What Color is a Hippo? Learn True Facts

Hippos have gray or brown skin with a reddish-pink sheen. They also release a liquid known as blood sweat that turns them red. And there’s a myth that hippo milk is pink. But are all these facts true? Let’s learn some logical information about what color a hippo is.

What Color is a Hippo

What Color is a Hippo

Gray-brown pink is the most common hippo color. The top part of the bodies is purple to blue-black, while their underbelly and the area surrounding their eyes are brownish pinks.

Hippopotamus walking in water

The skin of hippos is almost entirely hairless. On the tail, however, there are short hairs. When they are dried, a particular gland covers their skin, causing them to turn into an unnatural red color.

What Color is a Pygmy Hippo

pygmy hippo walking on grass

The top layer of a pygmy hippo’s skin is greenish-black, which helps them stay cool in the humid rainforest. However, this delicate skin causes them to be dehydrated quickly in the sun. When they get hydrated, a pink fluid comes out of their body that makes them look shiny and wet.

Do all Hippo Colors are Same?

The smooth, almost hairless skin of pygmy hippos is greenish-black on top, greyish-white on the sides, and greyish-white underneath.

On the other hand, the common hippopotamus skin is purplish-grey to blue-black, with brownish-pink skin on the lower body and around the eyes.

Therefore the answer is no. Not all the hippo colors are the same.

Is Hippos Milk Pink

Hippo milk isn’t pink, although it was the subject of a lot of debate a few years ago.

The liquid released by hippos, known as blood sweat, gets mixed with the milk of a nursing young hippo. This combination turns the milk color pink, and humans assume it as pink milk.

It’s also plausible that a baby hippo covered in milk excreted the oily substance, which would have colored it pink. So, the rumor is untrue.


Hippos typically appear with the combination of gray-brown color with the pink antiseptics that their bodies release. And they do not sweat blood nor produce pink milk.

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Team Animalia Facts

"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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