Japan's Bathing Monkeys Love Soaking in Hot Springs for Stress Relief

Japan’s Bathing Monkeys Love Soaking in Hot Springs for Stress Relief [Video]

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • The bathing monkeys in Japan have become a tourist attraction in the country for their love of hot springs.
  • Scientists found that the monkeys use the hot springs not only as a source of warmth but also as a stress reliever.
  • It turns out that these monkeys get the same feeling as we humans do when it comes to hot springs!

Soaking in a warm bath after a long day, especially during the cold weather, almost instantly provides a rush of relief. It turns out that monkeys feel the same way, which provides more insight into the famous bathing monkeys of Japan.

 

 

Tourists and residents have enjoyed bathing in the hot springs in Nagano, Japan. But since the natural hot springs reach about 140° F, nearby hotels bring the scalding temperature down with colder water.

Back in 1963, a female Japanese macaque was found relaxing in one such pool.

These monkeys live further north in Nagano and are thus adapted to cold weather, so seeing one bathe in hot water seemed like strange behavior.

Eventually, the first monkey was joined by more, and the monkeys quickly became a nuisance and a health hazard to humans. The officials decided to build an exclusive park for the monkeys to enjoy several hot pools.

Bathing monkeys have been sighted before in China and India, but monkeys bathing in hot water have only been seen and recorded in Nagano.

When scientists studied their behavior, they found that the monkeys not only used the pools as a source of warmth but also as a stress reliever.

The stress hormone glucocorticoids, which are known to be elevated by cold weather, were found to be considerably lower in the monkeys who went for long periods of bathing.

One of the researchers, Rafaela S.C. Takeshita from the University of Kyoto, acknowledged that watching the macaques relax in the hot springs made her want to have a soak as well.

She said, “I confess that during my research, many times after, I jumped into one of the (humans-only) hot springs pools.”

 

Source: Good News Network

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