Yesterday I had myself one of those deep stoner moments where you ponder the important questions in life. Who are we? Why are we here? What's the meaning of life? And the most important question of all, who would win a fight between a lion and a tiger?
Ever since I was a kid I heard that lions were the king of the jungle. You probably don't earn that title by getting your ass kicked by other animals, so the lion must be pretty hardcore.
But what about tigers? Tigers are bad-ass, vicious piles of muscle. They might not have a fancy regal title associated with their name but that doesn't mean they aren't tough.
So I decided to look it up and see if anyone ever actually figured out who would win a 1 on 1 fight. First let's take a look at their stats:
Lions and tigers are pretty much the same size on average. Tigers however can weigh up to 800 pounds, that's 250 pounds heavier than the average lion. And the reason for all the extra weight isn't size, it's muscle mass.
Lions however are social animals, they train their whole lives to fight against each other while a tiger may go his whole life without getting into a real fight.
Luckily we don't have to rely on stats. As it turns out, other people throughout history have asked themselves the same question. The Romans used to let lions and tigers fight in the Coliseum all the time and according to the historical records the tigers usually came out on top.
In the late 1800's an Indian ruler held a battle of his own. The odds favored the lion 37 000 to 1. The tiger ended up winning and the ruler had to pay out 37,000 rupees.
And just in case you don't trust ancient historical records, here's a little story that happened in 2011 at a zoo in Turkey. A tiger managed to sneak into a lion enclosure and when the tiger came face to face with one of the lions, the tiger ripped out the lion's jugular with one swipe of its paw.
The University of Minnesota needed to find a definitive answer to this question because they were planning on relocating some lions to an area where there were tigers living. As it turns out the tigers may be the favorites to win a 1 on 1 fight, but tigers hunt solo while lions hunt in packs, so in the wild the tigers are the ones who should be afraid.