Friday fluff: Read at your own risk!

All right, Shapelings, this is your own damn fault. For some reason we have not been able to stop talking about creepy-ass animals in comments all week, what with the coconut crabs and the megalodons and all. Comment threads are starting to induce nightmares and fits of madness. So let’s just get it out of our collective system and use this thread to scare the pants off each other.

I recently watched Sir David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals series (highly recommended), so I feel I have a bit of an advantage going into this thread. Whales themselves aren’t creepy to me, but that was of course before I learned that they have 12-foot wangs that emerge from slits in their abdomens (NSFW…maybe?):

The most epistemologically creepy type of animal, IMHO, is the  monotreme. Monotremes, in addition to giving us the classical example of fucked-up shit, the duck-billed platypus, are mammals that lay eggs, which is a little creepy. But that’s small potatoes compared to the fact that they do not have nipples, so they just OOZE MILK FROM THEIR TORSOS.

Ahem. I realize it’s not as “run for your life” scary as a crab that could bite your arm off, but it gives me the shivers. Plus they’ve got poisonous spurs.

So have at it: creepy animal time. Abandon all hope ye who click the comment threads.

176 thoughts on “Friday fluff: Read at your own risk!

  1. I never thought I’d come out of lurking and actually comment on something here, but I also never thought I’d be watching whale penis at work.

    I love this blog more every day.

  2. Threads like this are why I love y’all.

    (No creepy animals to add yet, but I’m a librarian, so I’ll go do some research and get back to you.)

  3. Seriously, David Attenborough must be drunk ALL THE TIME.

    “If you only knew the things I’ve seen… the things… oh god…” *chug*

  4. OMFG.

    a bizarre, hairy frog with cat-like extendable claws…Trichobatrachus robustus actively breaks its own bones to produce claws that puncture their way out of the frog’s toe pads, probably when it is threatened.

  5. Oh sweet Jesus the hairy frog just made my skin crawl off my body omfg I need a drink or maybe just some valium holy shit!!!!!

  6. Ah. You know you’re truly Australian when you read an American blogger freaking out about our weird, poisonous, milk-oozing mammals and feel a swelling of pride in your chest.

    :)

  7. Shaplings find the nastiest, scariest shit on the planet. I KNEW I shouldn”t click on the links but I can’t help myself (bad fattie, no self-control…). This stuff makes my skin crawl. Now who has more linky goodness for me?

  8. OMG I am sooooo excited! This is the best fluff we’ve ever, ever had!!! (I’m kind of a HUGE monster and critter fan, though I think anyone who has known me for more than five seconds knows that already).

    Okay, oh shoot, where do I even start?! Maybe I should have waited for more comments. Oooh oooooh! Can we talk El Chupacabra? Or ooooooh those amazing noises Tazzie Devils make?!

    Or or, oh! Killer Lion of Mfuwe!

    Shoot, I dunno where to start… well, I took a break to make coffee while writing this so by the time I post it there will be comments from others to talk about. ^_^

  9. Okay, here’s the one creature that totally creeps me out – the surinam toad. When they reproduce, the eggs get imbedded on the female’s back where they sink underneath her skin. The larvae crawl around under her skin until they pop out of her back – GAH! Here’s some photos from the Honolulu zoo, view at your own risk!

    http://www.honoluluzoo.org/surinam_toad_gallery.htm

    I feel all creeped out and itchy now.

  10. My top two:

    1) Bot flies – they land on a nice warm mammal (including humans), cut a slit in the skin, and lay an egg in you. The egg then hatches, and the larvae burrows around under your skin, eating your flesh until it’s big and strong enough to pupate and eventually tear its way out of your skin as an adult fly.

    2) Cotesia congregata, a wasp with a very similar life history to the bot fly, except that it infests caterpillars. But it has a special way to make sure the caterpillar immune system doesn’t fight back – viral warfare. The wasp has a virus embedded in it’s own genetic code. While producing eggs, the wasp also activates the virus, and injects a slurry of eggs and viri into the caterpillar, where the virus acts like an arthropod AIDS, almost destroying the host’s immune system until the eggs hatch and the larvae can defend themselves.

  11. “You know you’re truly Australian when you read an American blogger freaking out about our weird, poisonous, milk-oozing mammals and feel a swelling of pride in your chest.”

    Hexy–you’re sure that swelling feeling in your chest is pride, right? Oh God, let it be pride.

  12. Double-bonus: There are incidents in which bot fly larvae have hit arteries and been shuttled all over the body, including the brain, where they munch around on the yummy brain tissue, slowly driving the victim mad and eventually killing them. I recall one photo where the larvae had managed to eat a roughly baseball-sized chunk out of the frontal and parietal lobes.

  13. Trichobatrachus robustus actively breaks its own bones to produce claws that puncture their way out of the frog’s toe pads, probably when it is threatened.

    Wolverfrog, awesome!

  14. O.M.G. That poor sweet froggie! He breaks his own bones… that makes me sympathy-cringe even more than that lizard that shoots blood out of its eye to ward off predators! :(

    Also, the Ugliest Dog in the World competition is one of the most entertaining things on Animal Planet, for realz. ^_^ Seriously, if you ever watch it… they show the life stories of the contestants and they play it for all its worth, I seriously sometimes tear up when these people talk about their dogs. “Can one dog change the world? I know he changed mine!” SOB, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL.

