Pets & Animals

Meet Darcy, 'the most famous hedgehog in the world'

Today
Darcy is one of the Internet's most famous pets: She's gained over 325,000 followers since her Instagram debut.

In this hectic holiday season, sometimes you need a "cute" break, i.e., a few minutes to delight in some photos or videos of adorable pets. But Darcy the hedgehog is so cute, you might just want to follow her on Instagram all year long. 

Her Tokyo-based owner, Shota Tsukamato, created the social media account to post photos of Darcy's adventures, each day staging a whimsical photo of the 3-year-old hedgehog.

Today
Darcy poses with mushrooms and a paper plate on Dec. 16.

Darcy, who is named after the former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'arcy Wretzky, is often pictured with props that accentuate her tiny size, such as cups or playing cards. In an interview with Instagram's blog, Tsukamato said that he purposely does not include captions, so that people can use their own imaginations when viewing the pictures. 

“I imagine a page from a children’s picture book,” Tsukamato said. “I want [the Instagram account] to be a surrealistic story and I even want people to question whether or not Darcy really exists in real life.”

Today
Darcy fits in the palm of Tsukamato's hand.

Tsukamato added that his goal was to make Darcy "the most famous hedgehog in the world." So far, he seems on track to reach that goal, since @darcytheflyinghedgehog is one of the most popular pet-accounts on Instagram, with more than 352,000 followers to date.

Today
Darcy photographed with a pineapple on July 26.

For those who want to create their own unique pet photos, Tsukamato's suggestions include not forcing a pet into a certain pose to get more natural reactions, and shoot consecutive photos to ensure you get the best shots.

  • Slideshow Photos

    @darcytheflyinghedgehog

    Darcy the flying hedgehog

    Shota Tsukamoto wanted his pet hedgehog, Darcy, to become "the most famous hedgehog in the world." And after capturing Darcy in a series of quirky images for Instagram, he's well on his way to accomplishing that goal: His adorable pet has gained more than 352,000 followers since her Internet debut.

  • Darcy the flying hedgehog

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    Darcy the flying hedgehog -

    Shota Tsukamoto wanted his pet hedgehog, Darcy, to become "the most famous hedgehog in the world." And after capturing Darcy in a series of quirky images for Instagram, he's well on his way to accomplishing that goal: His adorable pet has gained more than 352,000 followers since her Internet debut. Check out more photos of her adventures.

    Darcy squeezes into a cup on Oct. 9.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Reflecting -

    Darcy stares at her reflection on Oct. 7.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
  • Darcy the flying hedgehog

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    Hiding out -

    Darcy's owner Shota Tsukamato likes to photograph the 3-year-old hedgehog with tiny props to show off her small stature. Here, Darcy hides in a cup on Nov. 18.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    There once was a hedgehog who lived in a shoe... -

    Tsukamato photographs Darcy in a shoe on Dec. 12.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Fruit fiend -

    Darcy is named after the former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'arcy Wretzky. Here, she poses with apples on Nov. 7.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Cutting the deck -

    Darcy rests on a card on Nov. 20. Her owner Tsukamato doesn't like to include captions with his photos, so fans can use their imaginations.

    Sho / Sho
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    Tiny furniture -

    Darcy poses with a small chair and a tin of popcorn on March 13.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Sugar rush -

    “I imagine a page from a children’s picture book,” Tsukamato says of his photographs. Here, Darcy poses with candy on Feb. 6.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Curled up with crayons -

    Darcy curls up next to crayons on August 26.

    “I want [the Instagram account] to be a surrealistic story and I even want people to question whether or not Darcy really exists in real life," Tsukamato says.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Balancing act -

    Darcy seems to hold up a potted cactus on Nov. 26.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Wheeling rainbows -

    Tsukamato encourages would-be pet photographers not to force their pets into particular positions, so the image looks more natural. Here, Darcy seems to twirl a pinwheel on Oct. 26.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Snug in a mug -

    Darcy squeezes into a yellow mug on Oct. 3.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Story time -

    Tsukamato suggests shooting consecutive photos of a pet to make sure you get the best picture. Here, he photographed Darcy on a book page on May 29.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Hedgehog grooming -

    Darcy gets ready for the camera with a little personal care on August 24.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Hedgehog vs. hedgehog -

    Darcy eyes hedgehog-printed dinnerware on August 28.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Strutting like a peacock -

    Tsukamato frames Darcy in between two peacock feathers on Oct. 1. He has been posting photos of Darcy since May 2011.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Back to nature -

    Darcy reclines among pine cones and other woodsy ornaments on Sept. 1.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Ice cream fantasies -

    Darcy poses near an illustration of two hedgehogs sharing a tasty treat on July 9.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Prickly pineapple -

    Darcy finds her prickly match with a minature pineapple on July 26.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
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    Having a ball -

    Darcy curls up in a basket on March 7.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto
  • Darcy the flying hedgehog

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    Pet on a platter -

    Darcy sprawls out on a polka-dot plate surrounded by mushrooms on Dec. 16.

    Shota Tsukamoto / Shota Tsukamoto



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