The world is filled with animals who have mind-boggling tricks or talents that they use for survival.
With 71% of the planet made up of water, you’d think all animals would learn how to swim one way or another, but that simply isn’t true.
While these animals may not know how to swim, they have other ways of thriving in their natural habitats.
25 Animals That Can’t Swim
Most camels spend their entire lives surrounded by nothing but sand.
There is such little water in the desert that camels must drink large amounts of water at a time.
The water is then stored in the bloodstream.
Although many people believe that a camel’s hump is used to store water, the hump actually only stores fat to use as nourishment, should the camel need it.
There is, however, one breed of camel that can actually swim, the Kharai camel of Kutch.
Sadly, the Kharai camels are rapidly losing their homeland and food supply to mining and urbanization.
Global warming is also causing water levels to rise.
While the Kharai camel can swim, their herders fear that they cannot swim well enough to handle the water levels.
Giraffes are the tallest mammals on the planet, but it’s their long legs and neck that put them at a disadvantage.
If a giraffe were to attempt to swim, it would not have the energy required to move its long, thin legs through the water fast enough.
While their bodies should be able to stay afloat, it’s the movement of their neck and legs that would be too unnatural for them to be able to swim.
While giraffes may not be great swimmers, those long legs of theirs are perfect for running.
A giraffe will cruise at a comfortable 10 miles per hour, normally.
In a chase, a giraffe can run up to 35 miles per hour!
Porcupines are known for the sharp quills that cover their entire bodies.
The length of each quill is determined by its location on the porcupine’s body, with shorter quills near the head and longer quills covering the entire body.
Porcupines will only go into the water as an extreme last resort. Although they may not know how to swim, their hollow quills are just buoyant enough to keep them afloat.
Without their hollow quills, porcupines would drown in water.
Porcupines may not make the mammal swim team, but their talents lie in climbing.
Porcupines can scale trees with ease.
They like to hide in trees in order to stay out of the sight and reach of their predators, such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.
Tortoises may look just like turtles, but unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim at all.
The best a tortoise can do in the water is float, if it is small enough, and hope it hits land sooner or later.
While turtles have flippers for feet, tortoises have stumpy, bent legs similar to elephants’ feet.
The tortoise’s heavy, domed shell doesn’t fare well in water either.
The tortoise’s shell may be its downfall in the water, but this sturdy form of portable protection was deemed inspirational by the ancient Roman empire.
The ancient Romans had a military tactic called the testudo formation.
The word testudo means tortoise in Latin.
5. Shih Tzus
Shih Tzus may be the 20th most popular dog to own in the United States, but the Shih Tzu may be one of the worst swimmers out of all the domesticated canines.
Shin Tzus have extremely short muzzles, which makes it very easy for water to seep into their nose and mouth.
No pet owner wants to accidentally waterlog their dog.
Their tiny legs are almost useless in the water and often get caught in their long coats.
Although a Shih Tzu can learn to swim with professional help, it still wouldn’t be able to keep itself above the water without some kind of floatation device, such as a dog life jacket.
Peacocks are some of the most beautiful birds on the planet.
Their long, luxurious feathers may be their most famous feature, but they are useless in the water.
Unlike ducks or geese, peacocks lack webbed feet.
Instead, they consist of four, separate toes that help them clunk onto things.
However, peacocks can float, thanks to them being about the same weight as a large duck.
Most peacocks have quite a disdain for water and even rain.
Peacocks also hate snakes.
In the wild, peacocks have to keep their eggs and younglings safe from the foul, slithering creatures.
Snakes also like to hide in the water and attack the birds when they go for drinks of water.
Gorillas are some of the smartest animals known to man.
They are able to learn sign language and form thoughts and sentences, just like humans. Unlike humans, gorillas can’t swim, and they know it.
In the wild, gorillas will use sticks to see how deep water is, to avoid drowning.
Gorillas lack the same level of buoyancy that other swimming animals have.
Gorillas are dense, muscular creatures that can lift ten times their own body weight!
Their weight and lack of buoyancy aren’t the only things working against gorillas.
