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Owling is an Internet meme in which a photograph is taken of a person mimicking an owl, often by squatting in a strange place for humorous effect. Typically, the subject of the photo squats, purses his or her lips and assumes an intense gaze. The owling picture is then shared online, especially through social media.
Owling is one of many Internet gags that's done for no particular reason other than to make other people laugh. Owlers who stage their photos in a public place may also be looking to provoke a reaction.
Owling is much like other viral internet trends such as planking, coning and leisure driving. Internet memes such as owling saw a surge when they gained new attention as a result of a fatality that occurred in May 2011 while someone was striking a planking pose from a seven-story building. Owling is considered a bit more risky than planking due to the coordination it takes to squat perch in a small space, such as atop a refrigerator, or on a public statue.