    Ahem. Yes. Also, what about echidnas? They lay eggs too.

    Honestly, I’m jealous of monotremes. I wish I could lay eggs. Think how much better birth would be. Think how much easier the battles about abortion would be, if we could all just lay eggs! Don’t want kids? Give them to someone else to incubate, or give them to a lab to put on ice, just like a sperm bank.

  15. Marsupials also have it sweet, reproduction-wise. They can sort of keep a fetus in suspended animation until they’re ready to gestate. “Hmm, I’m not really ready to be a mother yet, I’ll just hang on to this one for a while.”

  16. BTW, the ugliest dogs in the world are often ugly due to either breed standard (irregular bites, no hair) or medical conditions (hypermature cataracts in the eyes, periodontal disease). Somehow that makes them even more pathetic….

  17. Poor Kiwi. I saw a video of one giving birth on the Most Extreme, and felt sad for her. I wonder what kind of laws they’d put in place for lay-and-run moms if we were Kiwis?

  18. African Cave-dwelling spiders. Scariest things ever. You know those giant insects in Starship Troopers? They are real, only slightly smaller, and live in caves in Africa.

    It turns out all cave spiders are huge and terrifying, which saddens me as I loved touring caves as a child, and now I’m too afraid I’ll run into bugs.

  19. Miss Conduct, those ferrets are amazing.

    And as for suspended fetuses, there’s at least one non-marsupial I know that has a similar talent: the Armadillo. Armadillos can hang onto sperm for a while, waiting to fertilize their eggs until environmental conditions are more suitable for baby-rearing.

  20. It is the larger animals that eat bits of other animals that most horrifies me: the African Rift Lake cichlid fish that specializes on the eyes of other fish, the vampire finch, and the cookie cutter shark. This little shark takes off a “cookie” of flesh from large fish and mammals, and even removes bits of the outer rubbery coating on submarines. I learned about this shark in the sharkabet, the best book ever!

    Go the bottom of this web page for cookie cutter shark art:

    http://www.trollart.com/sharkabet.html

  21. You know, TM, the book I was reading didn’t really explain the mechanism to me. I think it’s MAGIC.

    Armadillos are pretty magical, really. The males also have one of the largest penises (in relation to their size) in nature, so they can get underneath the female’s armor.

    (please insert armadildo joke here)

    They also always give birth to identical quadruplets.

  22. I teach evolution of reproduction so I have a lot to choose from, but I think I’ll go with the hermaphroditic penis-fencing flatworms that decide who’s the sperm donor and who’s the sperm receiver by fighting each other, stabbing bloody gaping holes with said penii wherever possible on the body until delivery has been made.Of course there is video.

    For those interested in more examples, Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson is good reading.

  23. You know, I just noticed that I stopped getting random monsters for my guest-icon here. Now it’s always the orange one. He’s nice, but I miss the little round blue one. ^_^

    And, cookie cutter shark also made an appearance on the Most Extreme. He won Most Extreme Shark!

    I uh, kind of used to watch that show like, all the time. What can I say, it was entertaining AND on at a very convenient time of day for sitting on the couch and vegging with the dog.

  24. I learned that they have 12-foot wangs that emerge from slits in their abdomens

    Neither of those things bother me as much as the fact that it is described as “highly mobile”. (!)

  25. I’ve always had something of a fetish for duck-billed platypi and echidnas, I dig oddball spiders, and I’ve watched those surinam toads give birth without flinching…but dude, scorpians freak the hell out of me! They give me the heebie-jeebies in ways I cannot describe.

    The whale wang is pretty freaky.

    I once had a hilarious animal experience. I was at the county fair and had gone over to look at the horses. Two young things came over who clearly thought horses were all pretty but knew nada about them. One of them wondered aloud how you can tell which are the boy horses…and as if on cue, one of the boy horses showed her in graphic detail. That horse prick just kept extending and extending and it was all I could do not to start howling my fool head off with laughter. The two girls blushed beet red and scurried off to have horse penis nightmares.

    It’s been at least fifteen years, but I’m still giggling over that one.

  26. My biologist friend says:
    Since it seems to be of interest, and if you care, you might mention that there are also bats that store sperm. (re: SugarLeigh & TM @ 5:04-5) And the marsupials are generally not suspending animation until the time is right – it’s that the pregnancy isn’t really supportable while the mom is raising two other babies. (Don’t remember whether this is all marsupials or just the well-studied kangaroos, but they really are effectively juggling three offspring at once.)

  27. Neither of those things bother me as much as the fact that it is described as “highly mobile”. (!)

    Oh god, car, I know. The first time I watched that scene, all I could think of was how glad I am that human wangs are not “highly mobile.”

  28. As for the Surinam toad, perhaps you might feel a bit less squicky knowing that it’s a double layer of skin – they’re not really rooting around down in the muscles and blood vessels, just a sort of kangaroo-ish pouch. Yes, think of it that way. That makes it easier. A little.

  29. Oh god, car, I know. The first time I watched that scene, all I could think of was how glad I am that human wangs are not “highly mobile.”

    OMG, bar scenes would be awful.
    But barnacles’ are, and they extend several times the length of the barnacle itself to move around and search out a female, since they can’t move themselves around.

    And then there are the hyenas, who have the sad state of affairs of having to give birth through the urethra, which is just as bad as it sounds…

    I think I need to stop now.

