Japanese sparrow’s split on tree 

After more than 7 years since Jean-Claude Van Damme did his epic 180° split between 2 reversing trucks, it seems like we finally have a worthy contender who can challenge the action star: a tree sparrow in Japan has been making its rounds online after it was spotted doing the perfect split while resting on a tree. 

Tweet showing Japanese sparrow doing the splits goes viral

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - sparrows on resting on a tree
Image credit: @zaikoshobunsale

A post uploaded by Japanese Twitter user @zaikoshobunsale has recently gone viral, garnering over 1.5 million likes and 288,600 retweets. The photos show a flock of sparrows resting on a tree – just normal, everyday bird stuff. 

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - sparrow doing a split on tree
Image credit: @zaikoshobunsale

However, upon closer inspection, the user noticed a sparrow resting in a peculiar manner. Gripping the tree branches with each foot, the bird is seen doing a perfect full split. Amused, user @zaikoshobunsale shared the bizarre sighting with the caption, “You’re the only one with a strange grip”. 

Netizens reply with hilarious memes

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - van damme volvo ad split
Image adapted from: @S660501SW

The viral post had netizens in splits, with many responding with memes and jokes to express their amusement. User @S660501SW noted an uncanny resemblance between the adorable sparrow and Jean-Claude Van Damme, likening the bird’s split to the action movie star’s “epic split” in a 2013 Volvo ad. 

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - van damme truck meme
Image adapted from: @0balvana0

Sharing similar sentiments, user @0balvana0 took it a step further and photoshopped the sparrow onto the viral ad’s famous scene.

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - yujiro hanma doing a split
Image adapted from: @ddd461

Others netizens, like @ddd461, shared a screenshot of a manga panel from Baki The Grappler. It features Yujiro Hanma, who is considered to be the strongest character in the series by many fans. Here, the character is casually doing the splits while watching television. 

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - takamichi doing a split
Image adapted from: @clock_ling_atn

Takamichi, from the series Mashin Sentai Kiramagers, was also compared to the sparrow. User @clock_ling_atn shared a screenshot of the Silver Ranger as he attempts to block Bakudan Jamen with his flexible hips. 

Other instances of bird aerobics

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - bird doing a split
Image credit: @MameMameEthical

As it turns out, flexibility is a strong suit common among birds. Bird owners responded with pictures of their pets one-upping the tree sparrow with exemplary splits. 

Japanese sparrow’s split on tree - bird doing a split upside down
Image credit: @aroundzerong

User @aroundzerong’s pet bird, who is named Sen, executes an impressive mid-air split while hanging upside down. 

Japanese sparrow’s epic split on tree

Fluffy birds may be common sightings on the internet, but it’s not everyday that we get to witness adorable little birds pulling a Van Damme. The next time you’re out and about, take in your surroundings and you might just find animals pulling off all kinds of gymnastic stunts. 

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Cover image adapted from: Volvo Trucks and @zaikoshobunsale

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