There’s a herd of buffaloes in Turkey that spend their winters bathing in a geothermal hot spring. They are the happiest buffaloes in the world.
Let’s be honest: if you’re a buffalo living in the Turkish highlands, life isn’t all that great. It gets cold, the grass gets all dry and deadified, and there’s a bunch of well-built Turkish dudes swatting at you to move to this pasture or that pasture all day long. And that doesn’t even get into what the milking cows have to endure.
But there’s one thing that Turkish buffaloes have over every other Bovidae on Earth.
Nestled in the foothills around the dormant Nemrut volcano in the province of Bitlis is a geothermal hot spring that herders take their buffalo to escape the bitter cold of winter.
Naturally, the buffalo freakin’ love it. The water is a balmy 40 degrees Celsius (or 104 degrees Fahrenheit) which is the perfect temperature when it’s -4 C ( 24 F) outside. According to the Associated Press, the buffalo love it so much they already know the way there and scarcely need the herders to lead them.
And to be honest, what creature wouldn’t love a dip in a pool of hot water after spending their lives in sub-zero temperatures?
Apparently, herders have to struggle to get their buffalos to leave. This makes perfect sense. Imagine the discomfort of stepping out of the shower to a cold bathroom. Now imagine if that bathroom was literally cold enough to literally freeze the water to your skin. You probably would never want to leave either.
And it’s not just relaxation time for the buffalo--herdsmen also get in on the hot springs action and even bring their donkeys in with them.
Residents of the nearby village of Budakli say that the hot springs have mystical healing properties. Not only does it heal old buffalo wounds, but it also cleanses the buffalo of impurities and makes for better milk and cheese. And since the main export of Budakli is milk, cheese, and butter from their buffaloes, we’re inclined to believe them.