  30. Irukandji jellyfish. Because they’re minuscule, invisible in the water, and they will sting you all over giving you violent bodily pain for days until you beg to be euthanised (if the pulmonary oedema and other toxic effects haven’t got you first). And you never knew what happened, exactly, except that you were in the water and something went horribly, horribly wrong.

    Clockspider still gets me, too. Because we have those here.

  31. Hmmm, highly mobile wangs… how mobile are we talking, here? I mean, as long as they’re not 12 feet long (12 FEET? is that for REAL? I mean… WHOAH… YIKES) that could pose some interesting possibilities… LOL.

    No seriously though, I can’t watch videos on my comp at the moment, and I’m okay with that, because, geez! But at least the whales are, you know, jiggy with it. Dolphins don’t always give a crap whether the ladies dig their tricks. Dolphins, like humans, form gangs of young, vicious males that will corner and gang-rape females. Way scarier, if you ask me. And female human divers that swim with wild dolphins often report aggressive sexual behavior directed at them by male dolphins. So, basically, there are a lot of douchebag MRA dolphins? :P

  32. Why did I click on any of the links?! Now I’m just sitting here going O.O. I’m really glad I already ate lunch, or I would not have been able to enjoy my gumbo with these images in my brain.

    I get creeped out by, as I call them, demon squirrels. They are all black and seem to look at me like they are going to steal my soul.

  33. The fact that this even exists really keeps me up at night. Add another reason I’m glad I’m not an undersea oil driller type.

  34. SugarLeigh, if it helps you get a framework for 12″ wangs, you should know that the video also mentions that their testicles weigh one ton and release a gallon of semen at a time.

  35. Yorke, I’ve seen that before and I was waiting for it to shoot a tentacle out at the camera… thoroughly creepy.

    *shudder*

  36. bubblesmadeofcheese, how could I have forgotten my evil nemesis? It is seriously not fun to lie down in bed, planning to go to sleep, only to realize there is one on your bedroom ceiling right over your head.

    Also, I am roach phobic. I can’t even bring myself to get close enough to kill them; I have to get someone else to do it for me.

  37. JR, I’m the same way about wasps. I am fascinated with and love a lot of insects and spiders, and will even get really close to look at lots of them that get in our house (handle some that I am comfortably certain won’t bite), but anything that makes a loud buzz startles the crap out of me (so I avoid most large beetles) because it reminds me of WASPS… I’m so phobic of them it’s a source of misery for me, especially in the summer when our property freaking CRAWLS with the bastards. Other crawlies, I will catch (whether in my hands or with a container) and put outside, wasps, I cannot even get close enough to to squish, and will not care if they are murdered as long as they are far away from me for all time.

  38. Seriously, David Attenborough must be drunk ALL THE TIME.

    “If you only knew the things I’ve seen… the things… oh god…” *chug*

    That made me laugh so hard the tears spotted my glasses. CURSE YOU, FILLYJONK. NOW I WILL NOT SEE THE COCONUT CRAB’S AS THEY APPROACH!

  39. @JR: I can’t even imagine what I’d do if I saw one of those beasts, I’d probably just run out of my room and never go in there again… ever. just TOO MANY LEGS!!!

    and I too am a roach phobe, that happens when a roach falls next to your head when you’re about to fall asleep.

    *shuddershuddershudder*

  40. RE: The hairy frog – the article starts out:
    “Amphibian horror” isn’t a movie genre” –

    Obviously the writer doesn’t get the Sci-Fi Channel.

  41. Yorke: SQUID WITH ELBOWS!

    ELBOWS!

    That’s just freaky.

    My parents have giant, twinkie-sized silverfish in their basement. I’m not sure if they look more like giant centipedes or small Cthulus. They’re just scary.

  42. Oh gee, I completely missed your earlier comment about the ugliest-dog competitors, RedSonja. They’re not pathetic! It’s a great way to bring publicity to rescue dogs. Inbreeding does account for some of the defects but there are mutts in the competition too. And it’s true that tooth and jaw problems are inherent in Chinese Cresteds but they are not the only contenders.

    Also, about that guinea-worm thingie, TM, that looks really painful. I feel bad for that person. :(

    Don’t worry about your typo, Shiloh, you probably just meant to type “coconut crab’s approach.” Or, it could be a crab conspiracy. We might never know.

  43. bubblesmadeofcheese, you haven’t seen a house centipede? So lucky!! For a while I was killing one every day. If they didn’t eat roaches I’d be spraying for the bastards. Instead I just jump and scream whenever one surprises me.

  44. This is the best fluff thread EVER.

    This guy isn’t especially creepy (other than the fact that he looks like a giant peen with wings), but the name itself is creepy enough: the Vampire Squid from Hell (yes, that is really what its scientific name means).

    Also, the frilled shark, a prehistoric species rarely seen alive. I’m pretty sure this specimen died after this footage was recorded of it in captivity. :(

  45. wasps, I cannot even get close enough to to squish, and will not care if they are murdered as long as they are far away from me for all time.

    This is how I am about spiders. I rented a basement apartment for a summer once, and oh God, it was awful. They all came in and I had to throw books and shoes at them from across the room. The worst was when these long-legged red ones started showing up in my kitchen sink. I couldn’t do dishes for like, two weeks (not that that is totally abnormal for me as a general rule, sadly).

  46. This guy isn’t especially creepy (other than the fact that he looks like a giant peen with wings)

    But that’s enough, really.

