Here’s What’s Really Underneath A Tiger’s Iconic Striped Coat

By Evelyn H. Armstrong

When you go to the zoo, chances are you make a quick stop by the big cat area. For hundreds of years human beings have been fascinated and intrigued by the ferocious felines who roam this earth.

Big cats like lions and tigers are known for having certain physical characteristics. For lions, it's their long and impressive manes. For tigers, it is their black stripes.

While most of us know a lot about tigers, there is one big question that very few people had the answer to until now: what does a tiger's skin look like under those stripes? Today, the answer is here...

Tigers are one of the most majestic and beautiful big cats on planet Earth. They are characterized by their passion for swimming, their playful nature, and their striped coats. However, there's more to a tiger than meets the eye...
While a tiger's natural orange and bright stripes are stunning to behold, and central to how we think of their appearance, have you ever stopped to wonder what a tiger looks like without his fur?
It turns out, that unlike dogs or other animals who get annual haircuts, when a tiger is shaved the skin beneath the fur has the same striped pattern as the one that appears when his coat is present! How crazy is that?
Why does a tiger's skin look this way when the hair is removed? Because it isn't actually his skin that is striped at all! What you are seeing are actually the darker colored hair follicles making a pattern in his bare flesh. It's a little like a five o'clock shadow on a human.
It is crazy to realize that if you took a tiger and (for reasons impossible to fathom) decided to shave off all of his fur he would still be just as striped as he is with his coat in place. It's kind of mesmerizing to look at, don't you think?
Tigers aren't the only animals out there whose skin shares the same patterns as the markings on its fur. Check out this snow leopard's beautifully spotted tummy! Doctors got a peek when the animal was put under for a routine treatment.