Can Pigs Look Up to the Sky? (The Answer May Surprise You)

People believe pigs can't look up because they can't look straight up

The other day I ran across an interesting statement on a Snapple “fact”. It said that pigs can’t look up into the sky and that as a result, pigs have no appreciation of the sky. That seemed a little odd to me so I decided to research it and find the truth.

Can pigs look up? Pigs can look up, but their mobility is limited to about a 45% angle and depends on the pig’s fatness. Wild boars and pigs are able to look up enough to see the sky because they don’t have as much neck fat as farm pigs. The reason that many people believe that pigs can’t look up is because they don’t have the ability to look straight up. Pigs can tilt their head up and they can look at the sky sideways. They can also see the sky while rolling in the mud. So it’s a complete myth that pigs can’t see the sky.

The myth that pigs can’t look up is so prevalent that it’s published in dozens of resources. Some books even list it as a unique fact that pigs are the only animal that can’t lift its head to the sky. But even if it was true, it would still be inaccurate. That’s because fish don’t lift their necks either (fish having no necks).

Additionally, there are many types of deep-water fish that never swim high enough to view the sky. Lastly, even humans rarely look straight up at the sky above them. “Up” involves more than simply a straight angle, it also involves a general direction. 

It is true that pigs have evolved so that their eyes and heads are primarily positioned downward. This is because a pig’s entire diet is found on the ground. Pigs forage for food, they eat the roots of plants and insects.

Plus, they have also been bred to maximize weight gain for meat production. The additional fat that the domestic pig has around their neck restricts the movement of a pig’s head. But, it doesn’t restrict it completely. 

Pigs have short necks that prevent looking straight up

Can Pigs Look Up to the Sky, Stars, or Clouds?

Pigs can look up to the sky, but with a limited view. They cannot look directly up (90 degrees) but they can sit on their haunches and look at the sky with a 45 degree view. 

But, even while pigs can look up at the sky, they have another limitation- their vision. A pig’s vision is near sighted enough that pigs cannot view details of the sky. That’s why many pigs just aren’t interested in the sky. 

While it may not be their natural pose, pigs can tilt their heads and look above them. From the roofs of their pens and people around to other towering animals, pigs can experience a great deal of beauty in the world above. Unfortunately, the angle at which they can look at the stars and the clouds is limited. 

Their eyes also don’t provide the field of view to observe things above them as we humans can. So, even if a pig could see something above them, the vision range would likely be too small for the pig to distinguish between individual shapes. Additionally, their ears and snout also get in the way of any ability to see far above their heads.

Can pigs Look At The Stars?

Pigs cannot see the stars because of their eyesight. Pigs can only see figures a distance of up to 100 yards away and the stars are too small and too dim for pigs to distinguish the beautiful night sky. Even if a pig sits on it’s haunches to look up- it will not be able to see any details in the sky.

Can Pigs See Clouds?

Sadly, pigs cannot see clouds, or at least pigs cannot see details of clouds. Because pigs are very near-sighted, they can’t see details of clouds. However, if the sky is filled with clouds or color, pigs might be able to see a blurred vision of color or white.  The lLowest clouds (cumulus) form at least 1,000 feet at altitude, much too far for pigs to see even the closest clouds with any detail. 

Of course, pigs can distinguish colors. But their poor eyesight makes it difficult to admire the color and patterns in the sky. So, even on the clearest nights and days, pigs can’t see the stars twinkling brightly above them or the clouds drifting in the blue sky.

As any farmer can attest, pigs have the ability to look upwards. They cannot look directly above them and they have to “sit” to be able to look at a higher angle than normal. This is because domesticated pigs have necks that naturally slope downward.

Pigs look up infrequently

Can Wild Pigs Look Up to the Sky?

Wild pigs can look up to the sky at a higher angle than farm pigs. That’s because of their longer necks. However, they may not see the stars and clouds due to their limited vision. They may not be able to make out the intricate shapes of the clouds as we humans can. However, wild pigs can definitely look higher above them than farm pigs.

Wild boars and wild pigs have a higher neck reach than domesticated pigs. This is because farm pigs have been bred to be fat (and good for the skillet). Wild boars and pigs don’t have the same amount of fat around their necks and so they have greater mobility in their necks.

What Is Physically Impossible for Pigs to Do?

