Where does come from?
The Bactrian camel emoji shows the two-humped camel that is native to Central and East Asia’s rocky deserts. Fun fact: While the Dromedary camel stores water in its humps, the Bactrian camel stores fat, which helps it travel over long distances without food. That made it pretty handy for Silk Road caravans.
So, why is there an emoji of this funny-looking mammal? Well, because there’s an emoji for just about every animal, it seems, especially large mammals like camels. That, and camel diversity, apparently. No camel racism, please.
Both the Dromedary and Bactrian camel emoji were approved in 2010. Across platforms, the light-brown Bactrian camel appears in profile on all platforms so you can clearly see its two humps. Some platforms—like Apple and WhatsApp as shown in the screenshot from Emojipedia below—further set apart their Bactrian camel emoji from its Dromedary counterpart by depicting shaggier hair. That detail is true to life, as Bactrian camels are indigenous to colder climates.
Who uses ?
People use the Bactrian camel emoji and the Dromedary camel emoji interchangeably, though its seems the Dromedary camel emoji is slightly more popular on social media—probably because Bactrian camels themselves are fairly rare and therefore less familiar.
— Alison Kosakowski Conant (@VTFarmGirl) June 27, 2018
Outside of referencing actual camels, the Bactrian camel emoji is used to represent sports team mascots that are camels. Go Campbell County High!
What a game! Great day to be a Camel fan! Let’s do it again tomorrow 🏀💜🐫 https://t.co/W0eAQrCpJp
— Dominique Wells (@DominiqueWell40) March 16, 2018
The Bactrian camel emoji is especially used to illustrate trips to places with lots of camels, like India, Africa, and the Middle East. In fact, the Bactrian camel emoji is most popular in India—where there are lots of camels, though most of them are Dromedaries. Pictures of camel rides, in particular, are popular contexts for the Bactrian camel emoji.
2 days desert trip from Marrakech to Zagora.
Here you will find opportunity to take some good pictures for the sunset.
— Ilona Garkaja (@Gaisma8) June 30, 2018
The Bactrian camel emoji is also often used in discussing the ancient trade route, the Silk Road, whether literal or metaphorical, including
Like in a dream! This morning I witnessed the first lights of the day on this beautiful temple lost in the desert on the ancient Silk Road. A truly amazing sight!!! 🏝🏯🐫 #wowplacestogo #examenoinsta #guardiantravelsnaps #fantastic_earth #lonelyplanet #destinosimperdiveis #bea… pic.twitter.com/p5JSmi4SVd
— darllon.richard (@darllonr) June 30, 2018
Does the Silk Road still exist? 🐫🌴Probably not. But let us tell you the story about a new trade route and find out what is being transported there. A hint: It’s not silk and spices anymore – but not less precious! And it encompasses over 90 countries! #BeltAndRoad #BRISummit https://t.co/4zu4Ui32qb
— Dirk Schaar (@DirkSchaar) June 5, 2018
Another popular use of the Bactrian camel emoji is to illustrate pictures and posts about Hump Day (i.e., Wednesday, the “hump” in the middle of the week we all slog over to get to the weekend).
I’ll be away for most of the day so have a great hump day peeps! ☕💞💗🐫
— 🖤🎶Julie 🎶🖤 (@JulieRi39597096) June 27, 2018
Of course, hump doesn’t always have such a PG-meaning. As a satirical Mashable article attempted of an otherwise “useless” Bactrian camel emoji in 2016: “[O]ur double-humped buddy, is clearly a sex symbol. One hump for hump day, two humps for humping on hump day.” Bom chicka wah wah.