Lonely Planet Writer

A leaping iguana photobombed this woman's holiday snap

Few things are better than a serendipitous animal encounter resulting in an exceptional photo. For example, being photobombed by a leaping iguana isn’t something you can plan, and Tammy Ricks knows it very well.

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Tammy was on holiday in Puerto Rico and was posing in front of the ocean at popular tourist destination El Morro, a 16th century fort located just outside of San Juan. And just as best friend CT snapped the picture, an iguana walked up from the side of the wall and jumped right in front of Tammy.

The Castillo San Felipe del Morro, known simply as “the promontory”, guards the entrance to San Juan Bay. Photo by ProArtWork/Getty Images

“I was shocked because I had no idea that iguanas could jump like that,” Tammy told Lonely Planet. After photobombing Tammy’s holiday picture, the iguana “leaped on the other side and scurried off,” Tammy continued. When she and her best friend reviewed the photo, they were both amazed at the perfect timing.

Iguanas are lizards native to tropical climates and apparently also great jumpers. Photo by Tom Schwabel/Getty Images

“We were laughing because it was so funny, the iguana was the star of the photo at that point,” Tammy said. Even though the iguana stole her thunder, she obviously decided to share the picture anyway on her Instagram and Facebook account. What she couldn’t know, though, was that the photo would go viral overnight on Reddit.

In 1983, the citadel became part of Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites. Photo by ProArtWork/Getty Images

“I’m still in disbelief,” declared Tammy, who now has “viral iguana photobomb originator” in her Instagram bio. She also hopes that the picture will bring a smile to people’s faces and its popularity will encourage people to travel to Puerto Rico. Maybe there’s another iguana photobombing coming in the near future!