Skip to main content

Why Do Camels Have Humps?


Contrary to popular belief, the camel’s humps are not full of water. Instead, these odd protrusions are mounds of fat — allowing the gangly beast to travel days through the desert without stopping for a bite to eat.

A camel can carry up to 80 pounds of fat on its back (Baby camels don’t get their humps until they start eating solid food). When a camel consumes the emergency food supply, the hump will shrink and fall to one side. Refueling and a good night’s sleep will return the hump to its upright position.

Meantime, a camel can drink up to 20 gallons of water at a time, if there is any water around.

Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries. We're also on Facebook & Google+.