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Discover the Wild: Top 11 Amazing and Entertaining Facts About Orangutans You Won't Believe!

illustration of orangutans
Get ready to go bananas over these fascinating and entertaining fun facts about the captivating world of orangutans!

1. Hollywood Orangutans

Who says orangutans can't make it in Hollywood? They've certainly got the expressive eyebrows and a flair for the dramatic: Fun fact, these ginger-haired primates have an uncanny ability to focus on emotionally charged facial expressions, especially those mirroring fear. This shared talent with humans can be traced back to our evolutionary past and helps detect potential dangers lurking in the wild.
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2. Jungle Long-Distance Calls

Ever wondered who invented the original "Can you hear me now?" campaign? Your answer lies in the Borneo rainforest: Adult male orangutans use long calls, which can be heard up to a kilometer away, to communicate with females, advertise their presence, or ward off other males.
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3. Orangutan Selfies

Swipe left on that dating app, ladies and gents, because these hairy redheads prefer mirrors to smartphones: Orangutans are capable of self-recognition, a skill once believed to be exclusive to humans and certain primates, proven through multiple scientific studies.
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4. Ginger Family Reunion

If gingers had a family reunion, orangutans would be the cousins everyone envies for their luscious, red locks: surprisingly, these flame-haired primates have a rich genetic diversity, with their genomes evolving much more slowly than those of humans and chimps, allowing greater adaption to environmental changes – a privilege now threatened by deforestation.
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Branch McGyver Sushi

5. Branch McGyver Sushi

When orangutans indulge in their very own version of a sushi dinner, Branch McGyver-style: they expertly craft tools out of tree limbs to extract insects or fruit, showcasing their impressive tool use skills both in the wild and in captivity.
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6. Handy-Andy of the Jungle

Whoever said "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime" clearly hadn't met an orangutan: These resourceful creatures don't just wing it when it comes to tool usage; they fashion their own out of sticks and leaves to extract food from hard-to-reach places, demonstrating impressive problem-solving skills and making them the handy-Andy of the jungle.
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7. DIY Houdinis

Talk about a real-life MacGyver: these hairy Houdinis of the jungle might just give DIY enthusiasts a run for their money. Orangutans have been observed crafting sticks to probe for insects, turning a leaf into a makeshift umbrella, and even bending a piece of wire into a hook to reel in their unreachable snacks or playthings, showcasing their remarkable intelligence and problem-solving skills.
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8. Tarzan's GPS

If Tarzan ever needed a trusty GPS, he'd call on an orangutan to map his way through the jungle: Orangutans possess remarkable long-term spatial memory, enabling them to remember specific food locations and other resources for extended periods, ranging from days to months, contributing to their efficient navigation in their vast natural habitats.
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9. Leafy Umbrella Party

When it rains, orangutans are ready to party with natural leafy umbrellas and save the baby apes from a downpour disco: These resourceful primates in Mount Leuser National Park have been spotted using caladium leaves to shield themselves and their little ones from heavy rain, while others even fetch plastic bags from nearby rivers as makeshift shelters, showcasing both their remarkable adaptability and the unfortunate influence of human activity on their habitat.
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No Selfies, Please

10. No Selfies, Please

Orangutans, nature's original tree-huggers, might just put Tarzan out of a job with their incredible arboreal acrobatics. Ironically, however, they'd also make terrible tour guides, with no interest in taking selfies with you: Orangutans are struggling due to habitat loss from deforestation and human-wildlife conflict, so it's essential for ecotourism to respect their space and preserve their wild environment to ensure the survival of these charismatic apes.
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11. Arboreal Penthouses

Who needs a five-star hotel when you've got arboreal penthouses?: Orangutans impressively construct cozy nests high up in the trees from branches, twigs, and leaves, providing not only a pleasant sleeping spot but also a secure refuge from lurking predators, as studied by Adam van Casteren from the University of Manchester.
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