Zooey Deschanel recently appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about her daughter, Elsie Otter, and now a few attentive viewers think they know why she isn’t showing fans pictures of the seven-month-old with the strange middle name. In all likelihood, it’s because Deschanel doesn’t want anyone to find out that Elsie is actually a pet otter.
Apparently, Deschanel and her husband, Jacob Pechenik, are enthusiastic animal lovers. And get this—they both adore otters. It’s the perfect foundation for a rumor that Elsie is really a mustelid in the subfamily Lutrinae with a natural ability to swim and hold her breath for long periods of time underwater.
“We love otters because they’re so cute and playful and fun,” Deschanel told DeGeneres, clearly supporting the almost certain fact that her “daughter” is really—and we wouldn’t say this without a lot of solid speculation to back us up—a delightfully energetic lutra lutra or lontra canadensis, or perhaps a charming enhydra lutris. Some have even ventured that Elsie is a pteronura brasiliensis from the Amazon rainforest; however, based on absolutely no research whatsoever, we conclude it would be nearly impossible to acquire one of these endangered South American rarities. Besides, they are too big and loud to be as cute as Deschanel’s probable otter most likely is.
Deschanel dropped another major hint that her “daughter” is an otter by describing the sounds she makes as “pterodactyl kind of noises.” Of course, using a flying reptile from the late Jurassic Period as code for “otter” is classic otter-owner-trying-to-hide-the-otter. And did you see the part where DeGeneres showed a photo of Deschanel’s face Photoshopped onto an otter? Right there, Deschanel’s body language changed in a way that strongly suggests Elsie has webbed feet and is good at killing shellfish with rocks.
To be fair, this highly plausible Elsie Otter theory does beg the question of what happened to the baby Deschanel delivered last July, but frankly we don’t really care about babies if there’s an adorable otter probably involved. Here’s to hoping someone nabs a few cute pics soon!