The Woodchuck Challenge

Test this tongue twister: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? As much wood as a woodchuck would chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

First, the math: How much wood can a woodchuck chuck? This question has plagued humanity for centuries. Some say it’s a rhetorical question, while others insist there is a scientific formula to determine the exact amount of wood a woodchuck can chuck. In 1988, Richard Thomas, a New York State wildlife expert, computed that a woodchuck could chuck a whopping 700 pounds (317 kg) of wood a day if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Next, the motive: That’s indeed a hell of a lot of wood! What would a woodchuck do with all that wood? Build a log cabin? Start a lumber business? Create an underground mansion? Richard Thomas says he researched woodchucks and found they weigh up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg) and have thick, sturdy legs, perfect for burrowing. “Their homes comprise a main tunnel 25 to 30 feet long and six inches wide with three rooms—one ‘spy’ tunnel, one for sleeping, and one for a toilet,” he told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle newspaper.

Finally, the reality: Woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, do not chuck wood. They are burrowing animals that live underground and primarily eat vegetation, such as grasses and leaves. From an ESR (Environment and Social Responsibility) point of view, the question highlights deforestation and the impact on wildlife habitats. Woodchucks and other animals rely on forests for their survival. Therefore, on Earth Day (April 22, 2023) let’s work together to preserve, protect, and cherish our rainforests, its biodiversity, and vital ecosystems.