    His little ears are kinda cute, though!

    SM, yeah, it’s totally stuck in my head now. GMTA!

  47. @volcanista: I’m thankful everyday that I haven’t seen one. Just seeing normal centipedes is scary enough.

    I will definitely be having horrible gruesome nightmares tonight.

  48. My friends, I give you Promachoteuthis sulcus. A squid, with teeth like a human.

    Also, in the realm of things I don’t want to see, my diving friend drifted into a herd of sea snakes. Hundreds and hundreds of sea snakes. *shudder*

  49. Shinobi: Wolverfrog was my first thought too! That frog is not as hot as Hugh Jackman, though.

    Re: guinea worms, bot flies, helicoprian, and especially hyena birth: D: D: D:

  50. I have no links, but I did see a documentary about a month ago all about cat/lion reproduction. The penis is barbed. This was in HD. I watched it late at night. Can we say nightmares?

  51. RE: eyelash mites– demodex mites (probably a different species in the same family?) also cause mange. There are two types of mange, each caused by a different mite– demodex and sarcoptic. One is much harder to cure and sometimes fatal (or rather, results in the dog being put to sleep because his/her life would otherwise be a misery) but I always forget which it is.

    I don’t know if mange is a zoonosis. I don’t think it is.

  52. And, to file under cute cryptids (also, to keep on hand for any further threads involving alcohol): der WOLPERTINGER!

    A myth of German origin, said to be visible only to intoxicated persons.

  53. I saw something on a nature show many, many years ago about wolves, and it said that the male wolf stays attached to the female for 30 minutes after copulation to prevent another male from making any deposits. And then they showed a female wolf dragging a male around with her everywhere she went. Not really scary, but I’d be mighty annoyed if I was a female wolf. “God, are you done yet???”

    I’m not sure how true this is, but I work with a bunch of biologists, so I’m off to start asking questions…

  54. Oh, and, as long as I’m hanging out constantly on this thread today (ha, I have a cold so I’m settling right here in front of the computer until I have to go to work), I just want to play devil’s advocate and say it’s TOTALLY NOT our faults about the creepy animals! Y’all started it with the manticores!

  55. TM, dogs also “knot.” The base of the penis swells up and it’s difficult for the male to withdraw until the swelling recedes. Mating dogs remain “tied” for a time. Even so, a litter of puppies (or wolves, I imagine) can be sired by more than one father. One reason mixed-breed litters are such a cornucopia of appearances is because the puppies don’t all always have the same daddy.

  56. I’m taking a different tack: Creepy bugs that are all around us (well, depending on where you live) so BEWARE!

    Bedbugs are on track to overtake roaches as the worst domestic pests. They can get into your home on used furniture or clothing, or hitchhiking on your luggage if you’ve stayed in an infected hotel room. They take up residence in your mattress, bedframe, sofa, or between your wallpaper and walls! Then they come out at night and bite you. You won’t wake up from the bites, but then they’re amazingly itchy. They don’t spread disease, but they’re annoying and the bites can get infected. But worse, you can’t kill them with any normal pesticides, and instead have to hire a company to come in and seal up your infected rooms and ROAST THEM IN PLACE. Nasty little bastards

    And what about killer bees? Remember the panic that they’d invade the U.S. and kill us all? I live in south central Texas, and you used to see blue cardboard bee traps in the trees along the roads, where some agency was tracking their spread northward. Well, you don’t see those bee traps anymore. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE HERE! Now, they haven’t turned out to be the great disaster everyone feared, and generally don’t cause much trouble unless you run over a next with a lawnmower or something. But still, the thought that we have ALREADY BEEN INVADED BY KILLER BEES is pretty freaky.

    And now we have CRAZY RASPBERRY ANTS, named after an exterminator with the last name of raspberry. They’re here in Houston already. They run around in squiggles, not lines, hence the “crazy”. They don’t bite you, but the get into electrical wiring and eat it all up and short it out. And they are also resistant to most pesticides. Another freaky species that hitchhiked into the U.S. on a cargo ship or something.

    AUGH! Creepy!

    Crazy Raspberry Ants

    Killer Bees

  57. And that’s just the tip of the iceburg! I only know what’s in the books I read and on nature shows, Discover magazine, etc. If I actually made a concentrated effort to academically study nature as opposed to just hobby-look-into-it, I bet I’d know all KINDS of freaky-cool stuff. Not just about mating… weird eating habits… ways to hide from predators… that giant cricket-bug-thing called the Wetta that freezes solid all winter long and then miraculously comes back to life…

    NATURE RULEZ.

  58. SM, perhaps the list should include:
    3. 12 ft long
    4. weighing 1 ton
    5. male fences with it and stabs into skin
    6. breaks off in female and stays there

    or, it could be like the Anglerfish, where the male is so tiny in comparison to the female that when he “mates” with her, he actually is just kind of absorbed into her body and stays part of her for the rest of his life…

    Yeah, in general I’m pretty thrilled with the primate sex life, in comparison.

  59. SM, I think I’ll use your list for as a valentine’s day card:
    My dearest darling love, I’m so glad your penis isn’t 1) “highly mobile” 2) barbed…..
    Does Hallmark make shit like that?

  60. I’ve got two:

    Cone Snails

    They’re beautiful, abundant in all coastal waters, and possess one of the most potent neurotoxins on the planet. A neurotoxin with no anti-venom.

