Nature is beautiful, a poet probably said at some point in time. This is mostly true if you’ve ever watched the sunrise, or waves crashing or that video of the monkey that puts a finger in its own bum, smells it and falls over. Beautiful. But nature has a dark side. For every fluffy bunny and adorable porn star, nature has a deadly, dastardly monstrosity that exists in a world of pain and insanity the likes of which you better hope you never experience. Behold the fury of Mother Nature! Or whatever.
Yes, everyone understands what an electric eel is, but do you appreciate exactly how powerful one of these creepy undersea wangs truly is? Imagine a fish that looks for all the world like a snake made of mud, slipping through the weeds at the bottom of a river. Only this snake is nearly 7 feet in length and weighs as much as a toddler. And when it senses prey, a signal from its brain triggers a series of special glands that quickly and efficiently discharge up to about 600v of electricity, 5 times the charge you’d get out of a typical wall socket.
Typically a 600 volt shock wouldn’t kill a person, but in much the same way that falling from a 3rd storey window wouldn’t typically kill a person, sometimes things happen. Depending on how the electricity enters and travels through your body, you may be looking at a watery, crappy grave for getting too close to these ugly buggers, the only creatures in nature that want to tase you, bro. (Zing!)
Generally speaking, all bugs are gross. They live in dirt, wander through poop, don’t seem to have any respect for personal boundaries and are often pretty ugly. Things get even worse when they become malevolent, like your stinging and biting insects that could do the world a favor by dying in a fiery car crash with Justin Bieber. And then, worst of all, worse than spiders with toxic poison or Japanese hornets is the Bombardier Beetle. It’s a fire breathing bug. That’s not even a joke.
That last part was a joke. The Bombardier beetle doesn’t breathe fire. It poops it. Inside its body, two chemical mix together and fire out of its butt when threatened. This chemical mixtures fires out at about 270 degrees, which you may recognize as hotter than boiling water. This will melt the face off another bug or, if you’re a grabby kid who collects bugs, will probably give you a tiny scar to make you remember who’s in charge in the great outdoors.
The pistol shrimp is nature’s Joe Pesci from a 90’s mafia movie. It’s little and goofy looking and you don’t take it seriously and for some reason it’s still a tough guy despite everything about it screaming the exact opposite. What makes it tough? Terrible violence.
The pistol shrimp is able to make bubbles. This, also like Joe Pesci, sounds terribly stupid. However, the bubbles produced by the pistol shrimp snapping its claws shut make a sound around 218 decibels that travels at 60 mph, which is impressive for any bubble. When the bubble explodes, for a brief moment, thanks to the intense pressure, it reaches temperatures of around 5,000 Kelvin. It’s the pressure, however, that kills prey, like small fish, basically making the bubble a tiny, armor piercing bullet that shreds flesh. Luckily for fish, you can defeat the pistol shrimp by dropping paint cans on its head.
A couple of years ago bed bugs because the media’s darling scare-du-jour and every news outlet did stories on how bed bugs were in your town and you were probably going to be infested with them in no time and maybe become a hobo as a result.
While bed bugs are gross and offer nothing to anyone anywhere and wouldn’t be missed if they were extinct, they do have one noteworthy aspect about their disgusting lives that is just as disgusting as everything else about them, only significantly more terrifying – their mating ritual. Do you know much about how a bed bug gets it on? It ain’t pretty.
Bed bugs reproduce via traumatic insemination. Already is sounds unfortunate, and it is. It really is. A male bed bug has no time for wooing a female or even for seeing if she’s facing the right direction when it comes to mating, none of that matters to him. The male simply stabs a hole through the body of the female with his penis and does his job that way. That sound you hear is your conscience screaming.
The female’s reproductive system plays fast and loose with the rules of where and how insemination works, such that all the male needs to do is get in there somewhere and the deed will be done. Even for bugs this can’t be pleasant, but it is what it is. And it happens in motel beds whole you’re sleeping on them.
A hairy frog sounds pretty sad at best. Frogs are known for a few key characteristics and one of them is not being hairy. But whatever, there are hairless cats in the world, why not a hairy frog? What’s also significant about a hairy frog is that it’s a little, gross version of Wolverine.
When the hairy frog is threatened, perhaps by the barber bird or the Nair fish, it responds by breaking its own foot. So that seems like evolution fudged things a little. But wait! Once broken, the frog forces the bones out of its toes, producing claws. This is both awesome and insane at the same time. Would you mess with a guy who broke his own arm just so he could fight you with the ulna? No sir.
This creature was discovered in Thailand in 2007, meaning that there are parts of Thailand no one ever goes to because it’s in the wrong direction or it smells there or whatever. It’s a bright pink millipede, it’s impossible to miss. It smells like almonds! It’s like a walking, mid-80s Technicolor cartoon nightmare. And that’s not even what’s impressive about it. What’s impressive is that it shoots cyanide at its enemies. Actual, straight up assassin-style cyanide.