There are many great facts about polar bears most people have never even heard of. While some may simply be generally interesting, some of the following facts about polar bears could even save your life if you happen to be visiting any Arctic region.
1. Perfect Stillness
One of the well-known facts about polar bears is that they’re pretty much expert hunters. However, not many know that polar bear moms teach their young cubs to be perfectly still during the hunt. If they move even a single muscle, their mothers promptly discipline them.
2. Polar Bear Capital
Churchill, Manitoba is a city in Canada where more than 1,000 polar bears come to town each year, since their main hunting grounds melt away in the spring. The people have adapted to the yearly visits and take many precautions to protect both themselves and the furry creatures.
3. The Good Old Snow
In their natural habitats, polar bears have to rely on snow and ice to survive. A little known fact about them is that the females would rather build dens in older snow, rather than fresh snow.
4. Polar Bear Liver Can Be Deadly
In some areas, especially where the Inuit people live, hunting polar bears used to be a matter of survival. The liver, however, contains an insane amount of Vitamin A which cannot be processed by the human body, and consumed in large amounts can even lead to death.
5. Polar Bears Aren’t White
Not many people are aware of the fact that polar bears are black skinned, and their fur contains pockets of air which show up as white under the white light of the sun. At certain times, when the sunlight is refracted by the clouds, their fur will actually appear yellowish, or even brown.
6. Polar Bear Populations
Polar bear populations are in decline, and it is estimated that there are only about 20,000-25,000 polar bears in the world. This is mostly due to global warming and the bears’ dependence on specific regions in the Arctic that can provide them with stable pack ice.
7. Low Reproduction Rates
Polar bears also have one of the lowest reproduction rates when compared to any other mammal, giving birth to only 4-5 cubs in their entire lifetimes.
8. Rolling in the Snow
One of the most intriguing facts about polar bears is that they have a unique way of cleaning their fur. Used to the harsh, cold environments of the Arctic, they can often be seen cleaning themselves in the snow. Although they do go for a swim quite often, they will usually prefer rolling in the snow in warmer periods.
9. Endurance Swimming
Speaking of swimming, did you know that polar bears can swim non-stop for a week? Their speed and endurance through even ice-cold water is remarkable, these creatures being able to cut through the water at up to 10 mph and easily catch up to even the fastest Olympic swimmers.
10. Invisible Bears
It was discovered that the surface radiation of the bears’ furs, picked up by infrared cameras, is exactly the same as that of snow. So if you try to observe the bears through your night vision camera, the most you might see will be their eyes.
These were my top picks when it comes to these lovely creatures. Which one do you find more interesting? Can you share any other fascinating stories or facts about polar bears that should be on the list as well?