    Then there’s the so highly-evolved-it-would-clearly-rule-us-if-it-were-larger Mantis Shrimp.

    They’re known because they are capable of breaking the sound barrier underwater, with their tiny shrimpy fists (ok…claws). This allows them to crack through aquarium glass. They also have the most sensitive eyes in the whole animal kingdom. Can see infared and ultraviolet.

    Also, they haunt my dreams.

  61. WELL.

    I now need to be in a slightly more horizontal position than allowed by the computer chair, so I can be (hopefully) breathing functionally in time for work. So I am going to go turn on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel and hope it’s at least as fun as this thread!

    Thanks so much for cheering up my yukky-cold-virus-thing day, everyone! *hugs!* Now there will be comments in here from people other than me. ;)

  62. This thread topic is the only place I’ve ever found that I can spill this knowledge and relieve myself of the burden of silently knowing it: In one of the Trials of Life videos (that I often show in class), David Attenborough is standing next to a bowerbird next and talking about it, and the angle and fit of his white pants clearly show that he is, um, endowed somewhat like the whale. Argh. I have to see this every year, and I just can’t take it. I try not to notice, but I can’t help it!
    Whew. I’m glad I have that off my chest.

  63. …Reason for spillage being that the thread is about creepy animals and reproduction and Sir David has already been mentioned, so it fits. Kind of.

  64. OK, I’m so glad I didn’t follow most of the links… I have a serious phobia of caterpillars, centipedes, worms, grubs, and larvae (all started with stepping barfoot onto a LARGE centipede, age 3 or so…. it moved under my foot!)

    On the other hand, I have always LOVED that platypi ooze milk (well, natch! the babies can’t exactly suckle!) and are poisonous! I’ve now made my husband promise that if we ever have a child, he’s going to immediately hunt down a platypus soft toy to be his/her first teddy-bearish-thing.

    For the record, I found out about the barbed cat penii first from the Red Dwarf books. *snrk*

  65. Speaking of horrible monsters, I don’t have my glasses on and it kind of looks like my monster is throwing up a slinky.

  66. Something I just need to point out. Oozing milk in monotremes is not so weird, as mammary glands are modified sweat glands.

  67. O.C… what if the killer bees are just biding their time? Waiting for us to relax and forget they’re here while the quietly reproduce into a massive army.

    OMG BEEPOCALYPSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

  68. I just have to say that I am totally desensitized to weird, creepy animal reproduction stuff. When I was in high school, I had a science teacher who had a book entitled How They Do It, which is exactly what it sounds like. She would read it aloud to us on the bus on field trips and whenever else she could trap us and make us listen.

  69. Seriously, David Attenborough must be drunk ALL THE TIME.

    FJ, I’ve met him, three times. He was totally my hero when I was about nine. Much later, at the time The Trials of Life came out, I was working in London and found he was doing a bunch of signings, and basically went to all of them to get all his existing books. He must have thought I was stalking him. Very sober, very much the English gentleman, and taller than he looks next to a termite mound. (car, I won’t ever be able to watch the bowerbird bit in the same way again, you realize that?)

    Anyway. Penii. I read a long way back about cat penii, but hadn’t actually known in detail what this involved till I saw footage online a short while ago, and I feel a new sympathy for my own cat, who’d had kittens at some stage before we got her, so obviously encountered such an organ at least once. Poor kitty.

    Sugarleigh – my sympatheis; I sat on a wasp once, at school, and never mind the pain, I’ve never lived down the sheer embarrassment. I still freak round them. I’m the household arachnid disposal expert, too. Provided they don’t reach the size of dinner plates or anything stupid.

  70. this video is very interesting and not because I’m an animal lover (which I am) but because I think it may hold the key to a mystery which has long perplexed me. There is, from what I have seen (which isn’t a whole lot but enough that it seemed to indicate a trend), quite a bit of anime porn featuring scenes with these tentacle-like penises. Usually shown raping some young female victim or destroying entire cities, and I wondered where the heck those Japanese animators got this crazy idea. I had all kinds of theories, but when I watched this just now that is the first thing that is what it reminded me of. And no I don’t watch a lot of anime porn, or any porn for that matter, but I had several male friends back in the day who thought that shit was funny.

    Anyone else know what I’m talking about? And if so, does my theory sound plausible?

  71. This whole thread is scaring the bejesus outta me. If we’re talking about a freaky animal though… chickens terrify me. They could just… come at ya. What would you do? How do you fend off a horde of pissed off chickens hellbent on revenge? HOW?

  72. Volcanista, how can silverfish be evil? They subsist on wallpaper paste and the stuff that keeps pages stuck to the spines of books. When I read that I thought it was the saddest thing ever.

    I’m mottephobic and once saw a moth with a one foot wing span sitting on the wall of a public loo in Italy. I have never moved so fast in my life.

    Anyone else think that giant squid with elbows bears a passing resemblance to a Philippe Starck lemon squeezer?

    Okay, just me then.

  73. Before I watched the whale video, I was your average, run-of-the-mill lesbian.

    Post whale video, I have become a bionic lesbian. As in wall-leaping, metal wall-slicing robo-lesbian with cameras for eyes.

    I am that creeped out.

  74. Volcanista, how can silverfish be evil? They subsist on wallpaper paste and the stuff that keeps pages stuck to the spines of books.
    I think an animal that eats the thing that keeps my precious, precious books intact is indeed evil. The fact that their appearance creeps me out simply reinforces this.

