When nuts fall off a tree, they usually accumulate in piles at the tree's base—which is why Chris Persic found it odd that underneath the black walnut tree in the yard of his Pittsburgh home, there were very few walnuts. CBS Pittsburgh reports that mystery was solved this week after he got a call from his wife, Holly, who told him her car was making weird noises, and that it smelled like something was burning. "I told her to pop the hood, and this is the picture that she sent me!" he wrote Monday in a now-viral Facebook post. Some 200 walnuts and grass had been piled up around the car's innards by squirrels. "My jaw hit the floor," Persic tells ABC News of receiving the text, adding to CNN: "They were everywhere, under the battery, near the radiator fan. The walnuts on the engine block were black and [smelled] like they were definitely roasting."
It took almost an hour to clean most of the walnuts out so they could get the car to the mechanic; once there, workers found even more walnuts stashed where the Persics couldn't reach them. Adding another layer to the story: At the time he got his wife's phone call, Persic was at a car dealership with his own truck, whose check engine light had come on as the truck started shaking oddly while accelerating; Persic thinks a squirrel gnawed through or pulled out a fuel injector hose. The walnuts had only started dropping a few weeks ago. "The squirrels worked pretty fast!" notes Persic, who says he's glad they've had rain lately—if it had been any drier out, he fears the grass under the hood of his wife's car could've caught fire. "Absolutely nuts ... no pun intended," he wrote on Facebook. (Cops found an "attack squirrel" during a raid in Alabama.)