What you never knew about camels:
- There are 99 names of God in Islam. Somalis say, “Why does the camel smile? Because it knows the 100th name.”
- Camel pee can be as thick as syrup because they retain water.
- Camel milk is lower in fat and sugar than cow’s milk (unpasteurized, it can give you violent vomiting and runs. I know, I drank it in Somaliland and bore the consequences)
- A camel’s hump does not store water, it stores fat. (Tom knows, he ate camel hump, all fatty and jiggly with the former president of Somaliland)
- Camels have a double row of long, curly eyelashes to keep out sand and dust.
- Camels can drink up to 40 gallons of water at a time.
- One reason camels can go so long without water is because their red blood cells are oval-shaped. They flow, rather than clump, when the camel is dehydrated.
- Camel’s don’t start sweating until 41 degrees Celsius. (they sweat a lot in Djibouti, like everything else)
- Camels can go for up to two months without water.
- Camels can kick in all four directions with all four of their legs.
I will also add a few Somali-specific camel facts.
- A man is worth 100 camels.
- A woman is worth 50 camels.
- To be sure of something, one would pay even a female camel. (Somali proverb)
- There are more than 6 million camels in Somalia and Somaliland.
- There are 46 (or more) different Somali words for camel. (take that Eskimos and snow!)
Do you know anything else cool about camels?