  75. This freaked me out last year:

    http://gawker.com/5030531/dead-monster-washes-ashore-in-montauk

    Everybody speculated on what it was. Most people thought it was a sea turtle without its shell. Some said it was a publicity stunt to promote a new show. But I think it turned out to be a dog that sadly, had been tossed in the ocean and decomposed. But even after maybe finding out what it was, it is still scary as hell to look at.

    Next is a coypu, which is basically a giant rat and damn if I wouldn’t scream bloody murder if I saw one of these things approach me:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coypu

    Finally, here’s some real Friday fluff:

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/giantrabbit.asp

    He looks extremely friendly and homocidal at the same time. I swear, I’ve never been the same after seeing “Night of the Lepus.” Giant killer bunny rabbits will mess you up.

  76. I am not sure whom I hate more at this point: myself or every single one of you.

    re: house centipedes: I am really relieved someone brought these up as INCREDIBLY FUCKING CREEPY because my room is in the basement which means sometimes when I don’t use my bathroom for a while (i.e. when I am at college for several months) those things show up IN MY SINK. which is too curved for them to crawl out of so I come into my room home for a nice restful vacation AND THERE IS ONE OF THOSE THINGS CRAWLING IN ENDLESS CIRCLES and I cry and make my mom get rid of it because I can handle flying things okay and I can handle most crawling things, I don’t mind cockroaches or small-to-midsize spiders or even waterbugs that much, but I can’t stand things that have TOO MANY LEGS. I also found one once in the corner of my room, already dead, and was too creeped out to move it so I just pretended it wasn’t there and avoided that side of my room.

    When they show up in the shower, that’s sort of okay because then I can turn on my showerhead as hot as it will go and Vesuvius the suckers right down the drain.

    my own contribution is not nearly so HORRIFYING, but a friend of mine is creeped out by little else like she’s creeped out by Giant Tree Sloths (link to a picture of the skeleton, as they are mercifully extinct).

  77. Something I just need to point out. Oozing milk in monotremes is not so weird, as mammary glands are modified sweat glands.

    I always thought oozing milk from your pores was the way to go, because I found breastfeeding excruciatingly painful, thankyouverymuch. (My kids all had latching on issues, which didn’t help.)

    quite a bit of anime porn featuring scenes with these tentacle-like penises.

    I always thought that tentacle rape went back to Hokusai’s “Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” (Image NSFW):

    I don’t know if he was playing with an existing cultural concept or if he originated the idea, though.

  78. I HATE HOUSE CENTIPEDES! I’m not usually freaked out by bugs, not even when asian ladybugs used to fall onto my face in the middle of the night (that was annoying, but I didn’t panic or anything) but man I cannot get near those things without a great deal of hopping and flailing and whimpering. They have too many legs that are too long and I can just feel them getting nasty creepy bug legs all over me. uuugghgh

    I’m a little surprised no one has linked to the 5 most horrifying bugs in the world yet. because they really are the 5 most horrifying bugs in the world. Botflies are on the list, and also FOUR MORE HORRIFYING BUGS.

  79. This is the best thread I’ve ever seen – anywhere. I think that fish *stole* those teeth. Like, from a drifter, or a girl who died of a broken heart…!

    Personally, I find the Western Lesser Siren at the zoo kind of disturbing. It’s not that he frightens me as such, or that he has an eel-like body, only with arms. (Which is sort of breaking the rules; if you insist upon being an eel, the least you can do is not to have arms). It’s that his arms look like *skeleton arms* – you can see *every* tiny bone or cartilage or whatnot – while the rest of his body is soft and membraneous-looking, and he sometimes uses his skeleton arms to scrabble along the sandy bottom of his tank!

    And I once sat up half the night on the phone with my friend using the internet to try and figure out what was in her house after she saw her first house centipede. Dude, I wanted to be an entymologist when I was grew up – used to hunt centipedes in the backyard, so I could study them – and I still thought that thingie was just *wrong.* (It’s got, like, Muppet legs). And it’s especially if it can run super fast and climb up into your bathroom radiator and lie in wait to jump out at you any time it pleases.

  80. ND, yes. Yes, indeed. Goblin sharks disturb the crap out of me.
    But regarding house centipedes, they eat cockroaches. Anything that eats cockroaches (and is not aggressive/poisonous to me) is welcome in my home. (Offer good for one centipede only.)
    I am much less sanguine about the equally harmless vinegaroons.

    No, really – totally harmless. And I know it, but my monkey brain is freaked the hell out. Especially since they come out at dusk, just above eyelevel on walls.

  81. OMG the sheepshead fish with the teeth WUT WHY??? *whimper* I would much prefer a highly mobile penis than to ever see that again (but that may just be because I’m ovulating).

    My contribution: jackalopes are real. Bunnies with the shope papilloma virus that makes horns grow all over their head — and sometimes in their mouths causing them to starve. It is some fucked up shit.

  82. I don’t… I can’t… You guys, I may never sleep again.

    I just followed a link from the 5 most horrifying bugs site to a video of a woman having maggoty-type things (botflys, probably?) removed from her breasts. Botflys win as the most creepy thing ever. I am so horrified.

    I’ve also seen enough pictures of spiders to keep me awake for the rest of my life.

