When it comes to facts about animals, pigs truly deserve their own list. More than simply being fascinating and unusual, these facts also seem in many ways familiar from a human perspective.
So, here are some weird, wonderful, and just plain joyful facts about human’s other best friend, the pig.
Pigs Are Omnivores
Pigs can eat plants or vegetables as well as other animals like small reptiles and other mammals. This is why an unchecked population can wreak havoc on a local ecosystem. Not only will they destroy fruits and edible trees, but they will also likely decimate the local animal populations as well. In that way, they have the same impact on the environment as cats.
Contrary to popular opinion, pigs are not slow or clumsy. A pig in good health can do a decent clip at 11 mph. For perspective: A seriously good human athlete can possibly run a four-minute mile. That’s 15 mph. A pig could do that mile in 7 minutes, at its top speed. That’s still better than many amateur athletes.
Pigs Can Be Sizeable
The largest (as in heaviest) pig on record was Big Bill. In 1933, he stepped on the scale at a hefty 2,552 lbs. This is an extraordinary outlier, as most average large pigs tip that scale at between 300 lbs and 700 lbs. For perspective, a competitive sumo wrestler weighs between 300 lbs and 400 lbs and eats around 7,000 calories per day to maintain that weight.
In China, pigs have been considered fertility symbols to some degree. You may see statues or a shrine featuring a pig in the bedroom of a Chinese couple trying to conceive. Why you would be in a bedroom in China is your business.
Pigs Can Go Wild
Odd as it may seem, even the most friendly and docile domestic pig has the capacity to take on more instinctual aspects of their personality. If, for example, a domestic pig suddenly found itself in the wild and survived, it will take on habits more associated with a wild boar. More than that, its offspring will seem to develop a look more consistent with that of wild pigs.
A Pig Is Good Luck in China
Aside from being a good omen for fertility, pigs represent honesty, good fortune, and happiness in Chinese zodiac culture. The last year of the Pig was 2019. The next will be 2031. In the Chinese zodiac, each animal year is also associated with an element. In 2031, the element will be metal, specifically Gold.
Pigs are like elephants in at least one significant way. They remember things. Pigs have been known to remember things for years, perhaps locating an object hidden long ago, or even recognizing other pigs or people.