Cannibal Hippos - the tv show that sparked my obsession

in #animal4 years ago (edited)

Hello everybody! It's been a while!  

Since most of you don't know me I thought I'd tell you about my obsession with all things hippopotamuses.  Because really what else is there to talk about in June plus that adorable baby Fiona is all over social media right now.  

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I'd like to make the point that I am a hippo hipster, or a hipposter if you will.  Because my obsession has been long standing and did not begin from a cute premature baby hippo but from something ... weird.  It all started one random summer night in 2011(Wow that was so long ago!).  I was scrolling through the guide on my TV and I came across a program that was about to start titled Cannibal Hippos.

 

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 Now this may not have piqued most peoples' interest but I thought to myself 'there has to be something crazy going on there, I don't know a lot about hippos [yet] but I know they are supposed to be herbivores.'  So I watched the episode (not a link to the actual episode, just the Nat Geo info page) and for some people it may be gross because they do show actual dead hippos with other hippos actually eating them.

!Spoilers! ahead if you want to watch the episode.  They do an investigation into why so many hippos were dying and why the remaining hippos were actually eating the dead hippos.  It involved a lot of hippo watching (my dream job!) and what they discovered is that the hippos were going to graze at night in an area that had dun dun DUUNNN

 

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ANTHRAX

If you aren't sure, anthrax is bad and it was killing the hippos (noooo).  BUT without this crazy phenomenon scientists would have never spent the time watching hippos and discovered that while they are predominantly herbivores they will scavenge carcasses in their territory.  This weird show and new fact was ultimately what sparked this crazy obsession I now have.  Let me get one thing straight though, I think these animals are crazy awesome because they are super weird and not exactly like anything people thought they were supposed to be like but MAN are they scary too!  

Imagine this coming at you in a boat... 

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you dead...

So my message to you is WATCH THAT SHOW WITH A WEIRD TITLE it may just spark an obsession.  

Assorted hippo facts for your reading pleasure: 

  • Hippos secrete a red tinted sweat like substance that is basically a sunscreen
  • They have pink milk and the babies nurse underwater by closing their ears and nostrils
  • Their skin is up to 4 inches thick
  • They are more closely relate to whales than any other mammal
  • Males use their tails to fling their poo to mark their territory
  • Rival males try to bite off the other male's tails so they can't mark their territory :(
  • They SINK and run along the bottom of the river or pond (they can't "swim")
  • They can open their mouths big enough to fit a 4ft tall child (Don't try this if you have 4ft tall child!) 
  • They can run up to 30 mph 

Seriously these creatures are amazing and terrifying.

  

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They are indeed also one the most dangerous animals in Africa (far behind Homo sapiens of course :-) ).