Florida is home to more than 4,300 unique species of animals that roam the beaches, wetlands, amusement parks, and gated communities that largely define its landscape.
That collection of wildlife is home to some absolutely fascinating specimens—including one fairly recent discovery that has absolutely captivated anthropologists as well as the countless people who’ve kept tabs on the never-ending escapades of one of the most enigmatic creatures on the planet: Florida Man.
Florida Man (Homo floridian) was long viewed as a member of one of the various subgroups of the American Redneck (Collumrubrum americana) due to the many similarities they share. However, that belief was challenged by the expert who classified Florida Man as his own unique species after first embarking on a quest to chronicle his exploits in 2013.
This resulted in the newly-discovered hominid being subjected to years of rigorous study amongst both academics and the many members of the general public who became absolutely captivated by the misadventures of Florida Man, who has since inspired characters in movies, television shows, and video games (he even had a delicious DIPA named after him courtesy of Cigar City Brewing).
If you’ve followed his exploits, you may think you know Florida Man. However, he’s actually a fairly misunderstood subject surrounded by countless misconceptions that have largely gone uncorrected—at least until now.
We’re pleased to present one of the most comprehensive looks at Florida Man to date after combing through almost a decade of research in order to put together the definitive field guide containing everything you need to know about the almost mythical creature.
You never know when this might come in handy.
Florida Man’s Natural Habitat
As the name suggests, Florida Man is native to the Sunshine State.
However, there are well-documented instances of residents originally hailing from other geographic areas gradually succumbing to a unique set of environmental factors that results in them adopting Florida Man’s signature traits and behaviors.
It can be difficult to define Florida Man’s habitat when you consider his ability to pop up basically anywhere at any time is one of his most defining characteristics.
With that said, there are certain dwellings he seems particularly drawn to, including a boat with a name like “Knot My Problem” that never leaves the marina more than three times a year, a treehouse at the center of some incredibly intense local zoning board drama, and an RV that’s become permanently fused to the cinderblocks it’s spent years resting on.
There are also a number of signs you can look for that tend to indicate you’ve ended up in Florida Man territory, like:
- Fireworks randomly going off while the sun is still up on a random weekday
- A plywood board with a spraypainted message reading “SNAKES 4 SALE”
- A sedan with a spoiler duct-taped to the trunk
- A golf cart with a lift kit and/or spinning rims
However, those are far from the only things to look out for.
Florida Man’s Diet
Florida Man technically fits the definition of an omnivore—one who classifies potato chips as a “vegetable” and insists that any meal that takes place after 11 A.M. must feature meat in some shape or form in order to qualify as a “real” one.
His typical diet is one that would horrify every single nutritionist on the planet that’s largely defined by snack foods with “Xtreme” on the label and recipes incorporating some of the Sunshine State’s most exotic wildlife.
Florida Man is also known for being a fan of any beer that’s cold. However, there’s been a recently observed evolution that’s resulted in him acquiring a taste for Cigar City’s Florida Man, an extremely smooth and drinkable DIPA with an 8.5% ABV.
Florida Man’s Distinguishing Features
The wildly unique and constantly shifting nature of Florida Man’s appearance means there are no universal markings or signs that can be used when attempting to identify him in the wild.
However, every single documented Florida Man sighting has involved at least one of the following features (assuming you ignore those that involved him sprinting naked through a crowded public area):
- Misspelled face tattoo(s)
- A tank top that used to be a t-shirt
- Shorts that used to be a pair of jeans
- A cellphone hoster attached to a camouflage fanny pack
- A necklace, bracelet, or single earring featuring the tooth of a carnivorous animal
- A missing limb or appendage with either an incredibly fascinating or wildly mundane story behind it
Florida Man’s Behavioral Tendencies
Florida Man is an undoubtedly complicated creature; one with an essence defined by levels of unpredictability that are virtually unrivaled in nature. As a result, attempting to succinctly psychoanalyze such a complex individual might seem a fairly daunting task—but it’s actually surprisingly easy to do exactly that.
At his core, Florida Man is basically like the scientists who thought it would be a good idea to open up a theme park filled with resurrected dinosaurs (just without any of the scientific knowledge): he’s so preoccupied with whether or not he can do something that he rarely stops to think if he should.
Florida Man’s brain also lacks a number of key receptors responsible for triggering common emotions like fear and embarrassment. That, along with his unfettered spontaneity, creates an ideal breeding ground for a pattern of behavior that results in Florida Man doing things like:
- Firing a rifle at a hurricane
- Riding a mobility scooter or lawnmower on a highway
- Remodeling his kitchen because sledgehammers were on sale at the hardware store
- Fishing with a hand grenade he won in a game of dominos
It goes without saying that the unpredictable nature of Florida Man means he should always be approached with caution.
However, there is still one universally applicable piece of advice to keep in mind if you ever encounter him in the wild: NEVER TELL A FLORIDA MAN HE SHOULDN’T DO SOMETHING. HE WILL IMMEDIATELY DO IT 100% OF THE TIME.
You’ve been warned.
Florida Man’s Natural Predators
By now, it should be pretty clear that Florida Man has one primary natural enemy: himself.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t other dangers for him to worry about. The factors that were discussed in the previous section make him particularly susceptible to predators including (but by no means limited to) alligators, venomous snakes, feral hogs, marlins, and sharks, with most wounds (mortal or otherwise) commonly inflicted shortly after he utters some variation of “That thing ain’t as tough as it looks.”
Florida Man is also susceptible to some other threats that don’t pose any danger to the vast majority of the general public, like:
- Businesses that require patrons to wear shoes and a shirt in order to receive service
- His own reflection
- A river that’s “definitely deep enough” below a bridge that’s “definitely not too high to jump off of”
- Self-inflicted nunchuck wounds
That’s about all there is to know; if you weren’t acquainted with Florida Man before, you certainly are now.