Yellowjackets Theory Could Explain the Newest Bizarre Mystery

What’s up with those birds?


Yellowjackets is fun because while the events in the wilderness seem otherworldly, there could be plausible explanations for all of them, unlike, say, the smoke monster in Lost. The mushrooms in the Doomcoming broth prompted the strange orgy-like ritual, underground hot springs could explain that one tree trunk with no snow, and the river of “blood” may actually be a result of mining runoff. But Season 2 Episode 3 introduces a different phenomenon.

Spoilers ahead for Yellowjackets, “Digestif.”

During Shauna’s baby shower in the latest episode, “Digestif,” Lottie gives the expectant mother a blanket with that mysterious symbol stitched on it. Shauna gets a nosebleed, which drips onto the symbol.

Suddenly, dozens of birds drop from the sky, apparently frozen solid. Lottie sees it as a sign, a response to the blood sacrifice to the symbol. But, if there is truly a scientific explanation to everything in this show, what could have possibly caused this? Turns out, not even scientists are exactly sure.

The team investigate the birds during Shauna’s baby shower.


In September 2020, hundreds of birds started dropping dead in Colorado and much of the Southwest. The Denver Post tried to find a clear reason, but experts were divided. Some thought it was a result of a cold snap, which may explain those in Yellowjackets, but others thought it was a result of pollution, which wouldn’t really track in a remote forest.

But these birds aren’t falling gradually, it was all at once, like a sudden avian hail. That’s similar to what happened in Mexico last year when a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds suddenly hit the ground. This too doesn’t have a clear explanation, but experts seem divided that it was either a predator, a power line, or maybe toxic fumes.

This last theory could actually be our answer. There’s a long-standing theory that there may be an underground cinnabar mine near the cabin that could explain the delusions of the Yellowjackets team. Could this also result in some toxic fumes that these birds may have gotten a beakful of because of a shift in the wind?

Could this strange mineral explain those random birds?

Jeny S / 500px/500Px Plus/Getty Images

Cinnabar, also known as mercury sulfide, appears as just a red mineral in normal circumstances, but under heat — like, say, the heat that’s making the snow around that tree trunk melt — the mercury is released from the sulfur in a toxic fume. This could explain the birds’ sudden demise — and further bolster the theory that cinnabar mining is the reason the cabin is there in the first place.

Presumably, everything that’s happening in Yellowjackets is at least rooted in reality — though Tai and Lottie’s adventures prove there may be some unreliable narrators and hallucinations involved. But if bleeding onto a symbol is what it takes for these starving survivors to get food, they’re not going to question it.

Yellowjackets is now streaming on Showtime.

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