Due to their sizeable bulk and the fact they have an ass that doesn’t quit, ever, hippos are pretty much immune to bullets and are totally unphased by punches to the face, couple this with them being one of the singular most aggressive animals in all of Africa and you have an animal that you absolutely would not want to fuck with, unless you have a rocket launcher.
Before getting to that though, while we neither support poaching or wish to glorify the assholes who indulge in it, we feel that as a website dedicated to bizarre facts we simply couldn’t not write about something that involves detonating large African land mammals with high-powered explosive weaponry.
Moving on, an average hippo is covered with 4 cm thick skin that weighs about a ton, along with weighing almost as much as a small car or a medium sized car with no wheels or engine, a hippo’s skin is also incredibly tough, making it almost impossible to pierce or tear. As a result, there’s no creature in the animal kingdom known to be able to kill, let along significantly hurt a hippo with the possible of exception of another, slightly bigger hippo. Neither sharks nor crocodiles are able to bite through a hippo’s formidably sized ass and due it’s thickness, even a lion’s claws will leave little more than a flesh wound in a hippo’s skin.
Because of this, hippos unsurprisingly sit firmly atop the food chain in Africa and have been observed effortless killing other apex predators for seemingly no reason other than “fuck them”. As an example of what it takes to satisfy the blood lust of an annoyed hippo, there are reliable accounts out there of hippos biting crocodiles in half and drowning fully grown lions by dragging them underwater and shitting all over them. If that’s not scary enough, hippos have also been known to headbutt sharks out of the water before stomping them to death. Which itself seems kind of unnecessary, but here’s the thing: Hippos are herbivores, meaning they don’t kill these animals for food or because they feel threatened, but simply because they can.
Due to their fearsome reputation as one of the only known animals on Earth that hunt sharks for fun, on land most humans are understandably wary about approaching them and as a result, hippos are, for the most part, not a very often poached animal. Because even the sort of dipshits who hunt lions by crashing drones of increasing size into them, know better than to mess with a hippo. Another reason hippos are rarely poached compared to other African animals is because they’re “bulletproof as far as most guns are concerned“.
Hippos have been known to be able to soak up entire clips of machine gun fire without any apparent injury and can survive a point blank shotgun blast to any part of their body that isn’t used to see or make babies. Hunters surprised by hippos tell stories of bull males surviving shots from everything from high-calibur rifles to grenade launchers. Poachers in Congo are all too aware of these and other stories and have learned to (illegally) hunt hippos with the only weapon known to be able to reliably kill them, rocket launchers.
Now we now its cruel and we know the people who do this are dicks, but be honest, did you expect to wake up today and learn that there’s an animal on Earth that is hunted with a rocket launcher and its not considered overkill?
For more bizarre animal facts, why not read about how emus have been observed sneaking up behind people just to poke them with its beak.