We’ve all been through a situation where we know that we just got really, really lucky. Maybe it was a near-car crash that somehow didn’t happen or a rouge object that nearly missed you. Regardless, we all feel a bit of relief and a bit of anxiety at how close we just came to a tragedy. As this video shows, that feeling probably happens to more than just humans!
In what is maybe one of the luckiest videos of the luckiest animals of all time, we see a group of animals at a watering hole. Watering holes are essentially the bars of the African savannah. Come, hang out, have a drink, and relax! But, be careful, there could be a predator around, patiently waiting for you to slip up!
At this particular watering hole, the shoreline is absolutely packed. Zebra, wildebeest, and antelope are packed in, waiting for a chance to get a drink during the dry season. During this clamoring, a group of people on a safari decided to get some footage of the event.
This event, known as the Great Migration, occurs each year as the herds of animals try and cross the rivers in search of greener pastures. This particular river, the Mara River, is the crossing ground for over a million wildebeest, plus hundreds of thousands of zebra, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, elands, topi, and impalas. As any African herd animal knows, however, something else is lurking under the waters of the Mara River.
In the bottom left of the screen, we see a bit of commotion. A small topi (a species of antelope) tries to rush through the river, right over the waiting jaws of a crocodile! In the blink of an eye, the crocodile tries to capitalize on its apparent luck, only to have the topi immediately skip right out of its jaws as they snap shut.
Getting some perspective on this amazing event shows us just how crazy it truly was. Researchers estimate that a crocodile can snap their jaws shut around prey within 50 milliseconds. For reference, the average duration of a blink is between 100 and 150 milliseconds. That topi somehow avoided jaws that are faster than the blink of an eye!
Moments later, we see another animal try and cross the other way, right through the path of the same crocodile. Once again, the crocodile sees the animal and does its best to find lunch, only to be foiled again! Somehow, a baby wildebeest outswims the monster croc and makes it to the shoreline to look for its mother. It’s safe to say that this isn’t turning out to be a good day for this African crocodile! Still, with a million potential animals crossing the river, this croc probably won’t struggle too much to find something by dinner.
More from A-Z Animals
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.