Can you imagine this? Otters holding hands while sleeping. To us as observers, otters holding hands while sleeping may seem cute and adorable, but this practice that they exhibit actually serves a genuine, and necessary need for them. So lets investigate this remarkable trait a little further.
The cute and cuddly sea otter, which is the largest of the weasel family, can be found in the northern Pacific ocean. They have the densest fur of all of the animals in the world, with about 250,000 to one million hairs per square inch. One of the quirkiest, and cutest traits about the sea otters is that sea otters hold hands when sleeping. This is perhaps the best known trait that they exhibit. You can see this behavior in the video above, courtesy of YouTube.
Why do sea otters hold hands while sleeping?
I suppose you are now wondering why sea otters hold hands while they sleep? They are herd, or pack animals. Alone they face almost certain death. As sea faring animals the tide and currents of the ocean can force them to drift away from their companions, pretty much as a ship or a boat does if it’s not anchored. Of course this is only a problem for them when they are sleeping. When they are awake they have almost full control of their own navigation. When sea otters are sleeping, eating or resting they form floating groups called rafts. When they are a raft all of the sea otters hold hands to prevent themselves from floating adrift from each other. A raft of otters can range from just 2 otters up to hundreds of them. They have also been seen to wrap themselves up in the sea weed that grows up from the ocean floor to help stop themselves from floating away.
Thankfully this trait of the sea otters holding hands is much cuter than their other, more frightening trait where they will catch, rape and drown baby seals. You can read about this less than cute behavior of theirs on another page of ours here.