The people who study the internet for a living look at why we use it, when we use it, where we use it, and how. And those thinkers regularly reach the very same conclusion, a modern theory of monumental proportions: Animal webcams are the fuel and live blood of the World Wide Web.
We josh, but only a tad. Look to the live feeds that regularly beam out from zoos and aquariums nowadays. Bevies of fans keep avid watch and share sightings on social media. These fans include the bird buffs who've been following the Magellanic Penguin chicks at our own Aquarium of the Pacific.
Webcam watchers have been patiently waiting for a first waddle, a first peep, a first show of curiosity. Squee, squee, and squee.
But an auspicious moment has arrived: Two of the four chicks will join the grown-up penguins inside the Long Beach aquarium's June Keyes Penguin Habitat. The public debut date? It's Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 9 a.m.
There are webcams in the habitat, too, "allowing people around the world to tune in to catch a glimpse of the chicks exploring the habitat for the first time and meeting with their parents." Even better, for the penguin completest? "Cameras are located above and below the water, giving viewers up-close and candid looks at the lives of the Aquarium’s penguins," says the institution.
If you've been a viewer following along with the chicks' growth, there's a chance you could name it. Jump into the Adopt an Animal program at the $100 limited edition penguin chick level and maybe see your moniker fit the chick. If it is the staffers' pick, you'll get to go behind the scenes and watch feedings and such.
Feedings? We'll say it yet again: squee. The only issue with seeing the penguin chicks live in the habitat, rather than from the privacy of your home computer, is your cooing and squealing will now be heard by other aquarium attendees within earshot.
Don't worry. Everyone loves those animal webcams, so coo and squeal away.