The pig is the 12th of all Chinese zodiac animals. According to the local legend, the pig came in last when the Jade Emperor called for the great meeting. The animal is associated with hài (亥) in the 12 Earthly Branches and hours 9 to 11 in the evening. In Chinese culture, the pig is a lucky animal that represents wealth and good fortune.
Besides being cute, there are a lot more fun facts about pigs.
1. Pigs have few sweat glands.
We often see pigs rolling around in the mud. It's not because they are dirty, but because the mud helps them to cool off. Since they have very few sweat glands, mud can help maintain their body temperature.
2. Pigs need "glasses."
Pigs have below average eyesight, but powerful noses. With their snout, they can search for food on and under the ground. In France, some people use pigs to hunt truffles. These pigs that are skilled at finding truffles are known as truffle hogs.
3. Pigs are loud.
Pigs are loud. Their noise during mealtime can reach more than 100 decibels. In the wild, the loud vocalization may help them to scare off predators. Farmers who raise pigs are suggested to wear earplugs to protect their ears.
4. Pigs are actually clean.
A common stereotype about pigs is that they are filthy and dirty. In fact, pigs are one of the cleanest animals on the farm. They also keep their sleeping and eating areas clean when possible. Sometimes they even make a community toilet for the group.
5. Pigs have more taste buds than humans.
A pig has 15,000 taste buds, while humans only have 9,000 taste buds. Pigs also like to drink water. They can drink up to 14 gallons of water every day.
The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac
The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year related to an animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
But how much do you know about these animals and their symbolic meaning in the Chinese zodiac? Follow the series to find out.