15 Cool Facts about Camels

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15 Cool Facts about Camels

*How the Camel Got Its Hump, a Golden Book

What you never knew about camels:

  1. There are 99 names of God in Islam. Somalis say, “Why does the camel smile? Because it knows the 100th name.”
  2. Camel pee can be as thick as syrup because they retain water.
  3. Camel milk is lower in fat and sugar than cow’s milk (unpasteurized, it can give you violent vomiting and runs. I know, I drank it in Somaliland and bore the consequences)
  4. A camel’s hump does not store water, it stores fat. (Tom knows, he ate camel hump, all fatty and jiggly with the former president of Somaliland)
  5. Camels have a double row of long, curly eyelashes to keep out sand and dust.
  6. Camels can drink up to 40 gallons of water at a time.
  7. One reason camels can go so long without water is because their red blood cells are oval-shaped. They flow, rather than clump, when the camel is dehydrated.
  8. Camel’s don’t start sweating until 41 degrees Celsius. (they sweat a lot in Djibouti, like everything else)
  9. Camels can go for up to two months without water.
  10. Camels can kick in all four directions with all four of their legs.


I will also add a few Somali-specific camel facts.

  1. A man is worth 100 camels.
  2. A woman is worth 50 camels.
  3. To be sure of something, one would pay even a female camel. (Somali proverb)
  4. There are more than 6 million camels in Somalia and Somaliland.
  5. There are 46 (or more) different Somali words for camel. (take that Eskimos and snow!)

Sources: Environmental Graffiti, First News World Explorer

Do you know anything else cool about camels?

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By |February 7th, 2013|Categories: africa|Tags: , |27 Comments


  1. Nicolas February 7, 2013 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Yep ! They stink, are stubborns and can bite pretty bad !
    However, I still remember a young camel in Morrocco who, when you told him in arabic “give me kiss” would kiss you softly.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones February 7, 2013 at 11:38 am - Reply

      Not sure I want to be kissed by a camel! Especially since they can kick in all four directions!

      • SAMER MOHAMED August 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm - Reply

        It is mensioned in Holy Quraan in Surah no 88. (Al-Gashiya)
        Will they not regard the camels, how they are created?

    • sarah jane November 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      hi there

    • SAMER MOHAMED August 25, 2014 at 11:56 pm - Reply

      It is mensioned in Holy Quraan in Surah no 88. (Al-Gashiya)
      Will they not regard the camels, how they are created?

  2. Carolyn February 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    In Afghanistan we have the two humped small Asian variety. They are only beasts of burden. You do not ride them. If you ask if you could ride one, like you can in Egypt, you will be looked at with disbelief, as a midwest farmer would look at you if you’d asked to ride his cow. It’s possible I know this from experience.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones February 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      I would love to see someone riding a cow in rural Minnesota – that’s a great comparison! Two humped camels seem so much cooler than one humped.

      • Anita February 8, 2013 at 4:53 am - Reply

        I like the two humped camels as well. My favorite camel moment was passing one of those stately beasts on the sidewalk as I was walking back to my apartment in Mongolia. (At the moment, I’m wearing a camel wool vest that could have been made from the wool of one of its relatives.)

        • Rachel Pieh Jones February 8, 2013 at 5:02 am - Reply

          That made me laugh – picturing it. These are fun comments to hear about people’s interactions with camels. Who knew?!

          • Nishiketh Gupta July 6, 2013 at 5:23 am

            a camel almost ran over me once. got scared like anything. thats why i hate camels.

  3. richelle @ "our wright"-ing pad February 9, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    waiting behind a camel at a stop light is still one of those pinch-myself-i-can’t-believe-i-live-in-africa moments!

    http://fohn.net/camel-pictures-facts/ is a great article about camels and seems to be well cited. one detail that i found most fascinating: Camels are the only creatures which can lose a huge percentage of their body weight in water. Camel blood is like human blood in the amount of water it typically holds (94%). When water is scarce, camels can lose 40% of that water and still function. Humans, on the other hand go blind at a loss of 5%, crazy at a loss of 10% and die at a loss of 12%.

    the link has tons of other really amazing facts. locally – most people assume that camels have a bad temper, but our tuareg friends tell us they are gentle and loyal as long as they are treated with love and respect. and, we’ve been offered 150 camels as a bride price for one of our girls.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones February 9, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

      150 camels, that’s a pretty good price! :O) Great link and facts too. Amazing animals. Do people ride them where you are? Here only tourists do – if they pay a bit at the beach or something. Never a local. Like riding cows, as another commenter said.

      • richelle @ "our wright"-ing pad February 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm - Reply

        the tuaregs ride them – but they are the dudes that led caravans across the sahara, do the salt mine routes… the blue men of the desert. one of the coolest and strangest things we’ve seen here has been a tuareg man dressed in robes and a turban wearing shades and a leather jacket with a bluetooth… riding a camel across one of the two bridges in town. the only other people that ride them are tourists and kids at school fetes.

        they are primarily beasts of burden for other tribal groups.

        • Rachel Pieh Jones February 10, 2013 at 4:28 am - Reply

          That is a picture I would love to see. I am fascinated by the mix of modern and traditional. What I wouldn’t give for a photo of a donkey cart in front of an SUV! Something about contrasts draws me in. Maybe because that is sort of where we live – in those contrasting places?

  4. sarah jane November 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    this it the picture you can see everyday

  5. fahad albalawi February 15, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

    thanks a lot! i had to write a ten story essay!!!! at least i got some facts here! by the way the camel doesn’t know the 100th name of god, thats just stupid

  6. deeks March 24, 2014 at 1:01 am - Reply

    When i was little i rode on a camel i fell off šŸ™

  7. Dion Channer April 22, 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

    I am fortunate enough to be the custodian of two really beautiful camels. The first, a then, 3 year old female I named Doshi I acquired from the north of South Australia when I attended a cameleer training course in 2006 where we ‘trained together. The second, a bullock named Saladin, came to live with us in 2007 when he was around 2 years old. I found him through a ‘for sale’ notice on a bulletin board in a local shopping centre (in southern Queensland). We go trekking with them, they carry our gear and we all walk at camel pace 5.5 – 6 kmh. It’s a wonderful way to travel.

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  9. marissa May 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    i love camels n dont unerstand how anybody coundnt

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  11. SAMER MOHAMED August 25, 2014 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    It is mensioned in Quraan in Surah no 88. (Al-Gashiya)
    Will they not regard the camels, how they are created?

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  13. Paula March 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    This was fun to read! My only experience with camels was while visiting Israel and Jordan and Egypt (Mt. Sinai). They were used to make money from tourists getting a ride. So while at Petra, my husband and I did the touristy thing and rode around while a friend took pictures/video. After sliding down, the caretaker handed his camel a can of pop! I watched in disbelief as the animal proceeded to puncture the can and swallow the contents! (I think I still have a picture of it somewhere!)

  14. […] I saw speaking together were on the verge of a brawl. Probably they were just talking about tea or camels or football. One of my favorite things about Somali is that it is a great language to get angry in. […]

  15. toqa November 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    thank you so much it realy helped

  16. darcelle November 22, 2015 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Do camels urinate when they walk?

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