Kinda like a strawberry milkshake … 🍓
It’s a common misconception on the internet that hippo moms produce milk that is pink and somewhat strawberry milkshake-like. However, it turns out that hippo babies are consuming white milk just like everyone else. What is the origin of the “pink milk” theory then? Actually, “sunscreen” is involved.
Hippos are among the most unusual animals, and one trait that sets them apart is their capacity for sun protection. but not how you might anticipate.
Found in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, hippos can live 40 to 50 years and weigh anywhere from 2,900 to 4,000 pounds. And, because where they live is so hot, they spend up to 16 hours a day floating in rivers and pools to fend off the summer sun.
But even with all that time spent catching rays, hippos don’t sunburn. Their bodies make something specific only to hippos that solves a few pesky skin problems.
Hippos secrete an oily substance that resembles mucus to protect them from the sun, despite the fact that they don’t actually have glands that produce sweat. The “sweat,” also known as “blood sweat,” initially has a pinkish-red appearance.
This unusual mixture moisturizes the hippo’s dry, sensitive skin for hours, repels water, and shields it from the sun. Hippos can wade in water, graze on grass, and socialize with other hippos without worrying about damaging their skin thanks to “blood sweat.”
And guess what happens to their white milk when this pink “sunscreen” on their skin mixes with it?
So, not only are these giant cuties natural-born water babies — but their unique “sweat” makes them cooler than cool (literally).