rating: 0+x

"I shoot the hippopotamus with bullets made of platinum, for if I shot with leaden ones his hide would surely flatten 'em"

Hilaire Belloc

Basic Information

The hippo is a type of large mammal that spends most of it's time in the water. They can weigh as much as 3 tons (2700 kg). They are native to Africa, and frequent rivers, lakes, and mangrove swamps. Hippos don't actually swim, they sink to the bottom and run across the riverbed.

Despite being herbivores, Hippos are extremely dangerous and kill far more humans each year than lions do. They are aggressive, and have huge teeth. If angered they can charge (and remember they weigh a lot) as well as bite. In the water, they can tip over small boats, or bite holes in larger ones. Do not get between a momma hippo and her calf! In fact, don't get between any hippo and the water, either, because if they feel threatened they'll rush to the water at 30 mph. Hippos are also extremely unsanitary animals, with a habit of spraying urine and feces to mark their territory, so any wounds they do give you will likely end up infected.

Hippo skin is 2 inches (6 cm) thick, and provides considerable protection from slashing or bludgeoning injuries. In addition, their skin secrets a red liquid (erroneously called "blood sweat" for its appearance) that is a natural sunscreen.

Out Of Africa

Organized crime drug lord Pablo Escobar had four pet hippos in Colombia. After his death, they broke free to roam and prosper. Now they are something of an invasive species in that part of South America, numbering 16 when counted in 2007.

US President Theodore Roosevelt was a champion of introducing Hippos to the bayou of Louisiana to compete with other invasive species that were choking the ecosystem at the time. His measure to do this in 1910 was narrowly rejected by the Senate, despite proponents arguments that hippo-bacon was good eatin'.


4. Are Hippos OP? - Youtube video arguing that hippos are over-powered in comparison to other "character builds" in the real world

Game and Story Use

  • Hippos are freaking dangerous. Any adventure near the water in Africa (or a fantasy-world equivalent to Africa) could feature a hippo encounter as a way to spice things up.
  • Hippo behavior could be used as an example/template for the behavior of other creatures in your game. Dinosaurs, sea serpents, catoblepas, kelpie, swamp dragons, etc. Herbivorous but still fiercely territorial, heavily armored, stealthy in water, dangerous if agitated or surprised.
  • Apparently they are somewhat related to whales - being the most closely related land animals.
  • In Egyptian Mythology, the goddess Taweret had the head of a hippopotamus. She was the goddess of pregnant women and the protector during childbirth.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License