Mirror Flummoxes Sylvan Animals

The word sylvan can be used either as a noun or an adjective and related to beings and objects either being of or associated with a forest.   The term entered the English language during the 1560s.  Sylvan originated from the French language via Latin and is based on Silvanus, a woodland deity.  The Latin word Silva means wood.

French photographer Xavier Hubert-Brierre decided to erect a mirror in the forest in Gabon to see what reactions the inhabitants would have upon encountering it.  The mirror causes create consternation among the sylvan creatures.  Gorillas, leopards, monkeys, and elephants all experience a range of reactions from curious to angry at seeing their reflection in the mirror.  One silverback gorilla determines that the gorilla staring back at him needs to be battled as he violently charges the mirror.  A group of monkeys staring at the mirror in the pouring rain with one seeming to pound a puddle in frustration at the image he sees.  An elephant passing by seems mostly bored with his reflection, deciding to continue on after a momentary pause in front of the mirror.  A baboon doesn’t seem to notice the mirror until seeing his reflection causes him to jump in shock.

Watch this farraginous medley of reactions:



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