Over one hundred years ago, when the legendary Punsutawney Phil the groundhog was presented before the town of Punxsutawney to predict the weather of upcoming months, a new tradition was born. Arguably one of the most anticipated events of the year, millions of fans worldwide eagerly await to see whether or not his shadow is visible. However, there is a lot that is widely unknown about this beloved holiday.
Tasked with caring for Phil and staging his events, the groundhog’s “inner circle” has been in charge of preserving this Pennsylvanian tradition since its creation. However, members’ responsibilities extend beyond maintenance of the critter. The president of the inner circle, being the only person able to understand “groundhogese”, is in charge of translating the groundhog’s weather prediction to the public. According to the club, Phil’s answers are never premeditated and are always accurate, despite his only being correct about “24 percent of the time”.
In addition to being attended to by a mysterious society, the rodent is also allegedly immortal. According to members of the inner circle, since the tradition of groundhog day originated over a century ago, only one groundhog has been used. Each summer at the Groundhog Picnic, Phil consumes an “elixir of life” which is said to prolong his life for seven more years. This has allowed him to survive much longer than the typical life expectancy of groundhogs, which is six years in the wild and fourteen in captivity. The elixir also changes his appearance, explaining why his fur is graying one year and a youthful brown the next.
Unfortunately, Phil’s groundhog wife, Phyllis, does not get to drink the elixir and is not immortal. She has a normal lifespan, unlike her husband. No official statement about the number of wives Phil has had over the years has been released, though the public is eager for answers.