Step Aside, Honey Badger — These Animals Are Even Crazier
The honey badger has a reputation for being one of the craziest animals on the planet. Thick-skinned and impervious to most venom, the honey badger fearlessly raids beehives for honey and hunts poisonous snakes as a matter of routine. They'll eat virtually anything else too, including carrion. But here on Earth, there are plenty of other animals with incredible enough attributes and abilities to compete with Mr. HB in the "crazy" department — and all of them are amazing.
The Sea Cucumber Will Throw Its Guts at You
On the outside, the sea cucumber isn't nearly as ferocious or threatening as a honey badger going full bore into a beehive. In fact, it has its own serene beauty about it. But the sea cucumber can do one crazy thing that most animals can't.
The Platypus Is Like Four Animals in One
So what the heck is a platypus? Technically, it's a mammal, but it's a weird one. The platypus has a bill like a duck, a tail like a beaver and webbed feet like an otter, yet it lays eggs like a bird.
The Octopus Just Might Be an Extraterrestrial
Octopi are among the smartest animals in the ocean and have demonstrated the ability to solve complex problems. Their stealth abilities make them hard to catch as prey and difficult to evade as predators. As shapeshifters, they can completely change form, texture and color to match their surroundings.
The Piranha Will Eat You Alive in Record Time
Can a school of piranhas really skeletonize large prey like a cow in less than a minute? Well, it's uncommon. But it is possible, especially if they haven’t eaten in a while.
Orcas Are Lean, Mean, Pack-Hunting Machines
The orca is a fierce and intelligent hunter, one you shouldn’t underestimate. Yes, we think of them as cute and friendly to humans, but make no mistake — these are not dolphins. They're called "killer whales" for a reason. Orcas hunt together in packs, just like wolves, and tend to attack their prey from every angle at once.
The Parasitic Wasp Transforms Spiders Into the Walking Dead
It sounds like a horror movie. The victim gets stung by a monster and slowly turns into the walking dead, but not before making his home a sanctuary for the monster's brood.
Flatworms Have Unusual Sword Fights
Some aquatic flatworms "sword fight" other potential worm mates with their own reproductive organs. Flatworms are hermaphroditic, meaning they’re technically both male and female at the same time. But when they mate, they fight each other with their respective male inseminating organs, with fights sometimes lasting an hour. Winners become the fathers and inseminate their opponents.
The Mantis Shrimp Murders Three Ways at Once
The mantis shrimp is one of the fiercest predators in the sea. There are two incredible reasons for this, and they're called its two front claws. Mantis shrimp can use their front claws to strike with about the same velocity as a bullet. That's fast.
Geese Are Wicked Aggressive
Would you believe that geese have been known to cause severe injuries to humans? During mating season in particular, geese may attack anyone they feel is threatening their young — even big humans that outclass them by hundreds of pounds.
Vampire Bats Literally Suck
It's not a myth. Vampire bats actually do feed upon the blood of the living. And though you won't turn into a vampire if bitten, you might get a blood-borne disease like malaria.
Army Ants Devour Everything in Their Paths
If you happen to live near army ants and a colony of them goes marching through your village, there’s really not much you can do. Your best plan is to just get out of the way as they devour everything in their path.
The Black Mamba Is Death Incarnate
If you don't go near the black mamba snake, you have nothing to worry about. They’re actually pretty shy and won't actively seek you out. But if you threaten a black mamba, you're as good as dead. They become highly aggressive, and their venomous bite has a near-100% mortality rate — within 20 minutes.
For the Praying Mantis, Love Is Murder
Male praying mantises have it rough. If they get a little frisky during mating season, there's always the chance that their female partners just might bite off their heads after the deed has been done. And that's the end of that.
Baboons Are the Scariest Cousins We Have
Humans should never underestimate their less-evolved cousins. Many people don't realize that most other primates are stronger than humans ever will be. And a few are so aggressive that they’re outright dangerous, like some baboons.
Cockroaches Will Feast Long After You're Gone
There's no way around this one. Cockroaches, evolutionarily speaking, are some of the most successful organisms that have ever lived. They’re not that much different than they were 320 million years ago, way back in the Carboniferous period.
