The daylight is decreasing, and the nights are getting longer. The cold wind has started to blow, and shivers have begun climbing our skin. In short- winter is coming, and what better time to think about spirits, sprites, ghosts, and entities than this?
Soot Sprites came into our vocabulary when we all watched Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. The little round black soot balls were adorable and made us say aww immediately.
But are these real? Or is it only a part of anime and games?
No, soot sprites or dust bunnies aren’t real. These self-thinking beings are only found in animes, games, and urban legends. Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli productions like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away popularized these pitch-black, small, round creatures with long limbs and two big eyes.
Are Soot Sprites Real?
This is the question everyone who grew up watching Studio Ghibli films has asked at least once to themselves as well as to the adults around them. Soot Sprites are the English translation of the Japanese word- Susuwatari.
Directly translated, it means ‘wandering soot.’ These things are golf ball-sized, pitch-black, and fuzzy beings with thin, long limbs and two big eyes. They are also called dust bunnies in the West.
These little things were first seen in Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli productions Spirited Away (2001) and My Neighbor Totoro (1988). But they were also depicted in the Star Wars short, Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies (2022).
In these anime films and shorts, the soot sprites are found in abandoned buildings, leaving a dirt trail in their wake. These creatures can be seen moving and working about. They can lift things many times their weight, like ants.
In Spirited Away, Sen helps them carry coal and comes to know that without work, they will turn into soot. Another character, Lin, can be seen feeding them candy. They also have a conscience and are alert to their surroundings.
For example, in the Star Wars short, Zen- Grogu and Dust Bunnies, a collaboration between Lucasfilm and Studio Ghibli, they give him a flower as a gift.
But are they real?
Sadly, as much as we want them to exist in the real world, they don’t. Soot Sprites, at least the creatures with consciousness, exist only in anime and games like Dust Bunnies. However, in Japanese folklore, in some places, it’s believed that soot sprites are seen before death.
Overall, these creatures are entirely a figment of the creator’s imagination. However, if you see small balls of dust, lint, and hair rolling beneath your couch, know they are also called dust bunnies/ soot sprites.
Except, they won’t get up and help you do your housework. You will have to, instead, fetch the vacuum to swish them away and keep your house clean and tidy.
However, over the years, they have become a part of urban legends where monstrous beings resembling dust bunnies terrorize someone’s dreams.
What do you think? Are these Soot Sprites real? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.