During The Blizzard, Tian Tian The Panda Was Bigger Than God
The National Zoo's frolicking panda was mentioned more than both Obama and the Lord Almighty during the snowstorm
The big story during last weekend’s winter storm Jonas was not that New York City was hit with the second-largest snowfall in its history. Nor was it President Obama’s response, or the response of any politician for that matter. In fact, the internet even abandoned God as they braced for the blizzard, and turned their attention to a cute little video of the National Zoo’s panda Tian Tian rolling around in the snow.
Using Vocativ’s technology, we collected and analyzed 3 million posts from Twitter and Instagram during the storm. We gathered every mention of relevant terms like “Jonas” or “blizzard” or “snowmageddon” and found that the top person mentioned was not a person at all, but an adorable panda.
Tian Tian was mentioned 195,435 times, while Obama and president were mentioned just 7,000 times. Meanwhile the word mayor got just 5,183 mentions. Oh, and perhaps you’ve heard of a guy named God, who racked up a measly 4,199 mentions. By the internet’s standards, Tian Tian was more important than God and Obama during the historic storm.
Over on Google Trends, there’s a clear spike in interest in Tian Tian on the day the blizzard hit, January 23. It’s pretty clear where priorities laid while the East Coast sat indoors waiting out the blizzard. Can you blame them? It’s hard to care about politics or matters of public safety or even the Lord when there’s an adorable video of a panda rolling around in the snow to watch.