Chimp Tries/Fails to Communicate with Idiot Humans

Chimp Tries/Fails to Communicate with Idiot Humans

Dear humans: I spent years learning your hand-language because at some point I figured it was the only way to tell you what I want. Now I want that delicious cookie on the ground and all you can do is point a camera at me, suggest I’m attempting an escape (libelous!), and call me a “monkey.” Fuck you. That’s the middle digit, right?

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Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.


  1. Avatar of Sean O'Keefe

    For those of you struggling to comprehend the strange clicks and whistles that comprise the northern English accent, please allow me to translate.

    “‘E wonts us t’lift t’window oop. Wi this bolt?” can be roughly translated as “I lack the intellectual capacity to notice the object on the ground at which the ape is pointing.”

  2. Avatar of delphi_ote


    Whew. I feel better now.

    • Avatar of Will

      It’s not a monkey………..

      • Avatar of Kammy

        But the point stands: JUST GIVE THE CHIMP THE GAWDAM COOKIE YOU IDIOT!!!!

        Ohmigawd that was the most frustrating 47 seconds ever.

  3. Avatar of Finn McR

    Let’s see… what shall the title of the paper be? “Incidences in which pan troglodytes evince more intelligence than homo sapiens,”? “Communications failures between pan troglodytes and homo sapiens,”? “Evidence that pan troglodytes is as intelligent as homo sapiens because pan troglodytes can clearly signal intent, but they don’t watch ‘The real housewives of wherever’ or ‘The only way is genericstupidshire’ “?

    If I had a choice of charades partners between the chimp and the human in the vid, I’d choose the chimp. Even if we lost due to cultural differences, we would probably have more intelligent conversation.

  4. Avatar of Skepotter

    What an awesome metaphor for the average American trying to communicate with Mittens.

  5. Avatar of blgmnts

    The chimp may have picked up some “hand sign language” through contact with the human handlers. But I thought the way he/she/it/they signals “that”, “want mine”, “put on (my) hand” is almost eerily human, especially when I only look at the hands.

    • Avatar of marilove

      Isn’t it, though?

      • Avatar of nymchimpsky

        That’s why evolution-deniers break my brain. I want to scream “Have you ever seen a non-human ape? Do you even know what one IS?”

        I’ve seen a bipedal orangutan drive, clean leaves out of a swimming pool, and perform maintenance. I’ve seen chimps grieving deeply over a lost friend.

        They are us, we are them. How can denialists dispute it?

        • Avatar of mrmisconception

          By not looking, it might make them think things they don’t want to think.

          tl;dr They don’t want to think.

  6. Avatar of Feats of Cats

    I like how it just shakes its head sadly a little bit at the end.

    • Avatar of emilybites

      I know – it’s like you can see hir saying ‘I tried. GOD KNOWS I tried, but you are such an idiot. I give up.’

  7. Avatar of cburschka


    They’re lucky a certain librarian was not in earshot…

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