Do You Know Why Sea Otters Sleep Holding Hands?

Ashley | 03 - 30 - 2021
Sea otters sleep holding hands

A few years ago, a video of two sea otters holding hands in the Vancouver Aquarium went viral. That video showcased two cute otters holding their hands tight while sleeping. In the middle of the video, when the otters went separate for a few seconds, they immediately searched for their pair, moved slightly, and held their hands. Many viewers found it to be cute, and within a period of 2 weeks, the video hit 1 million views. Currently, more than 20 million people have watched the video. Let’s find out more facts about otters holding hands

Sea Otters

Sea otters can be mostly found on the coasts of the Northern and Eastern North Pacific Ocean. They are usually the heaviest member of their weasel family, weighing between 14 to 45 Kg with a height of about 6 feet. 

  • Female Otters are called Sows.
  • Male Otters are called Boars.
  • Otter Groups are commonly referred to as a family, bevy, lodge, romp, or raft. 
  • Baby Otters are usually called kits, kittens, or pups. 

Do sea otters hold hands when they sleep? 

How Do Sea Otters Sleep?
  • A. Holding Hands
  • B. Hanging Upside Down
  • C. With An Open Eye
  • D. Under The Water

Yes, Otters sleep holding hands. 

But why do sea otters hold hands? 

They eat, sleep, swim, play, mate, and give birth in the water. While they are sleeping, they tend to hold their hands to prevent themselves from drifting apart in the swirling sea. 

How does a mother sea otter stay still as she sleeps? Most of the time, mothers and pups were found holding hands because, during the first few days of their birth, the baby otters cannot move. The mother otters also groom pups, blow air into their newborns, and create buoyancy to make the baby float. They also wrap their pups in the long strands of kelp forest like a blanket to provide anchorage so that the pup does not float away to the open ocean. 

An interesting part is mother otters can spend up to 14 hours a day to fulfill the pup’s intense nutritional needs.

Other Interesting Facts about Otters

  • Otters are naturally born without a blubber layer of insulation. Therefore, Sea otters have the densest fur of all animals, with 2.6 million hairs per square for insulating qualities. 
  • Otters may eat about 9 pounds of food each day which is about 20 percent to 33 percent of their body weight. 
  • Otters can swim three times faster than the average human, and their swimming speed is up to 7 miles per hour. 
  • The lung capacity of otters is 2.5 times greater than any other similar-sized land mammals. They have the ability to hold their breath for about 8 minutes. They have this unique quality to sense prey.
  • Sea otters have a patch of skin under their armpit to store their food. They will store rocks in it to crack into their dinner.  
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), North American River Otters are the only otter species to be thriving currently. 
  • According to the ancient religion, otters were considered to keep water purified as they eat dead creatures found in the river or sea, and it was strictly forbidden to kill otters.
  • Scientists also suspect that otters might determine age, reproductive status, and sex just with a whiff. 

Read Next