins approach them ... can you image having a baby penguin snuggling your face?

So there you have it ... happy National Penguin Awareness Day!