Friday, September 19, 2014


These animals have the most amazing (and somewhat creepy) superpowers that Stan Lee himself wouldn't have come up with.

Growing up, I could never get enough Animal Planet.  I loved my Steve Erwin and Most Extreme.  I have always been fascinated by nature, so I thought I would put together a list of animals with incredible talents, from the beautiful, to the gross.

1.)  Archerfish

This little sharpshooter can somehow overcome the refraction of water, and spit with pinpoint accuracy.  It primarily feeds on land-based insects, and shoots them into the water, right into its hungry mouth.

2.)  Turritopsis dohrnii

Also known as the immortal jellyfish, this is a small species of jellyfish found in the Mediterranean and in the waters of Japan.  It is the only animal known to be able to revert back to its polyp state, or the sexually immature state, and become mature all over again.  Once it is completed with its mature state, it sinks to the sea floor and absorbs itself and becomes a polyp once again.

3.)  Lyrebird

Native to Australia, these ground dwelling birds have the remarkable ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment.  In order to attract a mate, the male birds put on quite the concert in attempts to impress the ladies.  They can recreate the sounds of other birds and animals, and even cars, camera shutters, and a chainsaw.

4.)  Flea

This parasite has quite the super-jump, being able to bound up to 220 times its own body length.  To put into perspective what this bug can do, its jump is equivalent to a human jumping up 820ft (250m) and forward 1,310ft (400m).

5.)  Horned Lizard

When it comes to disgusting defense mechanisms, I think this guy takes the cake.  When threatened, this reptile builds up the pressure in its eyes until the vessels burst, causing blood to shoot out at its attacker up to a distance of 5ft.

6.)  Bell Spider

This thing comes straight from the deepest part of my nightmares.  Give me snakes!  Anything but a spider.  The diving bell spider is the only spider known to live its entire life underwater.  The hairs on their body capture air which they use to breathe, and they build underwater bells made out of webs in order to molt, digest their prey, mate, and raise offspring.

7.)  Platypus

Looking like the genetic product of a duck mating with a beaver, the platypus is able to use electrolocation to hunt.  No, not echolocation, electrolocation.  That's right, it senses movement in the water to track down its food.  Attempting to escape only makes their capture easier.  The platypus is also one of few venomous mammals, having a barb that injects a venom that is extremely painful to humans, and deadly to smaller animals.

8.)  Opossum

This marsupial comes with a built-in self immunization system.  They are eight times less likely to carry rabies than a feral dog, and can survive bites from rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and pit vipers.

9.)  Hairy Frog

Aptly named the horror frog, this amphibian has the creepiest ability I've ever heard of.  First off, the males grow hair-like structures on their sides and legs made out of skin and arteries believed to help with oxygen absorption.  When attacked by animals, they BREAK THEIR OWN BONES in their feet and force them through their skin to form claws.

10.)  Mimic octopus

This species of octopus is capable of impersonating other sea creatures' texture, color, and shape.  It has been seen mimicking a stingray, jellyfish, lionfish, crab, flounder, and sea snake,

11.)  Water bear

AKA the Tardigrade, this tiny animal (.5mm-1.2mm) is said to be indestructible.  It can survive being dehydrated for 10 years, being frozen to -328 degrees F (-200 C), heated to 304 degrees F (151 C), being put under pressure that of 1,200 times normal atmospheric pressure, and even in the vacuum of space!  They must have traded their good looks for being freakishly tough.

12.)  Bombardier beetle

This guy must have had a bad burrito.  When threatened, it sprays a noxious chemical from the tip of its abdomen.  A mixture of hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide, it reaches nearly boiling point when sprayed.

13.)  Pistol shrimp

Don't ever stick your finger into a tank with these guys.  They'll sonic boom that thing right off your hand.  They compete with the sperm whale and beluga whale for the title of loudest animal in the sea. When this crustacean snaps its claw, an air bubble shoots out at about 60 mph and releases a sound at 219 decibels.  As the bubble collapses, the bubble reaches temperatures of 8,492 degrees F (4,700 C).  The surface of the sun reaches about 5,500 degrees C for comparison.  Isn't he just a little firecracker!

14.)  Axolotl

This one is mother nature's little Frankenstein.  It can regenerate any part of its body, even its heart or brain.  They have even been observed taking body parts from other axolotls.

15.)  Slow loris

No matter how adorable they may seem, the slow loris is also a venomous mammal. The secretion from a gland on its arm mixes with the loris' saliva when licked to activate the toxin, making their bite venomous.

And there you have it!  Ain't nature great?

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