The Decorator Crab Drafts Other Animals to Its Defense
The decorator crab likes to "draft" other animals and organisms into its defense scheme by decorating its shell with their bodies. The crabs can be highly strategic, affixing animals like stinging anemones or toxic algae onto their bodies to ward off predators.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks Bait Lions
Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally bred in South Africa for the purpose of protecting cattle and homesteads from lions. This required a certain amount of insane courage on the dogs’ part. Their tactic was to "bait" the lions by running in and out of the big cats’ range, drawing the lions out into the open where the dogs’ masters could shoot the lions.
Giant Squids Take Down Whales
For the longest time, scientists thought stories of the giant squid were just products of sea-faring legends. But there were signs that they were real. Biologists found dead sperm whales with suction marks on their bodies the size of dinner plates. That meant the squid that made them must be gigantic.
The Goliath Birdeater Is Savage
If you have a fear of spiders, you might want to skip this one. This is the goliath birdeater — the largest spider on the planet. It's so huge it actually jumps on birds and catches them faster than you can say "ew, ew, ew!" It's not picky; rodents, frogs or really anything bird-sized will do.
Hippos Are Mankillers
Of these choices, which animal is more dangerous to humans on the African continent: lions, snakes or hippos? Surprise! It's hippos! It's estimated that hippos kill around 2,900 people a year in Africa. That's not a small number.
Bald Eagles Spot Prey From a Mile Away
Once endangered, America's national symbol was removed from the endangered species list in 2007, a sign of its successful comeback. Like all birds of prey, the bald eagle has impressive talons and hunting abilities.
Crocodiles Aren't Going Anywhere
Like cockroaches, crocodiles haven't changed much since prehistoric times. Crocodiles as we know them came on the scene about 65 million years ago. The fact that they’re basically the same (just half as big) as back then proves how effective they are as predators.
Trapdoor Spiders Are Stealth Assassins
Every predator has a different style. Being the biggest and strongest isn't always the best. Sometimes it's being the quickest and the stealthiest. Enter the trapdoor spider. Its crazy strategy? It builds a hidey-hole with a perfectly camouflaged trapdoor to match its surroundings.
Great Whites Are Still Scary
The movie Jaws gave most people a permanent phobia of great white sharks. But the risk of being bitten by a great white is lower than being struck by lightning. Then again, why take the risk?
Tasmanian Devils Eat Everything
The Looney Tunes version of the Tasmanian devil isn’t so much of an exaggeration as it is a caricature. While they don't turn into living tornadoes, they do make scary snarling noises just like the cartoon version does. And they’re known for being aggressive.
Japanese Giant Hornets Are Angry and Lethal
The Japanese giant hornet is not to be trifled with. It's about 2 inches long, but a quarter of that is just its stinger. The nasty-looking stinger contains a powerful and potentially lethal venom. If a human being gets stung multiple times, chances are high they won’t survive.
You Shouldn’t Mess With Polar Bears
It's absolutely true: Polar bears are killing machines. They're both the largest bear and the largest carnivore on Earth. They can smell food from nearly 10 miles away. If you're on the menu, the bear will catch you, easily outswimming you in water and outrunning you on land.
Alligator Snapping Turtles Can Bite Your Hand Off
Technically, the bite from an alligator snapping turtle isn’t as strong as it looks — about the same strength as a human bite. But it's the teeth you have to worry about, which are razor-sharp and can easily break wood in half or dismember you.
Mosquitos Are Record-holding Human Killers
They're diminutive. They're annoying. You can kill one with the flick of a hand. Yet as a species, they hold the all-time record for killing the highest number of humans. Mosquitos are responsible for over a million human deaths per year, mostly due to spreading bloodborne diseases like malaria. They’re our biggest threat from the animal kingdom.
Skunks Will Mess Up Everyone's World
Most animals have a much stronger and more advanced sense of smell than humans. They rely on their noses to navigate, communicate and absorb information from the environment. So if we think the smell of skunks is bad, you can only imagine how awful and overwhelming it is to other animals. It must destroy their whole world.