WATCH: Rams Go Full Rocky Mode Against Heavy Bag in Viral Video

by Lauren Boisvert

A viral video of two rams–which is just another name for a male bighorn sheep–practicing their headbutting on a punching bag has resurfaced on the internet. Those who didn’t see it the first time around are in for a treat. In the video, a man sets up a bright red punching bag in the woods. He places his cameras and then beats a hasty retreat. At this point, we’re wondering, “what’s going on here?” But, then all is revealed.

The video skips to “later that day,” and that’s when the rams show up. Two big, black, shaggy rams come running out of the woods and go ham on that punching bag. They headbutt it so hard it goes flying in the other direction, swinging in a wide arc before coming back for more.

The two sheep absolutely go to town, and they look like they’re having a great time. The video was posted on Reddit and has been upvoted nearly 4,000 times. Additionally, commenters suggested that the video be made into a “ram version of ‘Rocky,'” suggesting that this video was part of the rams’ training montage for their big fight.

Rams Headbutt Punching Bag in the Woods, Plus, How Much Force is Behind Those Blows

But, we’re wondering, why do these animals do this? And why would they do it on a punching bag? First of all, rams headbutt each other normally, not so much punching bags, unless they’re available. They do it to assert dominance, and to show off their strength. Young rams will headbutt more often to figure out how it works. They’re in their formative years, and headbutting is an important skill when you’re a ram.

Additionally, older rams headbutt when faced with an unknown individual. A strange guy wanders into your territory, and you want him to know that you’re the alpha right away. That’s where headbutting comes in. As the rams get used to each other, and dominance is established, the headbutting will lessen between those individuals.

Now, we’re thinking about how much force is behind those headbutts. Can a ram kill you just by hitting you with its head? According to the wildlife podcast Life, Death, and Taxonomy, yes they can. Rams come at each other at about 35 mph, and the force of their headbutt can instantly kill a human being. A single blow from one ram to another generates about 3,400 Newtons of force, which is equivalent to 764 pounds. Bighorn sheep take the most amount of force straight to the dome than any other sheep species.

According to LDT, professional football players come the closest to experiencing the force of a ram’s headbutt. But, the sheep take this force hundreds of times a day, straight to the head, with no padding to spread the impact around. What would cause literal death for us humans is no problem for a ram.