Pigs are amazing animals, but have several physical impossibilities. Pigs cannot look straight up at the sky at a 90 degree angle straight up. In addition they also can’t jump higher than 1.5 meters or walk on two legs. And Pigs can’t eat meat healthily. In many countries, it’s illegal to feed pigs raw meat. That’s because of the risk of spreading diseases and historic problems.

I had a bold pig that jumped over a 1-meter fence and wandered around my neighbors’ farms. Adding a few inches to the fence helped control the animal. However, feral pigs (domesticated pigs living in the wild) can jump over 5 feet. This could be because feral pigs grow lighter than farm pigs.

Do Pigs Have Necks? 

Pigs have necks! They have more obvious and noticeable necks than humans because of their head and body position and size. Their necks are short and stubby, creating an arch between the head and shoulders. 

This gives them a small range of motion. But their necks are powerful and muscular enough to support the large heads. However, even with their short and seemingly heavy necks, pigs can still ingeniously turn their heads so that they can look up.

It is true that pigs have evolved so that their eyes and heads are primarily positioned downward. This is because a pig’s entire diet is found on the ground. Pigs forage for food, they eat the roots of plants and insects.

Plus, they have also been bred to maximize weight gain for meat production. The additional fat the domestic pig has around their neck restricts the movement of a pig’s head. But it doesn’t restrict it completely. 

With their necks so short and stubby, pigs have such a great sense of smell to notice their surroundings, a true example of clever adaptability.

Pigs often look down for food

What Happens When a Pig Looks Up?

What a pig looks up, nothing happens except it sees farther. Because pigs are nearsighted and can’t see the details of the sky, even the pig is likely uninterested when it looks up unless the sky is vivid with color. 

If a person forced a pigs head up past it’s comfort point- it could injure the pigs’ neck and cause damage. The pig will likely squeal and fight against this action.   Nothing bad can happen to a pig looking up. To the surprise of some, the answer isn’t a snorting oink or the content sound of mud baths and truffle searches. Pigs actually have an amazing ability to focus and absorb what is happening in their surroundings.

When a pig looks up, its snout can become an eye in the sky, and its head a platform for inspiration and understanding. Their brainwaves increase to become as active as any human being’s as their sensory experiences are explored and recorded for later. I know that pigs are brainier than a three-year-old child and most dog species.

This connection with their environment also allows them to anticipate upcoming events accurately. From learning about nearby wildlife and disturbances to tracking food and water sources, the smart swine never cease to amaze. They tend to move around or oink when something approaches from above.

Pigs can understand that when a person moves away from them, it’s likely a safe thing to do or that when another animal is looming, it might be time to escape. So, when a pig looks up, they don’t simply seek sustenance. They absorb their surroundings, pay attention to subtle nuances, and strategize ways to improve their well-being.

Do Pigs Die When They Look Up?

Pigs do not die when they look up to the sky. I pig that was forced to look straight up or held by it’s neck could be injured, but a pig that’s sitting on the back legs looking at an angle at the sky will not face any negative consequences of looking up. The most common myth we should all dispel is that pigs die when they gaze up. I usually see my pigs looking up, which hasn’t harmed them. Nothing happens to their brains or bodies that could lead to death.

How High Can Pigs Look Up? 

Pigs can look around 9 feet, or 3 meters high. I found this out when I tested how high my pigs could see. When I held up a sprig of Napier grass, the pigs’ heads bobbed in a way that made it appear like they were following it. But they don’t seem to see very high above that. 

This could be due to the physical structure of their necks and heads with their features. However, in an outdoor environment or a space with high ceilings, pigs’ vision improves slightly, allowing them to make out objects at a further distance.  

Most pigs can’t move their eyes upwards for extended periods and often need to tilt their head or raise their eyes to look up. Additionally, the pigs must lie on their side and angle their eyes to have any chance of looking at a tall item. Therefore, their ability to look up is limited by both the sight and anatomy of their eyes.

In conclusion, while the question “How high can pigs look up?” has no definite answer, it’s safe to say that they can look at heights beyond 3 meters. So, if you enjoy being around these sweet animals, don’t be surprised to see them glancing upwards to see a few objects outside their pen roof!

Wild hogs can look up more than farm pigs

Can Pigs Look “Straight Up” to the Sky?

Pigs can look toward the sky but not straight up. The truth is pigs are unable to move their heads to look straight up because their anatomy prevents them from doing so. Pigs have a limited range of movement in their neck and head due to the size and weight of their heads and their conical shape. 

