The Real Reason Raccoons Dip Their Food in Water

In a procyonid episode of SciShow, host Olivia Gordon explains the real reason that raccoons dunk their food in water. Let’s just say that cleanliness is not particularly high on a raccoon’s list.

Raccoons are famous for “washing” their food, but this behavior, called dousing, isn’t really about cleanliness. …but there’s good reason to think that’s not what they’re up to. For one thing, they only do it in captivity. You might see a wild raccoon with its hands in the water, but they’re not washing food, they’re looking for it.