1. The animal we now know as “hippopotamus” was first mentioned in English under the name “ypotamus” or “ypotamos” in the 14th century.
2. The word “hippopotamus” comes from two Greek words meaning “river horse”.
3. Because it is Greek not Latin, the plural is “hippopotamuses” not “hippopotami”.
4. The abbreviation “hippo” was first seen in 1872.
5. The elephant and white rhinoceros are the only animals bigger than a hippo.
6. The usual collective nouns for a group of hippos are “pod” or “bloat” but “crash”, “dale” and “herd” have also been used.
7. The hippo is said to be the most dangerous land animal in Africa. Accurate figures are unknown but estimates of the number of people killed by hippos range from 500 to 3,000 a year.
8. Since 1993 when drug lord Pablo Escobar was killed, Colombia has faced increasing problems from wild hippos originating from his private zoo.
9. The Ramat Gan Safari in Israel is reported to export more hippos than anywhere else on Earth.
10. “Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus but we do not on that account value him less.” (Bertrand Russell).