As such, their ability to look “straight up” is highly restricted. Pigs’ eyes are set into the sides of their head and their necks are slightly tilted downward many times. That makes it difficult for them to look up in their natural pose.

For a pig to view the sky, they must sit on their hind legs, a challenging position to hold for long. The angle of the neck in these positions allows them to gain an extra centimeter or so of range. Additionally, pigs can look upward while lying down on their sides.

Can Pigs Look Up FAQs

We now know pigs are capable of seeing upward. Even so, many people may still want to inquire more about swine gazing into the heavens. These are the questions I’ve heard about pigs looking up at the sky. Read the answers.

Can Pigs Look Down?

Pigs can look downward. In fact, pigs look down more than they do up. They do this while eating, drinking water, and digging roots up from the earth. A pig has binocular vision across a short range, straight in front – roughly 35° – 50°. They can see everything on the ground as they bend their heads downward. Looking down is the most natural position pigs take.

Can Pigs Look Backward?

Pigs can tilt their heads and look backward. These animals prefer lateral monocular vision, which boosts their panoramic vision. But they can only use one eye when gazing behind. A pig that is standing without turning their heads can’t see what is directly behind them. This is because of a pig’s 50°-blind spot due to its large body.

Can Pigs See in the Dark?

Pigs are unable to see in the dark. They lack the tapetum lucidum, an additional layer of tissue on their eyes that aids seeing at night. As a result, when there is little lighting, their eyes cannot reflect light back to an object. Even when there’s moonlight, pigs may not see very well at night. This and their near sightedness makes night vision nearly impossible. 

Can Cows Look Up?

Cows can look up. They have a panoramic vision of at least 300° but must still tilt sideways to see up and can only do so with only one eye. That’s because the cow’s eyes are positioned so they can’t stare directly up. When looking forward, cows must drop their head and face an object directly to gain the best possible view of it.

Are Pigs Smarter Than Dogs?

Pigs are said to be smarter than dogs, but actual studies on pigs cognitive abilities haven’t been done in-depth. The intelligence of pigs can be analyzed in several ways. First, pigs have a greater sense of smell than dogs. It is so strong that it could almost be called a superpower.

But, dogs have better eyesight than pigs.

Both pigs and dogs are trainable. They remember their masters and have great abilities. Pig trainers often swear that pigs are easier to train than dogs. Pigs are very mellow and are becoming a popular pet. Pigs are smarter than dogs in many ways, but the debate will continue since intelligence can be measured in more than one way. 

Are pigs smart?

According to research, pigs are among the top five smartest animals. Though the order of the various lists changes, chimps, dolphins, pigs, and dogs are usually in the top of those lists. 

Researchers in the 1990s tried teaching pigs how to move a cursor on a screen with their snouts. They would use the cursor to point out images that they knew and were familiar to them. They claimed the pigs picked it up almost as quickly as chimps. Others taught pigs how to do tricks like you would dogs. The pigs picked up the tricks just as easily. 


Pigs can look up to the sky. They can appreciate the beauty of the sky even if they have to tilt their heads or sit on their hunches to do so. While it’s unknown if pigs can see fine details like clouds or stars, the fact that they can glance up is undeniable. So disregard the misconception that pigs can’t look upward because they can.

My Most Used Pig Supplies

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Purina Pig Chow will last well (or Mazuri is popular, but I haven’t tried it), and the stainless steel non-skid bowls that will help keep the mess down.

A pig blanket to keep her warm. This one also has bright colors and helps to provide rooting without the destruction.

Pig Harness for walking and handling your pig. There are a lot to choose from, but this one is pretty easy to use. If you want one that has a separate leash, this looks like a good one.

A large crate for keeping her safe in your house at night and when you leave the house. This is essential. You’ll also want a litterbox, and I like mine with a lid for nighttime. Pine shavings are best, and you may be able to find them in larger quantities locally.

When you have accidents, Odoban will help eliminate odors. When you are potty training, these floor pads work great for keeping your house clean while training her to go in certain places.

You’ll also want an outdoor house to keep her warm when she gets outside time, an essential part of her development.

Dewormer- Ivermectin is the primary dewormer I use, although I do rotate with a non-ivermect ingredient once so that the worms don’t get immune to it.

Annemaria Duran

Hi, I’m Annemaria Duran. I moved out to the country 6 years ago, mainly so I could have more land. I love all aspects of country living. First, we got chickens, then ducks. Now we have sheep, goats, and rabbits. I'm always learning and love sharing it!

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