Thanks to shows like Life and National Geographic Explorer the general public is finally finding out just how badass and crazy the animal kingdom can be. Whether you’re watching a cheetah chase down an antelope or a group of chimps fighting for territory, there’s just something very exciting about watching animals hunting, roaring, and fighting. Of course, everyone knows the alphas on the badass animal chain: jungle cats, bears, sharks, and the like. But there are so many more members of the animal kingdom that we commonly look over. Here are nine animals that don’t get nearly enough badass points.
Photo credit: Emmy_Animals, Flickr
Blame it on Disney and that silly board game for making hippos seem like fat, lazy creatures. In reality, the hippopotamus is one of the most angry, hostile animals out there. Not only do they regularly go after their natural enemy, the crocodile, but they’ve been known to attack humans when incensed as well. Not scared yet? Ok tough guy, if an 8,000 lb behemoth was charging at you at almost 20 mph, with its giant canines out to gore some human flesh, just try to not wet yourself.
Where countless crocodiles, bears, and other huge intimidating animals failed, the stingray succeeded. Yes, we are talking about the animal that took down the beloved Steve Irwin. The stingray, while usually a docile and even friendly creature, can be a lethal one if pissed off. Its venomous stinger, while only approximately 10cm long can cause massive pain and suffering. Injuries can include complications from the venom, cramps, and bleeding. When used, the stinger can break off into many shards within the wound making it a pain to remove. Oh and by the way, the Maori warriors thought so highly of the stinger that they fashioned spears with them.
For an animal that is commonly associated with circuses and zoos, the chimp is quite a dangerous little creature. Horribly strong and aggressive, its hard to believe that these creatures are pretty close to humans in terms of DNA. There have been countless stories of chimps attacking one another for territory or mating purposes. But even more horrific are the reports of chimps attacking humans. Those super strong monkeys will naturally go after a person’s genitals and fingers when in a fight. Chimps are known to devour the carcasses of their vanquished foes like some sort of hairy barbarian.
6 Hercules Beetles
For mostly aesthetic purposes, the Hercules beetle has to make the list. Just look at that freaking horn. It looks like a sword that an anime villain would rock. Though it doesn’t really bother humans that much, it would be pretty startling to be walking around the jungle only to see a beetle with a seven inch horn crawling up a branch right in front of you. Oh, and the strength to lift nearly 850 times its own body weight isn’t too shabby either.
5 Horned Lizards
Desert creatures should be given a special shout-out on any list of this kind. Any animal that has the kind of mettle needed to survive the harsh conditions of the desert is a badass animal in our book. The horned lizard, aside from having a sweet name, looks like a mean character despite its size. When put up against a predator, the lizard puffs up its thorny appearance to make themselves look a lot less appetizing. When all else fails, the horned lizard squirts blood out of its own eye to repel potential foes. Yes, it is disgusting. But whatever it takes to keep on keeping on right?
4 Mantis Shrimps
One of the weirder looking creatures on this list, the mantis shrimp is not to be underestimated. The rare crustacean to actively hunt its prey, the mantis shrimp has been given all the tools to be one bad creature. There are two types of mantis shrimps: spearers and smashers. Spearers employ a sharp, spiny appendage to kill its prey. While smashers employ a club-like appendage to bludgeon its foes to death. The mantis shrimp’s clubs is said to operate at about the speed of a .22 caliber bullet.
3 Goblin Sharks
Everyone knows that sharks are natures most perfect killing machine. Not having to evolve in the last couple million years means you’re doing a pretty good job of surviving. But the Goblin Shark makes the list because no one knew it existed until a few weeks ago. Aside from looking like one of the Uruk-Hai orcs, it’s horrific looking jaw actually unhinges and extends when moving in for the kill. It also uses a tongue-like muscle to suck in the poor, sorry victims to its doom. This could be officially the scariest thing in the ocean.
2 Brown Recluse Spiders
If you didn’t have arachnophobia before, now is the time to start. While rarely aggressive, the brown recluse spider can inflict some horrific damage on people if properly pissed off. Staph infections, blood clotting, and decaying flesh are just a few of the many symptoms one can expect after being bitten by this spider. Living in damp and dark places, the spider chills out hoping to be undisturbed. So just a word of advice, try shaking out your shirts and towels before you get bit by this little bastard.
Cute and cuddly, they may be. But dolphins are some of the most debaucherous and deadly creatures on the planet. Not only are they the only animals besides primates that engage in sexual activity for pleasure, but they take it one step further and engage in giant dolphin orgies. Beyond that, dolphins’ extremely high intelligence has allowed them to be trained by the Soviets to become ocean-super-soldiers. This is real, people. Flipper be damned, the dolphin rules.
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