Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan is home to a number of natural hot springs. It’s the only spot on the planet where monkeys bathe in hot springs. Snow monkeys, sometimes known as Japanese macaques, were particularly fond of them. These Japanese snow monkeys begin each day with a relaxing soak in their own personal hot tub. They’ve been attracting visitors from all around the world for nearly 70 years.
We were so taken aback by these young fellas’ excitement for their spa that we wanted to share a glimpse of their bath time.
According to legend, they had discovered bathing accidentally.
Local ski resorts first began to emerge in the 1950s. Macaques were driven out of their native habitat as a result of this development, forcing them to relocate closer to human populations. Following that, the local innkeeper began feeding the monkeys and informed the researchers of their progress. One day an apple had been dropped into the outdoor hot spring by one of the inn’s guests by accident. A young monkey had attempted to retrieve the apple from the water. Only after that, they had realized how much they like it.
Following that occurrence, other young monkeys began to bathe in hot water as well. All of the monkeys had taken soothing baths in the onsen within a few months. As a result, Jigokudani Monkey Park was established in 1964.
Or it’s possible that they had picked up on it from humans.
Jigokudani Monkey Park is the only place in the world where monkeys may have spa days. They most likely picked up on this behavior from humans who did the same. Human guests to the inn may have been observed swimming and relaxing in the pool. Then there’s the possibility that macaques tried it and became hooked.
They take baths to soothe and de-stress.
Researchers first thought that monkeys bathed in hot water to stay warm during the cold winter months. However, it appears that they appreciated hot springs for their stress-relieving properties later on. Snow monkeys, like humans, take a bath in warm water to relieve tension and deal with the cold. Female monkeys that are pregnant are more likely to spend time “relaxing” in the spa.
It is a regular part of their everyday routine to visit the hot springs.
Keep in mind that these are monkeys in the wild. They are not under any obligation to stay in the park or to get in the water. Just as in other national parks, these creatures are free to come and leave. They keep coming back to the park since it is one of their favorite places.