I remember watching nature shows as a child and noticing how cute hippos were. They seemed so big and silly, spending most of their days lounging in the water. When they spent time on land, they seemed lazy and slow. I loved how their little ears twitched when they broke the surface of the water or when flies landed on them. Both baby and adult hippos have also been known to wear turtles as hats! How cute is that? My favorite thing was watching them yawn so big I could see their big tongue and wide mouth open and close.
As I got older, I realized how wrong I had been about the seemingly big, huggable creatures. The Hippopotamus Amphibius, also known as the river horse, is one of the top three most fierce animals ever! Hippos can fight off black mambas and barracudas. How is a hippo fiercer than one of the deadliest snakes? It turns out there’s no safe way to hug a hippo.
The big yawn I loved so much as a child is actually a challenge to fight! When hippos fight, it’s a very intense brawl and they go straight for the jugular. When they rise out of the water with their huge mouths open, they try to gash their opponent with their impressive tusks. They cut each other horribly but their injuries heal quickly. Often times, they go for their opponents front legs. If they break a leg, the hippo can’t get out of the water to eat, so the hippo dies.
The aggressiveness happens in the baby hippo-making department too. A male hippo may pay a friendly visit to a female hippo outside of mating season, but he must enter the hall of women, also known as a creche, without any aggression. If she gets up, he must immediately lie down and must remain down until she lies down again. If the male doesn’t keep this custom, he’ll be attacked and chased away by all of the females in the creche. Those ladies don’t mess around!
Why are hippos' attitudes so "salty"? They are wild protectors of their land and water territories. Females are fiercer than males especially when protecting their young. If humans get between a hippo and water, they’re in for a rude awakening. In fact, hippos are credited with over 500 human deaths each year! Many humans encounter hippos around waterways, especially in Africa where the rivers are life to humans and animals alike.
Hippos spend hours on the bottom of rivers feeding on the vegetation below the surface. Because they are completely submerged, people on boats, fishing, or merely standing by the water are subject to attack if hippos feel the humans are threatening their sanctuary. Nighttime is especially dangerous because hippos roam freely and can be a great distance from the water while searching for food. They may surprise an unsuspecting human who expects hippos to be close to the water.
If you’re a ferocious warrior who protects their home and family, while also having a soft, goofy side — you sound just like a hippo (trust us, that’s a good thing!). Celebrate all that makes both hippos and YOU great! The Salty Hippo Store has accessories that, just like the hippo hiding in water, announce themselves when the time is right. We have a large selection of men’s novelty and dress socks and ties to help create the look you want. Visit our website to view our catalog! How do you hug a hippo? Well, let’s just start with socks and ties first.