In honor of Earth Day 2017, Rug Rats is proud to offer handcrafted high quality rugs featuring one of the most beloved keystone species on Earth: the amazing sea otter!
Sea Otter Rugs
Almost everyone falls in love with sea otters at first sight! Is it those big soulful eyes that gaze at you with humanistic expressions? Is it their playful antics that summon our inner child? As we watch them roll and tumble like frisky little kittens in the waves, they infuse us with sheer joy. They make us glad we are alive! We connect instantly with their curious personalities as we gaze into their cute whiskered faces. As they watch our every more, we watch their every move right back!
No one can resist smiling when they see the quintessential view of a carefree sea otter loafing on her back, just out there rising and falling with the tide. What a life they have! We may even envy them a little, wishing we were out there floating around with them. They don’t punch a time card. They don’t even have a clock! And… they don’t have to worry about money, politics, or any of the other stresses we humans burden ourselves with. Their playful carefree spirit seems to be contagious and they just make us feel good!
Whose heart doesn’t melt when they peer out at a sea otter mother floating around with an adorable fluffy pup on her belly! We love to watch her dive for crab and then resurface and break off a leg for her pup to munch on. We giggle when we see the pup hold that crab leg like a human kid holds a corn dog and fervently dig into mom’s wonderful treat. We marvel when we watch our fellow tool users crack open their mussels with a rock and then use their own belly as a buffet table! How resourceful these intelligent creatures are!
It’s no wonder that sea otter photos are among everyone’s favorite nature images! It’s no wonder that so many artists are inspired to create sea otter paintings, sea otter sculptures, and other artistic sea otter masterpieces. Why wouldn’t we want to have sea otter rugs in our homes and at our workplaces?
Beyond the sea otter rugs you see in stock on this webpage, we can take your personal sea otter photos or your custom sea otter artwork you design yourself (or commission an artist to do for you) and turn that into a one of a kind custom rug for you. Your unique custom sea otter rug will be the envy of everyone who sees it as these adorable creatures are one of the most photogenic animals on the planet.
We use the highest resolution printer in the industry to produce the images on our rugs. This means our rug images are super sharp and vivid. In other words, the images will really pop as soon as anyone enters a room where you have placed one of our sea otter rugs. They will also leave a lasting impression on anyone who enters your home or office.
There’s a whole other reason we love sea otters so much! Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), the subspecies of sea otters found off the coast of California, have one of the greatest come back stories of any endangered species known. It’s an ultimate triumph that makes us all feel good and teaches us a lot about what else we can do to help our planet Earth and all the beautiful creatures we share our planet with.
From the late 1700s through the late 1800s, sea otters were hunted extensively for their fur. Back then, people were willing to pay top dollar for sea otter pelts because it was the densest fur of any mammal on Earth, reaching upwards of one million hairs per square inch! Remember too, at that time people did not have the variety of synthetic furs and other warm synthetic materials we have now. Sea otter fur was as plush as it got!
Sea otters’ plush fur is what made fur hunters decimate almost the entire population of sea otters on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean! In fact, so many sea otters were slain, this blood bath is sometimes referred to as the “California Fur Rush” which many historians believe was actually more important to opening up western trade routes than the Gold Rush.
By the early 1900s, all the wildlife experts, including field biologists from Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove (next to Monterey), had declared the southern sea otter to be totally extinct. In fact, the sea otter extinction became common knowledge and it was published as such in all the newspapers, magazines, and textbooks. It was declared widely and authoritatively, “Sea otters have been hunted to extinction!” Everyone believed this to be true!
Then one day, something quite remarkable happened! A retired gentleman who lived in the remote Big Sur area of California was pursuing his hobby of watching ships through his telescope when he spotted a sea otter near the infamous Bixby Bridge! As a good citizen, he contacted officials who then consulted biologists at Hopkins Marine State. However, instead of thanking the gentlemen and coming right out to study the man’s remarkable rediscovery of the sea otter, they all basically scoffed at him!
All these experts essentially stated he could not possibly have seen what he was reporting to see. They thought it just wasn’t possible and they did not believe him! However, because of the gentleman’s persistance, he persuaded them to come see for themselves. At that time, getting to Big Sur was a much less convenient feat than it is nowadays with the modern highway system! At any rate, the officials and scientists had to eat crow when they peered through their spotting scopes and saw for themselves a small pod of about 50 sea otters near the Bixby Bridge!!
OMG, it was actually true!! This was BIG BIG NEWS! Amazing News!
The news of the rediscovery of sea otters off the coast of California spread like wildfire. Some people rejoiced that the species had not been entirely decimated. However, others decided it would be a good idea to shoot these last remaining sea otters because their furs would be even more valuable as the last of their kind! It took round the clock volunteers guarding these sea otters, and the craftiness of the sea otters themselves, to save this last remaining pocket of southern sea otters. Laws were eventually passed, and attitudes changed, and the sea otters became one of the most beloved and most protected endangered species on the planet. As a result, sea otters have seen one of the most remarkable comebacks of any endangered species on Earth! Residents and tourists alike delight in a sea otter sighting!
It is their remarkable comeback story and the popularity of sea otters that makes them such good ambassadors for the plight of other endangered species. They remind of what we almost lost. They also remind us of what we can save when we all pull together. They teach us to never lose hope. They teach us that ANYONE and EVERYONE, not just scientists, can make remarkable discoveries and be instrumental in changing the world!
Sea otters also show us what can happen to an entire ecosystem when we remove just one keystone species! Sea otters control sea urchin populations in kelp forests! Without this control, sea urchins can easily mow down entire patches of kelp forests which serve as nurseries for hundreds of fish species and thousands of invertebrates which are an integral part of the ocean foodweb! In other words, when you take the sea otter out of the equation, it affects thousands of other species!
Let every day be Earth Day in your life. Celebrate with a sea otter rug from Rug Rats or another nature inspired rug from our collection. Some people find these high resolution rugs so visually stunning, they hang them on the wall like tapestries!
If you have questions about our rugs, or you want to discuss creating a rug from a custom photo or artwork you have, just send us an email. We love creating one of a kind originals and we love talking with people about their creative ideas!