Reddit is suddenly obsessed with raccoons, which they weirdly call 'trash pandas'

In early 2014, Redditor /u/CarlPeligro made a brief comment on a photo of a raccoon: “Raccoons = trash pandas.” 

The description stuck, and now the term “trash pandas” has permeated across Reddit, Imgur, and Instagram alike. There is now a subreddit devoted entirely to “trash pandas.” The online community members include owners of domesticated raccoons as well as obsessed fans of the new word for raccoon.

Let’s dive into the weird world of “trash pandas.”

A lot of submitted posts on /r/trashpandas are original photos.

Trickdaddypayne/Imgur

This one was captioned, 'Trash panda I found in the garbage bin at work...I let him out.'

'Trash Pandas' makes sense because raccoons share the black and white colouring of panda bears, but are similar in size and shape to a red panda. They also love trash.

Ilya Naymushin/Rueters

This gif was tagged #trashpanda on Imgur.

'Hungry Trash panda' is the top post on /r/trashpandas.

This photoshopped pic is titled: 'Hot Topic employee proposes to lower middle class trashpanda. Love knows no bounds.'

greyhound4/Reddit

Redditor CrapPaintJob created the altered photo, but user greyhound4 added the title for /r/trashpandas.

The 'Trash Pandas' subreddit is two months old.

But new Redditors discover it everyday.

A college student posted this one: 'Trash Panda on the monorail.'

Dangthesehavetobesma/Imgur

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Custom artwork has even started cropping up.

breakb0t/Reddit

Redditor /u/breakb0t drew this original design.

This baby 'trash panda' was adopted by a Redditor's neighbour.

2guard/Imgur

Redditor /u/2Guard added background info in the comment section. 'Maybe interesting to know: My neighbours got this little guy from a forest ranger who found him all alone in the woods. She nurtures wild animals and kept him for a few months.'

Some 'trash pandas' come in groups.

aboum27/Imgur

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Remember the dead Toronto raccoon who went viral?

Imgur

If not, read this explainer from BuzzFeed. The gist is, a raccoon was found dead and lots of Canadians began memorializing it right on the footpath.

A week after the raccoon was removed, this tombstone was placed in the same spot -- calling the raccoon a trash panda.

Ginner88/Reddit

It reads: 'RIP In Peace Trash Panda.'

Clearly, 'Trash Pandas' have moved beyond Reddit and into the real world. These custom Coke bottles were posted on Instagram:

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