Moose are the biggest member of the deer family, and they have many different traits which make them unique in their family. But is one of these traits walking on water? After a TikTok video has gone viral with a moose running on water, it has led many people to wonder.
In reality, moose cannot run on water. Even in the clip which went viral, the moose was not running on water.
So, how did the TikTok video show a moose running on water if they can’t? Well, it’s just a little optics trick which we’ll explain below.
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How Did the TikTok Video Work?
The TikTok video, which was taken by a user known as kristy_234, seems to show a gigantic moose running on the surface of the water. However, as amazing as it seems, it’s not exactly what it looks like. It’s an optics trick.
There were two major aspects that made the video look:
- Firstly, it has been theorized that the user who took the video was floating in an airboat rather than a regular boat, which can float in the water much shallower than a regular boat.
- This means that whilst it looks like the moose is running on the surface of deep water, whilst the user is in a boat, it is in fact running through incredibly shallow water as the user rides in an airboat.
Are There Any Animals That DO Run on Water?
The moose running on water video was simply a state of optics, but are there any animals that can run on water? Well, the answer is yes, and we’ll first cover the animals which can run on water, why they can, and then finally, we’ll discuss why moose therefore can’t run on water.
The few animals which can run on the water include:
- Brazilian Pygmy Geckos
- Basilisk Lizard
- Fishing Spiders
- Water Striders
- Western and Clark’s Grebes
- Storm Petrel
For those of you who know your animals, you might notice that there are only three real kinds of animals on that list: insects, lizards, and birds. They also share reasons as to why they can run on water as well.
Why Can These Animals Run On Water?
These animals share the ability to run on water, but the reasons as to why they can as well, come down to the following four things
They Are Lightweight
Nearly every single one of these animals is incredibly lightweight – so much so that the surface tension of the water is able to carry their weight.
They Have Hydrophobic Aspects
Hydrophobia means that it repels water. Most of these animals have some element that repels water – for example:
- The Brazilian Pygmy Gecko has hydrophobic skin, which combined with its tiny size, means it can just float on the surface of the water.
- The Fishing Spider is covered in very short, hydrophobic hairs on their legs, so they splay their legs wide and glide on the surface tension.
- The Water Striders also have hydrophobic legs
They Create Water Bubbles With Their Feet By Moving So Fast
The Basilisk Lizard is perhaps the most famous animal which does this, but some of these animals traverse the animals simply by moving so fast that they move across the surface of the water like a skipping stone.
The Basilisk Lizard have incredibly long, nearly webbed toes on their hind legs, and when they are threatened by predators, they sprint across the water at about five feet per second.
They Use Their Wings
Western and Clark’s Grebes have a mating dance in which they run on the surface of the water together, and they do so by beating their wings hard and running across the water with their feet.
Storm Petrels hover close to the surface whilst eating insects, their feet walking across the surface of the water as they do.
Why Can’t Moose Run On Water?
So, with us having covered the main reasons why the creatures that can walk on water can do it, the reasons why moose can’t walk on water should be a lot clearer.
Moose Are Incredibly Heavy
Moose are gigantic animals, coming in somewhere at:
- Ten feet in length
- Six and a half feet tall
- Generally over 1100 pounds
Being so big, moose naturally break the water tension and are unable to float on the surface like these other animals are.
They Have No Hydrophobic Aspects
Moose have nothing hydrophobic as part of their body; even their fur does not count as ‘hydrophobic’, as it does not repel water, and is used to keep them warm rather than dry.
Moose Cannot Run Fast Enough To Create Water Bubbles On The Water Surface
Moose can run fairly fast for a creature around 1100 pounds – around 35 miles per hour – and can apparently swim even faster – around 6 miles an hour, which is so impressive for how big they are.
However, this is not nearly as fast as to keep themselves from breaking the water tension, and they fall right through the water when they go into the water (Like humans – or indeed most creatures who try).
Moose Don’t Have Wings
This final point is simple; most birds who walk on water use their wings to keep their feet on the water. Moose don’t have wings.
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In conclusion, the TikTok video which shows a moose running on the surface of the water is nothing short of clever optics. It is a result of the user being on a boat hovering on shallow water, making the moose look like it’s running on the surface of deep water when in reality it gallops through very shallow water.
Animals that can run on the water can often do so because of hydrophobic aspects, incredibly lightweight, being so fast that they can run on the surface of the water, or use wings as assistance. As moose do not have any of these aspects, there is no way that a moose will be able to run on the surface of the water.