13 Real Animals Lifted Directly Out of Your Nightmares

March 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm (randoms)

Nature seems to have a limitless supply of creativity. From giant spiders to gamma ray bursts, nature has gotten more mileage out of the same old material than the writers of The Simpsons.

But sometimes the things she comes up with are so insane they make Crispin Glover look like Jean-Luc Picard. We’re talking about creatures that seemed to have abandoned all earthly processes of evolution to achieve pure horror.


Deep Sea Hatchetfish A.K.A. the Fish That Will Eat Your Soul

Also known as the fish of the damned, it appears the only reason we don’t hear their curse-filled lamentations is because they’re underwater. Fill your aquarium with these demons and you’ll fall asleep every night watching them silently proclaim your impending damnation.

They only grow to be about four and a half inches long, but their bite-sized terror is potent–they hide in the deep during the day, then rise up at night, returning once more to the abyss as day breaks. We believe they’re called hatchetfish because that’s what you’ll wish you had in your hand if you saw one.

The Squid with Teeth (Promachoteuthis Sulcus)

Looking like a human mouth surrounded by tentacles, this thing could have come straight out of bad horror anime. Or possibly the final level of a Gradius game.

That is Promachoteuthis sulcus, an extremely rare, deep sea squid known only from a single specimen. Researchers have a science boner over the fact that these things have weird tentacle proportions, but the rest of us are just freaked out by the teeth, which we’re told is an illusion: What appear to be teeth are actually lips that cover the more normal squid beak. This is the equivalent of buying novelty hillbilly teeth and wearing them all the time for no reason.

Still, we’re not sticking our fucking finger in there.

The Fish with a Human Fucking Face

Hey, what could be creepier than a weird human mouth stuck on a sea creature? How about a whole fucking face?

That is a Matsuba Koi. If that name sounds familiar, that is because they’re those big gold fish found in Japanese ponds. Apparently, every so often, some types wind up with a human-looking face, and one that looks slightly pissed off.

Can you imagine being out fishing and catching that bastard? With that face looking up at you? And it calls you “daddy”?

What’s Worse Than a Fish with a Human Face? This.

Bullshit. That cannot be real. Evolution did not spawn a creature with a fucking yellow smiley face on its back. Science is lying to us.

This is Theridion grallatora, a.k.a. the Happy Face Spider, a.k.a. a sick joke somebody is playing on the world’s spider experts. Some think the terrifying cartoon face somehow evolved to ward off predators, presumably by convincing them that instead of seeing a spider, they’re merely having a bad acid trip. Best to abandon dinner and go lie down for a bit.

Cthulhu Larva (A.K.A. Abyssal Sea Cucumber)

The Deep Sea Holothurian, better known as an abyssal sea cucumber, sounds like a boss from Final Fantasy and looks like something Khan would attach to the brain of a Starfleet officer.

It is only a few inches long, has no face and eats mud, which is exactly how we described our genitalia on Match.com. Somehow, the abyssal sea cucumber is one of the most successful ocean dwelling species, presumably because any predator would take one look at this thing and run home to sleep with the lights on in their parents’ room.

“That’s fine, I’ll kill your parents too.”

A Spider with Arms… and Claws

OK, so it’s not a spider. Amblypygi, or the tailless whip scorpion, looks like nature decided to take everything that creeps us the fuck out about bugs and roll them together in one sleeping bag-lurking masterpiece.

If somebody told us that a bite from this thing would explode the heads of 17 elephants, we would believe them based on this picture alone. Amazingly, the amblypygi has no venom at all and lives mostly in tropical forests and caves, doing its best to mind its own business. Well, as much as creature that looks like that can mind its own business while shoveling prey into its mouth using its fucking hands.

The Giraffe Weevil A.K.A. the Thing That’s On the Back of Your Neck Right Now

That’s the giraffe weevil, and never has something so unsettling gotten such a cute name. It hails from Madagascar, and apparently the long freak neck is an adaption to help male weevils roll leaves into tubes for keeping their eggs.

