Do Hippos Explode? Fascinating World Of Exploding Animals


It is not just a hippo; after death, most living organisms can explode. This is because the bacteria inside the intestine and other areas of the body become active to eat body organisms. As they eat them, they also excrete secretions from their body.

At the time, they increase themselves massively because there is no system like the immune system is active to restrict them. Due to this, gases, especially methane, become inside the body.

This way, gases increase the inner body pressure, and when this pressure approaches the level of external environment pressure, the animals or living being explode.

I hope you will get a suitable answer to your question: do hippos explode? Below, we are going to talk about why hippos explode after death.

After this, we will also uncover some evidence on the right of our claim of the hippo explosion.


We talked a little about this reason above, but here, I will explain it how bacteria cause gas buildup.

As hippos eat almost 36 kg of herbivores diet per day, it contains numerous kinds of vitamins. Breaking down of these nutrients causes the formation of different gases that lead to exploding.

The main gases in this process are methane, which forms due to the fermentation process. Further, the breaking down of fats and protein (in muscles) also causes its formation. 

Anaerobic bacteria (type of bacteria has ability to survive without oxygen) work as catalysts and enhance the speed of methane production. The thing to keep in mind is that anaerobic bacteria only become in case of oxygen stuck in the body.   

As methane is the main gas, but some other gases, including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, are also a cause for such hippo body explosions. These gases also cause a bad smell that can destroy your day if you sniff it in any case.


The second important factor about the hippo explosion after death is its dense and thick skinThis armor, like tough skin, works as a container and does not allow the gas to get out of the body. 

This increases pressure inside the body and causes an explosion when inner body pressure approaches against outer environment pressure.

Digestive System Organs

Most of the hippo’s diets stay in the gut, stomach, and intestine areas. All these areas work as pockets and do not allow gas to escape easily, but it seems not a big cause as compared to their thick skin.

Against it, it is a great argument that what if when stomach and intestine (filled with gases) of these giants rupture? It can cause severe explosions.

Other Animals | Predators Or Scavengers

When scavengers or predators like animals puncture a dead hippo’s body, they give a way to gases for explosions. Just after their first bite, they get stuck in a mean environment full of bad smells due to a sudden explosion.

High Temperature

In case of high temperature, gases inside the body of the hippo expand that, cause high pressure. This pushes gases to find a way to escape, and as soon gases find a way, the body explodes.

Do Hippos Explode When Alive?

No, during their lifetime, hippos can face different digestive issues like bloating and gas buildup, but this does not cause an explosion.

  Do Hippos Explode When Alive?

It is because the formation of gas does not increase more than a limit, and as a living being, they try different techniques to get rid from these gases. So, the hippos just explode after they die, not with life.

Are There Sightings Or Proven Cases Available Of Hippo Explosion?

1st case

I own does not witnessed any such sighting because I am not an African or have no budget to reach these giant’s habitat. So, I always try to find people who witnessed the events and want to talk with us.

The first record that I found was held in South Africa (at Kruger National Park). A safari vehicle was on the tour of the park, and suddenly, they saw a dead hippo near to explode. The pride of a lion was also near, and a lioness from the pride was trying to cut hippo armor-like skin. As he punctured the skin, an explosion of gases happened, but it was not a massive one.

According to Wild Wings Safaris, the pride of the lion was scared due to this explosion and ran out due to it. Against it, I think that explosion was not too much to afraid a lion’s pride. This was the sound of vehicle engine that made the pride astonished.

Against it, it was a dead hippo explosion on a lion near some visitor’s opinion.

2nd case

In the second sighting, the condition was the same for the hippos, but there were crocodiles as scavengers. A couple of crocodiles rupture the skin of the hippo that, cause explosion.

After this, one of the crocodiles attained the hippo’s inner organs and tried to go away to eat it, but the other one was behind it.

Such a wild instinct because all the remaining carcass of the hippo was alone, and it could eat it lonely without any disturbance, but this crocodile decided to eat it after getting it from a mate.

After How Much Time Does Hippo’s Body Explodes After Death?

There is no specific time for this event because there are different factors behind this phenomenon, such as high temperature, bacteria diversity, and hippos eaten diet before death.

Anaerobic bacteria is also a main cause of it. In a nutshell, whenever hippos eat more diet and have an appropriate amount of oxygen stuck in the body, it gives a suitable environment to multiply their number in less time and excrete more gases. As gas pressure approaches to compete with external environment temperature, explosion time comes.

