Tall Tales

Hippos can recognise their friends’ voices

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Hippos calling out

Wild hippos can recognise their friends’ voices, according to a new study reported by the BBC. Scientists studying hippos at a nature reserve in Africa say the large mammals use sound to distinguish friend from foe and the animals can probably recognise individuals from their voices alone. “This recognition ability supports the social relationships between individuals,” said study leader Prof Nicolas Mathevon, from the University of Saint-Etienne in France. The “wheeze-honk”, the most common hippo call, can travel as far as 1km, according to the study.

Scorpion emerges from broccoli packet

An Australian woman was shocked when she opened a packet of broccoli from a local supermarket to discover a live scorpion lurking inside. “I put [the broccoli] in the steamer on the stove. I then turned around to get the last few pieces and saw something crawling along the chopping board,” explained Chloe Mitchell. The scorpion became aggressive when Mitchell and her husband attempted to capture it. “It was very angry,” she said, adding that her father-in-law ended up disposing of the creature.

Athlete breaks fingertip push-up record

An athlete in India has broken his own Guinness World Record by completing 109 pushups with his fingertips in one minute. Thounaojam Niranjoy Singh, 24, of Manipur state, had previously set the record with 105 fingertip pushups in one minute. He had also set the Guinness World Record for the most one-arm knuckle pushups in one minute, completing 67 in 2020. “I'm so proud of his achievement,” said Kiren Rijiju, India’s Minister of Law and Justice.

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