National Geographic : 2009 Nov
YOUR SHOT | ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS The Crasher Melissa and Jackson Brandts (inset below) of Watertown, Minnesota, just wanted a memento of their trip to Canada's Banff National Park. Then a curious little creature changed everything. A ground squirrel scampering across the rocks was intrigued by their clicking camera and stopped to investigate. Jackson snapped a picture using the remote. After Melissa submitted the photo to Your Shot, it was chosen as one of our Daily Dozen favorites, posted on the Geographic website---and a furry star was born. The ground squirrel picture went viral on the Inter- net almost overnight. Pranksters digitally removed the animal from the lakeside and dropped it into famous photographs: The creature crashed scenes from the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album portrait to an Apollo moonscape and taunted notables, including Tiger Woods and Abraham Lincoln. The Brandts also achieved their own celebrity, telling their story on television and to newspapers around the world. Will your vacation photo be the next big Internet sensation? Send it to us at ngm.com/yourshot and find out. ---Margaret G. Zackowitz Scene Stealer When they fired their camera's remote to get this ground squirrel in the picture, its autofocus function consigned Melissa and Jackson Brandts to a blurry background. Turn the page for more animal images.