  83. Regarding the house centipedes, I think I mentioned in the other discussion that my first reaction is ZOMG KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT. My college roommate felt the same way. Enter a giant one that decided to hang out in our bathroom; after determining that there was no one else around to do said killing for us, we proceeded to attempt to off it without touching it or actually entering the bathroom, for that matter. Turns out that when sprayed with enough bathroom, kitchen, and general purpose cleaners from a distance of several feet, centipedes will in fact die.

    Also, a kitteh with wings. It’s supposedly just a mutation, but the wings. have. bones. in. them.

  84. I always wonder why non-Australians don’t know about monotremes that well, someone had to make the step between egg laying and live birth. I think you should apologise to the platypus and those two species of echidna, I bet they’re feeling bloody hurt right now.

    That’s right. Hurt.

  85. I didn’t click the links. I didn’t click ANY of the links and still I itch so much that I’m thinking me and Mr Benadryl are going to have a date.

    Freaky animals are freaky.

  86. Platypuses are cute!

    Spiders, on the other hand… here in Australia, it’s just best to stay the hell away from any spider, because it can probably kill you. My least favourite are funnel-web spiders, just because they look horrible (and their bite will kill you in 40 minutes if untreated, though there is an antivenom). Huntsmen (like Clock Spider) won’t kill you, but they do scuttle unnervingly, and one fell on my head once (GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!).

    I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned candiru yet, either.

  87. Feast your eyes on why sharks scare the shit out of me. The natural history wing of the Smithsonian has a huge jaw hanging up with the estimated outline of how big the shark might have been. There’s a kind of primal horror to the display that just isn’t induced by the dinosaur exhibits, after all, dinosaurs are abstract, sharks are still real.

  88. “SM, I think I’ll use your list for as a valentine’s day card:
    My dearest darling love, I’m so glad your penis isn’t 1) “highly mobile” 2) barbed…..
    Does Hallmark make shit like that?”

    Right – fresh from the Hallmark shop at the mall:

    The whales’ penis is twelve feet long,
    A bendy greyish-blue,
    The feline’s penis comes with hooks
    For a truly screwed-in screw.
    If this compare of length and flex and barbs
    Has set you fumin’,
    Rest assured, my darling one,
    I’m glad your dick is human.

  89. killedbylamas, I actually *squee*d at the cat with wings. Just ask my husband. Did no-one else here read Catwings and/or Catwings Return growing up? (They’re by Ursula LeGuin.)

  90. (Occasional reader, first-time poster)

    This is a great thread–thanks to all! I’m especially amazed by the scary coconut crabs, and especially freaked out by the giant isopod, and I love the erudite ferrets.

    Here are a couple of additions to the list, mostly in the animal-sex subcategory:

    A remarkable video of leopard slugs having sex (while hanging from a branch). It’s actually kind of oddly pretty if you can ignore the slime, and the fact that they’re SLUGS.

    Male pigs (at least some of them) have corkscrew-shaped penises. (My father always told me this, and I just Googled it and found that the Straight Dope confirms it.)

    I’ve been told that some particular animal has a prehensile penis, but I can’t remember which. The web contains conflicting reports about whether dolphins do or don’t; also suggests that wallabies do, and elephants. I don’t think any of those were the animals I heard about, but what I heard may not have been true, and I can’t remember it anyway.

    There’s a great talk/slideshow that someone gives occasionally at science fiction conventions; the title is something about alien sex, but the content is all real-world sex oddities of the animal world, especially insects. Y’all have already mentioned some of the odder ones, but if you ever get a chance to see the slideshow, it’s worth seeing.

    All the assorted cephalopods that y’all linked to reminded me to mention the Wunderpusphotogenicus, which isn’t especially creepy at all but really doesn’t look real.

    Finally, the creepiest animal I personally have ever encountered was an ordinary 17-year cicada. (I’m from California, where we don’t have such things.) The buzzing throbbing hum filling the air was already freaking me out, and then one flew in the window and lay there, round and shiny, on our floor, buzzing and buzzing. Ugh.

  91. Seconds SM. Well done, Kimberley O!

    I really wish I could stop clicking on these links, but I can’t! I need to see what kinds of omg creepy things are out there to fear.

  92. The Bald Soprano:

    The Catwings books were favorites of mine growing up. Which was why I was amazed and thrilled to find the phenomenon recorded in a wonderful book I have that chronicles the supernatural called Paranormal Phenomenon. A huge, thick volume, rife with pictures and information, that tackles everything from cryptids to freak nature to stigmata to time warps. There are photographs of winged cats and a lengthy spiel on the history of the phenomenon, which is actually quite old… it made me wonder if Ursula had inspiration for the books. ^_^

  93. Kimberley O,

    I liked your poem muchly, but hubby complains that you “left out the pig.” Some people are just never satisfied…

  94. Nobody has mentioned wetas yet, so I figured I’d delurk long enough to creep everyone out a bit more.

    They’re terrifyingly common here in New Zealand. My cat frequently brings them home in the middle of the night and then wakes me up so I can see what he brought me.

    One time he lost his weta in my bedroom. The next night I was reading in bed and heard a rustling noise next to my ear. I turned my head to the left and discovered the weta on my pillow about six inches from my face.

    We also have these giant wetas. Obviously I’ve never seen one, because if I had I would have died.

  95. Holy moly, that rabbit is huge.

    I am afraid of pretty much anything with more than six legs. Spiders scare me horribly, although I think jumping spiders (occasionally one gets on my desk at work and I never kill them) are cute. I still don’t want them to touch me, though.

