Home Animals Polar Bear vs Hippo: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Polar Bear vs Hippo: Who Would Win in a Fight?

polar beer vs hippo

Hippos and polar bears are both semi-aquatic mammals that can be incredibly dangerous to humans. In Africa, hippopotamuses are said to be the cause of 500 annual deaths as a result of their size and ferocity. They are easily able to kill humans. Polar bears also pose a threat to humans, although they thankfully live in remote areas where encounters are rare.

These bears are not as friendly as they appear; they are very good at killing. Hippos are more likely to encounter humans and thus can pose a greater threat. However, polar bears are more powerful and skilled hunters. What would happen if a polar bear and a hippo fought? In this article, we’ll discuss everything about hippos and polar bears.

polar beer vs hippo

Polar Bear and Hippo Comparison

HippoPolar Bear
SizeHeight at shoulder: 4 to 5.5 feet;
length: 6.5 to 16.5 feet;
weight: 2,200 to 9,900 pounds.
Height at shoulder: 3.5 to 5 feet;
length: 6 ft to 8.5 ft;
weight: 330 -1300 lbs; 
Speed and Movement TypeA maximum speed of 20 mph to 30 mph
Trot 5 mph in the water
25 mph When sprinting,
gallops 6 mph swimming
Defenses– Thick skin
– Strong aggression
– Size and weight
– Big size – Growling threat display will scare animals
– Thick, insulating fur and skin
– Capable of swimming in freezing temperatures
Offensive Capabilities 1,800PSI bite force
-36 razor-sharp teeth
– Incisors up to 1.2ft long and canines up to 1.5ft long
– Weight-based charging
– About 4-inch long, curved,
sharp claws are used for grasping
– 1,200 PSI of forceful bite
Predatory Behavior– Ambush hunter who only leaves his head above water before attacking
– Ambush predator for seals, lurking on the ice above their surfacing holes

What Are the Primary Differences Between a Polar Bear and a Hippo?

Hippos and polar bears are both incredibly powerful animals. But which one is more deadly? Let’s take a look at their differences to find out. 

Hippos are large, hairless creatures with pig-like bodies. They can weigh up to 9,900 pounds, stand 5.5 feet tall at the shoulder, and are up to 16.5 feet long. Polar bears, on the other hand, are caniform mammals with dense fur coats. They can weigh up to 1,300 pounds, stand up to 5 feet tall at the shoulder, and grow to be 8.3 feet long.

polar beer

What Are the Important Factors in a Polar Bear-Hippo Fight?

When Hippo and Polar Bear enter into combat, there are a few key factors that will determine who the winner is. size, offensive power, defense, speed, and the way they approach prey are all important considerations. Hippo is larger than Polar Bear, but Polar Bear has more offensive power.

Polar Bear’s thicker fur also provides better defense against Hippo’s attacks. However, Hippo is faster than Polar Bear and Hippo bites can be fatal.  

Let’s look at 5 factors that can act as an advantage to win over the other. This can help us to determine which animal can win over the other.

Polar Bear vs Hippo: Size

When compared to polar bears, hippos are substantially larger creatures, both in terms of their weight and their total size. The heaviest polar bear ever recorded weighed barely 2,000 pounds, but the largest hippos can weigh up to 9,900 pounds.

Hippos can be up to 16 feet longer than polar bears when measured from end to end, which is a huge difference between the two species. Hippos also have a bigger height advantage than polar bears, standing at a shoulder height of 5.5 feet compared to the average height of 4 feet for polar bears. As a direct result of this, it is abundantly evident that hippos are far larger animals than polar bears

When it comes to speed, the Hippo would be the clear winner. On land, Hippos can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, while Polar Bears max out at around 25 miles per hour. In the water, the Hippo’s speed advantage is even more pronounced, as they can swim at 5 miles per hour compared to the Polar Bear’s 6 miles per hour. 

You can also read a detailed blog on Hippo size and how much does a hippo weigh



Polar Bear vs Hippo: Defenses

When it comes to size and weight, hippos are superior to polar bears. Hippos have a few key advantages when it comes to defense. For one, their skin is incredibly thick – about two inches thick in some cases. This thick skin is bolstered by a layer of blubber, making it difficult for even the sharpest teeth to penetrate.

Hippos are also highly aggressive animals, and their size makes them surprisingly quick on their feet. As a result, it’s very difficult to bring a hippo down, even for a large predator like a lion. 

Polar bears also have thick fur and skin, which helps to insulate them from the cold. The combined thickness of their fur, skin, and fat layers can reach up to 4 inches! However, they are not as agile as hippos, and their primary defense is their massive size. Hippos have more effective defenses than polar bears.

Polar Bear vs Hippo: Offensive Capabilities

Hippos are unquestionably the strongest animals in terms of pure strength. Hippo teeth can grow up to 1.5 feet long, and they can weigh up to three times as much as polar bears. They also possess a phenomenal 1,800 PSI biting force, which is nearly twice that of polar bears. Hippos also have the benefit of being able to trample and bowl over their opponents with their weight.

However, there are certain benefits to being a polar bear. They can seize and hold onto their prey with the help of their 4-inch, curved claws. They also have a 1,200 PSI bite force, which is incredibly strong. But in the end, polar bears cannot compete with hippos because they are simply too robust and powerful.

Polar Bear vs Hippo: Predatory Behaviors

Hippos and polar bears have a lot in common. Both are ambush predators that kill their prey with a quick strike. Hippos wait for animals to come to the water’s edge for a drink, then lunge forward and tear them apart. 

Polar bears lie in wait above holes in the ice, then grasp the seal with their claws and bite it to death. Although Hippos are primarily herbivorous, they will kill any animal that comes too close. In contrast, polar bears rely on seals for most of their diet. While both animals are fearsome predators, they have very different hunting strategies.

polar bear in water

In a Fight Between a Polar bear and a Hippo, Who Would Win?

There’s no question that the polar bear is a fierce opponent. However, when pitted against the Hippo, the odds are firmly in the Hippo’s favor. The Hippo is much larger than the Polar Bear, weighing in at around 3 times the weight of an average Polar Bear.

The Hippo also has significantly more muscle mass, meaning it is stronger than the Polar Bear. And while both animals have sharp teeth, the Hippos are far bigger and more powerful. In terms of offensive capabilities, then, the Hippo definitely has the advantage.

The Hippo also has better armor than the Polar Bear. Its skin is thick and tough, making it difficult for the Polar Bear to penetrate. This thickness also means that Hippos can withstand more damage than Polar Bears before succumbing to injury.

However, the hippo’s powerful teeth would rip through the bear’s skin and hair, shattering bones, and tearing out internal organs. So not only is the Hippo more powerful than the Polar Bear, but it is also more resistant to damage.

Despite being dangerous, the polar bear has little chance against a hippo.


Which animal can beat a polar bear?

It depends on the individual matchup, but some potential contenders include grizzlies, brown bears, and walruses.

Who would win a hippo or a bear?

There is no easy answer. Each animal has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it would likely come down to who gets the first strike

What is the deadliest creature on earth?

Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animals, killing an estimated 750,000 to 1 million people each year.

What is the strongest bear on earth?

The grizzly bear and the polar bear are the two most powerful bear species.

Why do Crocs fear hippos?

Crocs have a healthy respect for hippos for good reason – hippos are twice the size of an average croc and can easily crush them with their powerful jaws. In addition, hippos are extremely territorial and will attack anything that comes too close to their herd.

Read our other Hippo blogs below:

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.


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