After that, any rupture or hole in the body leads to an explosion. Normally, it can take 2 or 3 days in high-temperature regions.

Some Other Animals That Explode

This page is dedicated to expanding animals. We started with hippos because it was the main topic, but now, I am going to add some other animals that can explode after their death.


In this topic, there is no chance to forget a whale. After death, when a whale approaches a beach, it stays there for a long time. Scavengers avoid eating it, and there are no predators like crocodiles and lions found on the beaches.

So, the gases in the whale’s body exceed, and at the time of increasing pressure, the whale explodes.


We all witnessed such scenarios on the Internet, even in the last few days, a whale was found with a tressure. After exploding, researchers found ambergris in its intestine. Such a good luck for scientists because this material I just known as floating gold.

Besides this, In case of their death in the ocean, whales do not explode. It is because, here, it is just like a free feast for ocean scavengers like sharks, Hagfish, and other creatures. They eat it as soon as possible, and it takes no time to trap gasses in itself.

Despite this, if a whale stays untouched in the ocean and builds up a gas inside it, it can explode in the ocean.


Some species of beetles also excrete hot chemical fluid from their abdomen to the direction of predators.


This is their survival technique through which they betray predators and get time to escape. When I was there, this behavior in a video, it seemed like a cute animal exploding.



Just like ants of East Asia, these termites also release their toxic fluid to survive the colony. They defend others and excrete toxic white-colored poison on predators to kill or blind them.


I am my own witness to this phenomenon because it happened in my home backyard and was recorded on my camera.


First, the skunk came to the spot of birds feeding, and then two raccoons also came. To ensure its survival, skunk spit against raccoons. It was like emus spiting behavior, which also spit against predators. I talked to my friends, and they told me they do not show such behavior except to ensure their survival.

Exploding Ants

This might not a stunning fact for you if you are already well known about wild environment. The thing to say is that this species of ant sacrifices itself on its own, but why?

Exploding Ants

It is because in case of any intruder to their colony, he faces it, and when the fight gets worse, it explodes. Due to its explosion, the poison present in its mandibular glands explodes and also goes into the body of an intruder that disturbs it. This poison explodes all around because the mandibular glands of this ant species spread all over the body.

This state of self-destruction by ants is known as autothysis, which is a famous term also.

Important Note: The above-mentioned animals have natural exploding behavior. They excrete liquids to predators and try to get rid from them. Their liquid contains 2-octenal and isobutyric acid in their liquid which causes irritation in the eyesight of predators. It also affects their respiratory system, which provides time to escape from the place.

Un-Natural Cases When Animals Explode


In April 2005, there was an astonishing case pop up in Hamburg, Altona (Germany). According to reports, there was more than 1000 frogs died due to their body explosions. Their size was increased more than 3 times against their normal size, which caused their death.

In no time, a researching team was hired to approach the reason under Franz Mutschmann. They analyze corpses (autopsy) of toads and share a report according to which the reason behind this phenomenon was the entering of new predatory crows in the area.

When the crows target toads, they directly attack to their puff-up defense system and grab out the liver of the toads. This makes a hole in that area and later causes an explosion of inner organs like the intestine, vesicles, veins, and lunges. This all leads toads to death in such a cruel manner.

This report was registered in govt institute, but it was denied by wildlife experts due to less explanation. Further, they claimed it was a viral or fungal infection, but there was also less evidence in right of this theory. So. The case was closed in such a condition, I explained.

According to them, the crows are fast learners, and they adopt the behavior as they find it easy to grab their prey (toad).

Fact: Crows can remember your face, which shows their intelligence level.


It was the day of 1932, January. Townsville Daily Bulletin reported this event that a dairy cow died due to an explosion. Later, the inquiry reveals that this happened because the cow was intake a blasting cap. Whenever it starts to chew cud, the cow is blown up. At that time, its master was milking it’s still just to get a shock.


This phenomenon was reported in 1910. Here, a duck was exploded. After a little research, the claim was reported that it intake of yeast was a cause for it. This case is unable to be understood by me.

Final Words

Hippos explode after death just in case of gathering different gases in their body. If the predators eat their carcasses early, the explosions will not happen.

Further, living animals explode and excrete some liquid from their body in the predators’ eye to ensure their survival.

Besides this, some animals were also used in WWII for explosions. Bats and rats are both examples of these animals. This kind of explosion is called a weird animal explosion or weaponization.



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