Gorillas also lack the motor movement to keep themselves above the water.
Your motor movement is how precisely you can move certain parts of your body at once.
When you see gorillas in zoo exhibits, you may notice that gorillas have clunky movements while walking around due to their lack of motor movement.
Gorillas aren’t the only primates that can’t swim.
Chimpanzees also have a difficult time in the water.
Chimpanzees, like gorillas, are mostly muscle and have little to no fat on them.
Their low-fat ratio makes it impossible for them to stay afloat.
Chimpanzees are also top heavy, due to their reliance on their upper body strength.
These great apes may not be able to swim, but don’t doubt their intelligence.
Chimpanzees are known for using tools to help them accomplish their survival goals, like opening fruits or fighting.
Chimpanzees have been known to fight other groups of chimpanzees for years, using tactics like sneak attacks and retreating.
They also mourn any dead members of their community, which is what a group of chimps is called.
You’d never think that Africa’s most dangerous animal, the hippopotamus, couldn’t swim.
Hippos are usually seen in the water, floating just below the surface, so it can be hard to believe that they can’t swim.
However, when hippos are in the water, they aren’t swimming, but instead, they are bouncing!
Hippopotamuses have extremely dense bones, which is what keeps them from being able to swim.
Around those dense bones are thick layers of buoyant fat that allow hippos to float at the surface level for a limited amount of time.
Hippopotamuses take deep breaths before they begin to descend the river or lake floor.
Chinchillas are known for having some of the softest fur on a rodent, being even softer than rabbit fur.
These cute, fuzzy friends have extremely hydrophobic fur, meaning their fur fails to mix with water.
Chinchillas are not even supposed to take water baths due to the nature of their fur, instead opting for dirt baths.
If a chinchilla is put in water, its fur will become heavier and denser, causing the small rodent to drown.
Even regular baths are bad for chinchillas.
It can cause fungus to grow, hair loss, or make them more susceptible to ringworm.
The only time you should bathe a chinchilla is if it is disabled and cannot clean itself.
It is recommended that you have it done by a professional to avoid improper cleaning.
11. English Bulldogs
There are many dogs that were bred to swim, but the English bulldog is not one of them.
According to the American Kennel Club, English bulldogs’ brachycephalic traits and weight distribution make it impossible for them to swim on their own.
However, many water-loving English bulldog owners have found a workaround for their stubby, fuzzy friends.
There are many lifejackets for dogs on the market to choose from.
They’re so common that you can even pick one up at your local pet store.
You would think that being able to breathe underwater and spending your entire existence in the water would lead a species to excel at swimming, but this isn’t the case for the batfish.
They walk across the sea floor on their pectoral fins.
Batfish grow a dorsal fin that comes out of their forehead like a unicorn as they mature.
The peculiar batfish also has ruby red lips, as if this creature weren’t strange enough.
13. Portuguese Man O’ War
The Portuguese Man O’ War is another sea creature that can’t swim.
Portuguese Man O’ War isn’t a jellyfish as most people assume.
It is actually a siphonophore, which is a colony of small creatures called zooids.
Zooids are not capable of thought, so they cannot control any parts of the Portuguese Man O’ War.
Instead, the zooid colony is moved through the ocean by wind and ocean currents.
The Portuguese Man O’ War is best known for being an extremely venomous and dangerous predator in the sea.
With tentacles that can grow as long as 165 feet, these fearsome, brainless creatures float in the ocean, waiting for their next prey or opportunity to reproduce.
14. Black Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros vary in gifts and talents between their species.
The Asian species of rhinoceros are all able to swim, but the same cannot be said for the two species hailing from Africa.
One of these species is the Black Rhinoceros, which is one of three endangered species of rhinoceros.
The black rhinoceros is coveted by many poachers due to its majestic size.
It is also its size that causes it to sink almost as soon as it hits the water.
If a black rhinoceros needs to cool off, it will have itself a nice mud bath instead of a dip in any deep water.
15. White Rhinoceros
The black rhinoceros isn’t the only species of rhino to have trouble in the water.
