Oh no, yet another interesting, but otherwise false and misleading factoid to contend with. Do hippos have pink milk? No they don’t, not at all, not even a single solitary drop. But as with many of these misleading claims that can raise their heads from time to time on the wonderful internet, they contain just enough information to seem credible. It’s either they have just enough information, or it appears to be a fact lost in translation, like a world record Chinese whispers gone horribly wrong. Let’s dig a little deeper to see where this factoid came from and how it got things so terribly wrong.
Have you heard the tale that a hippopotamus has pink milk? As we have just told you, it isn’t true. If it isn’t pink, then what color is it? Their milk is white of course, just like most other milks. And just as with other milks, the milk is produced from the blood supply. But even though blood is red and milk is white, the blood itself isn’t diluted with the milk to turn it pink. So that theory is done with.
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It seems that the confusion reigns from a liquid ooze that hippos have. Hippos don’t have pink milk, but they do ooze a red, pink liquid to keep bugs and germs away from them. This pink ooze can also help stop sunburn, which is of massive benefit to an animal that usually lives in temperate climates that get a lot more sunlight hours that less temperate climates. This is where this myth most likely originated. A dash of truth mixed with a good deal of confusion and misunderstanding.
As far as we can tell, this myth first appeared as yet another item in an extensive list of facts that were originally circulated by email. Even over 15 years later, they still manage to catch many people.
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