Groundhog Day 2012: 5 key facts about Punxsutawney Phil (VIDEO)


It looks like we have six more weeks of winter. 

Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous groundhog, crawled out of from his burrow at 7:25 a.m. this morning and allegedly saw his shadow, predicting a long winter, the Washington Post reported.

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was among the 18,000 people who gathered to participate in the largest Groundhog Day celebration held in Punxsutawney, Pa.

"What started as a small gathering in 1887 has now evolved into tens of thousands of visitors from around the nation and even the world coming to Punxsutawney to participate in this time-honored Groundhog Day tradition," Corbett said, according to TIME

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How did Punxsutawney Phil become so famous? Here are five key facts about the groundhog behind Groundhog Day:

1. Phil can whistle. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, groundhogs whistle when they are alarmed. Groundhogs also whistle in the spring when courting season begins.

2. Phil is an actor. The groundhog gained even more fame thanks to the 1993 comedy film “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray who plays a weatherman. The movie, however, was not filmed in Punxsutawney, Pa. but in Woodstock, Ill.

3. Phil isn't always right. This may be disappointing to some, but good news to others who were dreading six more weeks of winter. Studies by the National Climatic Data center reveal that the overall accuracy rate of Phil's predictions is around 39 percent.

4. Phil belongs to the squirrel family. In fact, groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family, according to National Geographic.

5. Phil is immortal. So says the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. Though an average groundhog's life span is six to eight years, Phil drinks a magical punch during the annual Groundhog picnic every summer, which gives him seven more years of life.

Below is a fun video that explains more about Groundhog Day:

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