All we know is that before today we thought giant-ass insects were about the worst thing you could find in your house. Now we know it’s quite a bit weirder if you just take one part of the insect and grow one part of its body to freakishly huge proportions.

Hey, speaking of which…

The Mata Mata Mutant Turtle

Holy shit, whose idea was this? What you’d suspect was a regular turtle after a series of grotesque radiation experiments is actually mata mata, a South American turtle that looks like a cross between Bowser and Ian McShane.

Supposedly its hideous exterior camouflages it from its prey, but really the thing is just so fucking ugly that fish would rather get eaten than have to look at it. Fortunately, people aren’t on the menu, but with a shell that measures 18-inches long and a body that weighs 33-pounds, we wouldn’t tease them with our fingers.

All right, we need to get something cute and furry on this list, ASAP.

Aye Aye Lemur A.K.A. the Rat that Ate All the Crystal Meth

Fuck! That’s actually worse! This strung-out looking thing is the aye aye lemur, which appears to have crawled its way out of the rancid vagina of a Victorian prostitute and went straight to work hiding in children’s bedrooms to steal their dreams.

Actually, it lives in trees in Madagascar and uses its freakishly over-sized fingers to find grubs (the exact purpose of its goblin hair has yet to be determined). It’s basically the terrifying version of a woodpecker. Unsurprisingly, Madagascan natives regard the aye aye as an unholy terror. Consequently, the damn thing is endangered and we’re legally required to give a shit about it. But fuck it, the Rancor was probably endangered too.

Let’s get us another furry creature, it’s still better than going back to the shit with tentacles.

Star Nosed Mole A.K.A. the Furry Creature with Tentacles

Ah! Where’s its face?! Is that its face?

The star nosed mole a.k.a. “the creature with another bullshit name because it should be called ‘the tentacle faced digbeast'” looks like it should come bursting out of the boiler room of an old church to kill every orphan in the city, only to eventually be cast back into Hell by a retired priest struggling with his own faith played by Lance Henriksen.

In reality they’re only about eight-inches long and are mostly blind (its titular star nose is a sensory organ) which we argue takes nothing away from its orphan-eating potential.

The Big Red Jellyfish

The granrojo jellyfish (“big red” in English) is 10-feet across, lives in the deep sea and looks like an escaped uterus hell-bent on revenge. They’ve only been seen two dozen times, so very little is known about them, aside from their being huge, red versions of what your boner sees when it has a nightmare. Scientists aren’t even sure what or how they eat, presumably because the guy who took this series of photographs was never heard from again.

The Fish with the Transparent Head (A.K.A. Barreleye)

At this point we have decided that anything that comes from the deep sea is pure evil. This one appears to have been dreamed up as a children’s learning tool by Satan’s kindergarten teacher.

It’s a barreleye fish and you can see through its head. The weird green balls inside are its eyes, and they are frozen staring upwards to find fish.

That’s right. Rather than giving it a great sense of smell or touch or superior electromagnetic senses to help it hunt in the darkness of the deep sea, nature saw fit to glue eyes on the top of its brain and give it an invisible skull. Why not?

Wolf Trap

If you think that picture makes it hard to figure out what’s going on with this creature, you’re right. You’ll find that all photos of it have the same problem.

Sharing its name with an anti-terrorist unit led by Louis Gossett, Jr., the wolf-trap anglerfish is also known as a wonderfish, which sounds more like a Saturday morning cartoon show.

They are distinctive because, for one, they have a fucking fishing pole glued to their head. To catch fish, not wolves as their name would imply (if such a fish existed, you’d have fucking heard about it by now). They’re called a “wolf-trap” because their massive upper jaws (which are up to three times the size of the lower jaw) have “movable premaxilaries,” which means it opens and closes sideways like… well, like a wolf trap.

We are amazed that the direct to DVD market has not yet been terrorized by its giant prehistoric ancestor.


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