A squirrel in Fareham, Hampshire, seemed to be impersonating Atlas when he held a coconut above his head....

Is this squirrel impersonating Atlas, or is he just nuts about nuts?

By Daily Mail Reporter
20th August 2008
Daily Mail

It is often said that life imitates art.

But few people would expect a squirrel to mimic a masterpiece.

Yet this this woodland creature - holding a coconut above his head - has an uncanny likeness to Atlas supporting the heavens.

The animal, who stands like the 2nd-Century Roman statue of the mythical Greek Titan, was spotted in Fareham, Hampshire.

Carrying the world on his shoulders: The Squirrel stands like the Titan Atlas

A witness said: 'I couldn't believe it when I saw him - it's incredible he could even pick up something so relatively heavy'

Atlas was condemned by Zeus to hold Ouranos, the Sky, up on his shoulders to prevent him embracing his brother Menoetius after being defeated by the Olympians.

The pair had been a formidable force during the war while their other brothers Prometheus and Epimetheus betrayed them by joining the other side.

When the Titans were defeated , many of them, including Menoetius, were confined to Tartarus.

But Atlas was ordered to stand at the western edge of Gaia, the Earth in complete isolation while supporting the spherical heavens.

A 7ft-tall marble statue of him, sculpted at around 150AD, now stands in the Farnese Collection in the National Archeological Museum in the Italian city Naples, Italy.

It is unknown who the artist was who created it.

Replicas, including one in Santiago de Compostella in Spain and a 45ft-high bronze version at New York’s Rockerfeller Centre, have since been made.