Date:15 January 2015
Credit: Facebook/Michael Varndell
This safari on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe nearly ended in a very unexpected disaster when a hippo suddenly accelerated at the boat while in the water.
Hippos, you might have heard, are rather dangerous. In fact they are so dangerous that they kill more people per year than lions, bears, tigers and sharks combined. And bear in mind (excuse the puns), hippos are only found in Africa, whereas the other animals are found over much more diverse areas.
So if you hear this when next you are out camping, you’re in much more danger than if you would hear a roar.
Hippos can run at an impressive 23km/h, and weigh anything from 1.5 – 3.5 tons when grown. For the nerds among us, that is a momentum of 24 500 kg m/s (a lot of momentum).
The hippo’s natural habitat has changed considerably. The map below shows the former range of the hippo in red, and the present range in green.
Here are some fun facts about hippos:
- Hippos secrete a natural sunscreen that is colored red and eventually turns brown
- The hippo’s closest living relative is the whale
- Hippos consume over 35 kg of vegetation per day.
- Hippos can’t jump