Can Flamingos Drink Boiling Water?

flamingo water
Photo by DeswartvaegerChristophe/

Can flamingos drink boiling water?

Flamingos are pretty awesome birds. From their uniquely pink coloration to their preference for standing on one leg to their awkward habits, flamingos are a one-of-a-kind creature. But come on, drinking boiling water? There’s no way flamingos can drink boiling water, right?

Wrong, kind of. Boiling water is a bit too much, but flamingos can drink water that’s awfully close to boiling.

Can Flamingos Drink Boiling Water?

A lot of the lakes where you can find flamingos across the world have tons of salt, but the food the birds eat are more readily found in freshwater. Plus, fresh water is needed to drink to survive. Oftentimes, the only access to that necessary fresh water can be found in geysers with scalding hot, boiling water. So, what’s a flamingo to do? Drink it, of course!

flamingo drinking water
Photo by DennisJacobsen/

Now, flamingos can’t quite manage water that’s actually at the point of boiling, but they can drink water that’s pretty close. And not only can they drink it, but they can be in it, too. Their skin is very tough, and their legs have scales that keep them from burning.

As you might expect, this is a pretty rare skill to have in the animal kingdom. That means there isn’t a ton of competition for the delicious food hanging out in and around these waters that are too hot to handle for most other living things. That can lead to massive hoards of flamingos converging on one area of water with nothing else visibly around, because not much else could stand to be there. But the flamingos can, and they’re more than willing to eat up all the tasty treats around.

Not only can flamingos stand in near-boiling water for hours and dunk their heads fully underwater to search for food, they can also drink it. That’s pretty metal, right?

So, the next time someone says something negative about flamingos, about how they’re all weak and lame, offer them a challenge: put some water in a pot, put it on the stove, and bring it close to a boil. If they can drink just one sip of that almost-boiling water, then they can talk bad about flamingos all they want. But if they can’t, then it doesn’t sound like they have a leg to stand on, unlike the badass, boiling-water-drinking flamingos.