Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Hippopota-MUD! Scores of hippos cram into a tiny waterhole to cool off

Hippopota-MUD! Scores of hippos cram into a tiny waterhole to cool off

  • Aerial photos show over one hundred hippopotamuses cramming themselves into a muddy waterhole 
  • The hippos efficiently lined the pool, wallowing side-by-side, in the Arusha region of the Tanzania wilderness
  • The animals can be seen sweating a red pigment, called ‘blood sweat’, which acts as a natural sun block

Incredible aerial photos show over one hundred hippopotamuses cramming themselves into a single muddy waterhole in a rush to cool off under the African sun.

The large bodied mammals were seen making the most of a tiny pond in the otherwise dry Tanzania plains, where it hadn’t rained for some time.

Making room for each other the hippos efficiently line the pool, wallowing side-by-side with their heads all facing towards the middle.

Wallowing in mud to keep the sun off over 100 hippopotamus made room for each other in the tiny pool in Arusha, Tanzania

Amateur photographer Martin Sanchez captured the images while on safari in the country’s Arusha region, just 71 miles from Mount Kilimanjaro.

The 36-year-old graphic designer from New Jersey, USA, said: ‘It was really something incredibly rare to see.

‘I didn’t count them all but I would probably say more than 100 hippos. They were very calm and relaxed and of course muddy.

Amateur photographer Martin Sanchez captured the images while on safari in the country’s Arusha region, just 71 miles from Mount Kilimanjaro

The animals seem to be methodically placed, squeezing into the pool side-by-side with their heads facing towards the middle

Hippos sweat a red pigment sometimes called ‘blood sweat’ which is made of hipposudoric acid and acts as a natural sun block and an antimicrobial agent

‘We were in an isolated region of Tanzania. It was a hot day in general and it hadn’t rained for a while.

‘As we were heading back to camp we noticed this small pond filled with hippos. The day was hot so it must’ve been the only area with enough water for them to cool down and I would say they were probably there throughout the entire day.

‘I would like to think they were enjoying themselves as they had found a cooling zone for the day. It is almost like walking in the desert and all of a sudden you find water – I bet it becomes such a rewarding experience.’  

Time for a bath! The relaxed hippos seem content as they pile in on top of each other in the cramped conditions

The animals are often seen submerged in water as they use mud and water to help thermoregulate themselves

As hippos have very little hair or fur to cover their bodies they cover themselves with mud to protect their skin from burning in the sun.  

Bizarrely hippos also produce a bright red sweat, sometimes called ‘blood sweat’, which is named hipposudoric acid and acts as a natural sun block and an antimicrobial agent. 

The animals also rely on the mud’s cooling properties to thermoregulate as they have a small surface area to volume ratio compared to animals with less mass.

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