Daily Distraction: Behold this epic backyard squirrel maze

It's amazing what a former NASA scientist can do when he has too much time on his hands

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
A fox squirrel

Former NASA scientist Mark Rober kept things more grounded for one of his most recent projects: crafting an elaborate squirrel maze in his backyard.

"I never thought I’d be that crazy guy in the neighborhood obsessing over the squirrels, but they started it first when they would constantly pillage the bird seed from any bird feeder I would put up," Rober said in the video introducing his creation, which is actually the second squirrel maze he's constructed. (Apparently the first, created last year, failed when the critters mastered it far too easily.)

The course unfolds like a nature-themed level of "Super Mario Brothers," ending at Rober's birdfeeder, which is perched above a wooden fortress packed with walnuts and dubbed (of course) Fort Knuts, a creation Rober describes as "the most secure walnut vault in the western United States."

Watch below as the furry critters take a crack at it.