The Super heavyweight champion!
1) Tale of the tape Male polar bears weigh over 1,000lbs and can be between 9 and 12 feet tall when they stand. They can run at 25 miles per hour, and swim for miles in open artic water (btw, it’s a land animal.) They can survive for months without eating when it stores up its batteries. They have dog like hearing, human vision (with night vision capabilities), and an incredible sense of smell. Smelling seals through 3ft of snow 1 mile away is not a problem. They do not give off much of a heat signature due to their fur.
It’s the largest and smartest of the bears, and arguably the strongest. (Some claim the kodiak bear is stronger). Keep in mind, bears are already very intelligent creatures to begin with!
More physical capabilities:
-They can pull a seal roughly 1ft thick, through a 4in opening in ice.
-A large enough and properly motivated (read:hungry) bear can pull a walrus onto the ice
-Bears this size are capable of killing 1,200lb steer with a single blow to the head. vs a human head, it’s a game of tee-ball.
-They have hunted beluga whale. (Which, oddly enough are as large and slightly larger than big polar bears.)
-Vs a moose, it would break the antlers, KO via strike.
-60 mile swim range
-Paws are snow shoes, fists, sledgehammers, climbing gear, and flippers.
-Capable of a cat-like pounce.
-Polar bears have been known to scale trees and cliff faces to eat bird eggs. Bears have a huge disadvantage here due to their size and physical properties.
2) A polar bear banged the USS Connecticut, a nuclear submarine. You read that right. A polar bear literally mounted and had sexual relations with that submarine. Not only is the USS Connecticut several tons of metal and moving parts, it’s housing nuclear ICBMs too. One of the finest war machines ever built, a state of the art design, really a pinnacle of human engineering…. The bear’s opinion? “You got a purty periscope…”
Zero. Zero f**ks given. “Honey badger don’t care, it just takes what it wants!” Correction. Honey badger pays lip service to the concept of taking what it wants. When one of them mounts a nuclear submarine carrying ICBMs, and the sub just sits there and takes it? Give me a call.
This feat alone would pretty much earn the polar bear the super heavy weight title belt.
3) It weighs over 1000lbs, but is still a stealth hunter.
The bears have 3 main (or preferred) methods for hunting.
1) Stealth – They will stalk their prey for miles, get into position, and strike. In the case of seals, it will wait next to an air hole for it to surface and breathe. Upon smelling the breath of the seal, it will then reach its paw ii and destroy the seal.
2) Kool aid man – When it sees fit, it will literally break through ice to eat seals or their babies. Using its massive everything, the bear will hammer through ice to get into a seal den, normally housing seal pups. It will then, upon opening its cracker jack box, dig for its prize.
3) Wound and wait - They often do this for larger prey. They will go in for a death blow on the neck or head, and then exfiltrate the area and wait for the prey to succumb to its wounds.
4) Big game hunters and professional boxers
Like the Tiger, the Polar Bear’s prey list looks like a buffet menu. “Whatever it damn well wants” will suffice.
Some of the larger play includes walrus, and whales. That’s right, whales. This is like running up along side a rhino with a machete, and killing it, because you’re hungry and burger king is closed. The bears can/have/will do this.
They can and have died going after large prey like this, so they are careful when attacking prey this size. In the case of whales, they may attack whale’s blow hole, and then wait for the whale to expire. They may also wait until a walrus is stuck before they try it. However I do recall someone else’s story- where a bear actually dragged a walrus onto the ice to kill it, a herculean feat.
What’s also interesting to note? Given the territory range- a bear may have to swim 50-60 miles in open arctic water to its hunting area. It may then hunt this prey, and then have to fight another bear to keep the kill! Truly remarkable.
Side note, as I know some are interested: Yes, the bears do eat humans. When they eat humans, it is due to hunger. Polar bears are so confident that they generally don’t feel inclined to charge or attack humans under normal circumstances. Here’s the problem: We’re made of food, and the bear has no issues eating you. Instead of charging, the bear will stalk their prey. It will then close in on it and smash it with its everything, or use that awful-yet-amusing-pounce. A human head with 2 feeble arms trying to protect it is again, teeball for a motivated bear.
Myth and legend:
Supposedly, these bears have been known to hunt down and track humans that irritate them. There are tales of hunting/hiking parties irritating such a bear, only to find that the bear had followed them… waiting until night time, dragging people out of tents and mauling them.
5) They’re hilarious
The curious bears are actually known to be, well, “funny!” As far as 1000+lb apex predators go anyway. Bears have been known to play with local dogs, (for days). Some believe this was done to gain access to a food. Here’s an incident that was documented here: http://nifplay.org/polar-husky.html
Realize that during the course of play, the bear did put husky’s neck in his mouth. If the bear so much as sneezed, the dog would have been toast. This would be like climbing inside of a large cannon barrel for amusement. Only the cannon is loaded. And a pyromaniac child has been given the lever. It’s deeply amusing to realize that these bears do actually have a “play” mechanism. Sometimes, humans discover this:
I joked that honey badgers are akin to Stone Cold Steve Austin, tough, serious, intense, and with major attitude to boot. The tiger is more gentlemanly, intelligent, respectful, and bizarrely observant of their own codes. They might be more akin to Peyton Manning. The polar bear is your Shaquille O’Neal, a force of nature with a larger than life personality and a sense of humor.