Animals are cool. They can do tricks for our amusement, eat a sugar cube out of our hand and then provide delicious nourishment when we tire with their shenanigans. Itâ€™s true some of them are a bit creepy (weâ€™re not too crazy about snakes), but all things considered, humans are way up the evolutionary chain, proudly displaying our opposable thumbs and fat brains.
At least thatâ€™s how we felt before we found out about the animals on this list. These creatures are not only amazing, they are superheroes taken straight out of a Marvel comic. If you donâ€™t believe us just take a look at the superpowers they have, such as:
If youâ€™re anything like us when you read this you laughed, snorting dry Martini onto a dozen loosely clad young ladies. We all know nothing in nature is immortal. Maybe some animals live for one or two hundred years, but actual immortality is something you only see in Superman andâ€¦ jellyfish.
The Turritopsis Nutricula is probably the worldâ€™s only documented immortal animal. While several other species of animals can regenerate part of their DNA, the TN jellyfish is the only animal that can revert itself back to an infant state, starting the whole game of life over and over again as many times as it wants to. When studied in captivity 100% of the TN jellyfish, upon reaching adulthood, reverted back to a younger stage thus basically restarting their life.
To make things slightly more creepy, scientists at the Smithsonian Marine Institute declared that because there arenâ€™t enough predators for the jellyfish “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion.” As a rule of thumb, whenever you hear the words â€œinvasionâ€ from the mouth of a person with a Ph.D. you should be very, very concerned.
Maybe you heard some horror stories about the parasite that lives inside crickets and makes them commit suicide. Itâ€™s called Hairworm and in order to mature it needs to get into water so it convinces the host to take a jump off the deep end. Then there is Euhaplorchis Californiensis which makes fish commit suicide by drifting to the water surface and flip around attracting birds. Finally, we have the Toxoplasma gondii which gives rats a fetish for cat urine and getting eaten alive.
All these parasites need a different environment, be it water or the belly of a cat or bird, in order to mature. In order to get from point A (victimâ€™s brain) to point B (usually some other animalâ€™s warm stomach) they use the most kick-ass transport system ever: mind control.
What really had us creeped out is that last parasite, Toxoplasm Gondii, which can actually influence human behavior. That thing gets mice to kill themselves, lives inside your cat for a while and then moves into you. Once inside your skull it makes women hornier and men more aggressive and sluggish.
Even better, scientist believe it influences your intelligence and coordination. But donâ€™t worry only one third of the worldâ€™s population has been exposed to this parasite, and thatâ€™s likeâ€¦sorryâ€¦weâ€™re feeling a little sluggish here, but you frikkin know what we mean, buster!
Complete Fearlessness and Bad-Assery
So far we covered parasites and jellyfish, animals that are cool and will probably control our minds within a few years, but (no offense to our non-vertebrate future overlords) they lack a certain â€œcool factorâ€ about them. Itâ€™s not like you expect a microscopic parasite to jump at you with its incredibly powerful claws, kicking buts and taking names Die Hard style.
The honey badger can and will steal food from poisonous snakes and eat it while getting bitten over and over again. Then it will eat the snake and walk away with enough poison in his veins to kill about 4 or 5 men. What else does the badger do with its free time? Chases leopards and lions away and attacks anything that dares cross its path. It has actually been documented as killing male lions by running under them and splitting their crotch open.
This animal cannot register fear and feeds mostly on stuff everyone else considers too poisonous to approach. Hell, the badger is even registered in the Guiness World Book as a major bad-ass who is afraid of exactly nothing. Rock on furry dude, rock on!
Super Climbing Ability
Letâ€™s make this clear right of the bat, this isnâ€™t an entry about some microscopic ant or animals that use claws to climb trees, this is super-climbing because itâ€™s done in the exact same way Spiderman does it: with atomic grappling hooks.
It turns out that geckoâ€™s have thousands of tiny microscopic hairs on their feet, tiny hairs that branch out into even smaller hairs that are below the wavelength of visible light. This means that geckos basically use more physics than we ever learned just to walk around. These invisible, magic hairs which interact with objects on an atomic level allows them to climb anything in the world, except for Teflon.
Their incredible climbing hooks allow the gecko to lift a total of about 290 lbs off the ground whenever they feel like it. In other words one single gecko could probably carry you away at any one time, unless you are a fat-ass, which makes you safe from the gecko army. Add the fact that they can see in the dark and can colonize an entire island from just one individual and you have one cool lizard.
When we first heard about the blanket octopus and its insane usage of weapons we thought we could Photoshop an octopus Batman. However we soon realized that no matter what we did it would never be as cool as the cape the blanket octopus already carries around.
So what makes this octopus special, besides from its awesome crime fighting costume? Well, the blanket octopus is the Bruce Wayne of the animal world: it doesnâ€™t have superpowers of its own so it takes them from others. The octopus is immune to the extremely poisonous Man-o-War jellyfish and routinely rips itâ€™s stingers to use as weapons against attackers.
The octopus is also a master of disguise, changing colors and texture in order to match its environment. It has three hearts, just in case one doesnâ€™t work right. All things considered, it is a pretty messed up creature that probably had its parents killed outside a shady theater.