White rhinos share a similar weakness.
The white rhinoceros is vastly larger than its Asia-originating relatives.
The white rhino’s size and shorter legs do not help it in the water.
Swimming may not be an option for the white rhinoceros, but they can join the black rhinoceroses in the mud.
Blobfish, also known as blob sculpins, have sent the internet into war over whether it is the ugliest creature on the planet or the cutest sea creature we have, but both sides can agree that the blobfish lives up to its name.
Blobfish lack any muscle, which is what gives them their blobby appearance.
It’s their lack of any density that keeps them from being crushed by the deep-sea pressure.
They use the water pressure as a way to float, instead of a swim bladder like other bony fish.
Swim bladders keep fish afloat under the water and are usually filled with some type of oil.
17. Basset Hounds
Basset hounds are known for their long ears and little legs, but these features make it impossible for them to swim without a floatation device.
Basset hounds’ large heads on their small, front-heavy bodies make it even harder for them to stay afloat on their own.
Their short legs don’t propel enough water to keep them up on their own for long, either.
In addition, basset hounds’ large ears are prone to getting infected, in or out of the water.
Swimming increases their chances of getting a worse ear infection.
18. Red-Tailed Hawks
Hawks are one of the most fearsome birds of prey in the sky, but they become significantly less fearsome in the water.
Hawks suffer from the same problem that peacocks do in the water.
They lack webbed feet.
Hawks have powerful talons, which can be used to easily pick up prey on land or even in the sky.
Young hawks often go to scoop down and catch prey, which leads them to dive into the water instead.
Although their light bodies allow them to float, they can barely control where they’re going.
Boxers are one of the most athletic of the brachycephalic breeds.
Unlike the rest of the brachycephalic breeds, the boxer has long, strong legs.
Many boxer owners claim their dogs love the water, but they aren’t able to swim on their own, instead, needing a life jacket in order to actually enjoy it like the rest of the dogs.
This is because of their flat face, lack of a tail, and barrel-like chest.
Boxers’ muscular build makes them too dense to float well.
Unlike frogs, toads do not swim.
Toads are vastly denser than frogs, which makes it difficult for them to stay afloat.
Toads also have vastly shorter legs than frogs, which makes it difficult for them to get the speed they need to swim properly.
Although toads need a moist environment to help support their dry skin, toads do not live in the water or go very far into it.
21. Prairie Dogs
Prairie dogs are extremely social animals, but you shouldn’t expect them to go swimming together anytime soon.
Prairie dogs are terrible swimmers and sink vastly more than they swim.
Their short legs and round bodies sink like stones.
Although there are five different types of prairie dogs, not a single one of them can swim, despite their best efforts.
The Mexican Prairie dog is actually endangered.
Owls are some of the smartest nocturnal hunters, but even with all of their survival skills, they cannot swim.
Although owls will go after prey that is at the surface level of water, they dare not go deeper.
When owls get wet, the water can ruin their feathers, making flight impossible.
Pugs have won over the hearts of dog owners all over the world, but they won’t be winning any swimming competitions any time soon.
The iconic flat face of the pug isn’t made for the water and makes it easy for them to drown.
Some pugs love the water, but they may prefer a shallow kiddie pool instead of the open sea.
Parrots are as colorful as a rainbow and make wonderful lifelong pets.
However, they don’t make great swimmers.
Parrots lack the leg strength to keep themselves above the water for a long time.
They also lack the correct type of feet for the job.
Unlike ducks, parrots’ feet are not webbed.
Their legs aren’t very strong either.
Dachshund owners often call their dogs “little tubes of ambition”, but can this lead to a dachshund being able to swim?
Dachshunds cannot swim naturally, but like most furry friends, they can be taught to swim.
However, even after teaching your dachshund, you may find that your dachshund still isn’t able to swim independently.
This means a dachshund will always require support from its owner or a life vest in order to swim safely.
Their long bodies and stumpy legs weren’t meant for the water.
They also aren’t very buoyant.
However, if a dachshund is ambitious enough and has the proper support, it can do anything it puts its little mind to.