    I’ve always thought that monotremes were cool. I wanted poison spurs like a platypus for ages when I was a kid.

  96. Mantis shrimp = WIN. Why is there no anime series about these guys? Breaking the sound barrier underwater with a punch is exactly the sort of thing those martial arts obsessives are always trying to do, inn’t it?

    Also, the playlist shuffle gods have gifted me with the PERFECT music to listen to while watching the Vampyroteuthis video: Leonard Nimoy’s “Music to Watch Space Girls By.” Deep-sea horrors never seemed so slinky cool!

  97. I totally mentioned them, Emma. I just also totally mis-spelled them. I was talking about their magic freeze-to-death-and-come-back-to-life powers.

    If I saw one, I bet my first reaction would be “HOLY CRAP that is one HUGE freakin’ cricket!” (though I don’t think they are technically a cricket… they’re related though? I don’t remember)

    Cutest/Weirdest Cricket Award totally goes to the camel cricket though. ^_^
    Googled up a pic:

  98. I believe a lot of the prevalence of tentacles in hentai comes from various regulations against accurate representations of genitals. It’s not obscene if it’s a tentacle rather than a penis!

    That said, I tend to imagine that tentacles might be quite interesting to play with if they were attached to something friendly and not an evil demon trying to kill you.

  99. Ok so I’m late to this one, but since my coconut crabs made it into the original post, I’m happy!

    I find it amusing that people are so freaked out by our Aussie animals – they’re awesome. Those clock-spiders we call Huntsmen and I’ve grown up with them – they’re perfectly harmless and I don’t find them frightening (although if one landed on me that might be a different story!).

    Since the crabs have been done and I don’t have any other really freaky animals to add this late in the game, I just wanted to show you this! I’m sure he’s really a very pretty doggy, most of the time! I got it in my email a few weeks ago and it freaked the crap out of me the first time I saw it… now it just cracks me up!

  100. I admit I haven’t read all the comments, but I searched in the page for this guy and didn’t find it. So, I humbly present the axolotl, a salamander that looks both cute and terrifying: http://www.bountyfishing.com/blog/images/axolotl.jpg

    I have this awesome old children’s book from my childhood (granted I’m 27 so it wasn’t that long ago) that’s something like “Amazing Animals A to Z.” This was A. I love all the critters in there – the narwhal, the katydid (close-up on its head=SUPER SCARY) and the deep sea anglerfish which I know was mentioned above.

  101. Ahhahah those anglerfish are creepy – I remember seeing an episode of The Iron Chef once where that was the theme ingredient.

    I was like WTF people EAT those things?! Blech!

  102. So, is Word Press allowing you to embed now? Because I swear when I was checking out free blogs it told me I couldn’t embed videos and stuff. Some security thing.

  103. I love everyone.

    This is the best thread I’ve ever seen – anywhere. I think that fish *stole* those teeth. Like, from a drifter, or a girl who died of a broken heart…!

    emily, I’m going to need you to write folklore.

  104. Godless Heathen, OMG, yes.

    I was waiting for someone to bring in the Megalodons. Cause, okay, most of this thread scares the bejesus out of me, and does not sit well with my general ocean phobia, but Megalodons tip me right over the edge of ‘That would be pretty nasty to be around, glad it’s not in my life’ into preparing my nuclear bunker territory.

    And here’s why. A human, a great white, an inordinately humungous demon in shark form.

    And now I shall go vomit most heartily into the nearest receptacle.

  105. Liza, WordPress has allowed embedding of YouTube videos for quite a while now. There are definitely some types of videos that don’t work, but I don’t know which off the top of my head.

  106. “hermaphroditic penis-fencing flatworms”

    I am officially squicked. and i have seen THE MOST CRAZY DISGUSTING THINGS in my life. YUCK.

    Whale penis is going to haunt me tonight.. like woop all of a sudden, a 12 foot penis dangling over your shoulder. “oh hey babeh.” GAH! *runs away*

  107. Maya, you turned my mood this morning from “ugh” to “heehee!” YOU WIN!

    I love everybody here so very, very much. Really, I don’t say that enough.

  108. SugarLeigh: But at least the whales are, you know, jiggy with it. Dolphins don’t always give a crap whether the ladies dig their tricks. Dolphins, like humans, form gangs of young, vicious males that will corner and gang-rape females.

    Actually, although that’s not exactly what’s going on in the whale video, it’s not that far off. Seems like the female just eventually gets tired of the 4 males trying to throw their penises up out of the water into her vagina (which she is working very hard to keep out of range) and gives in to one of them. I found the video pretty disturbing, actually. :( I’m surprised no one else did…

    I love the rest of this thread SO MUCH though! I am totally into the wolverfrog. Nobody’s mentioned the Jerusalem cricket yet — I’ve never seen one, but my boyfriend is from Nevada and swears they are the most horrible things ever. And how about that immortal jellyfish (recently featured on Shakesville)? I find that pretty creepy.

  109. Jerusalem crickets aren’t so bad. I’ve never understood why they’re considered so especially ugly — they look just like fat crickets, and by and large folks seem to think crickets are cute enough. I’ve heard they can bite and release a stinky gas, but I’ve never seen it; the ones I’ve exposed in the garden just look up at me in consternation and scurry for cover.

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