Do Hippopotamuses Actually Have Pink Sweat?

Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash

You have probably heard someone saying, at least once in your life, that hippopotamuses have pink sweat. How true is that?

According to Mark Ritchie, a biology professor at Syracuse University, that’s not quite true. He explains that hippos actually produce pink oily fluid – not sweat – that has a series of functions. It helps them repel water and serves as a moisturizer and antibiotic. The fluid actually becomes red as a reaction to sunlight and it’s sometimes called “blood sweat”.

Hippos’ skin doesn’t like excessive sun nor to be dry, which is why it started producing this fluid. Hippos will usually try to avoid sun by sitting in the water while it’s hot and going to eat at night.