As soon as Marvel or DC drops a movie, we drop whatever it is that we’re doing, and quickly rush to the theatres with starry-eyed wonder. We gawk at the superheroes on screen with so much want in our eyes. There they are, kicking butts, flying across seas, defying the rules of the world, doing whatever the heck they want.
But what most of us often don’t realise is that the world around is filled to the rim with so many unbelievable species, who could give our superheroes a run for their money.
Here we present to you 10 wild animals with superpowers that would make you drool.
1. G. O. A. T.: Greatest Of All Time
Like spiderman, the Alpine ibex mountain goats have been known to more or less defy gravity. No inclination is too steep for them to climb. What essentially looks like a vertical surface, they climb easily enough to make your jaws drop. They aren’t just good climbers, they are extraordinary, sometimes reaching up to 16,000 feet. Most of the climbers are mother goats and their young ‘uns. Amazing!
2. Iceman or Frogs?
Every year, around September, wood frogs in Alaska hibernate using the most unique of methods. In order to handle the unbearable cold in wintry Alaska, they freeze their own blood. Two-thirds of their body water turns to ice. If one happened to try and break one of their legs, it would even easily break. Their heart stops beating and their blood doesn’t even flow! They are more or less dead. During this time, they can live under the coldest of temperatures. And as soon as around seven months pass and spring comes, they defrost and come back to life.
3. Migratory Animals: Magnetic Magic
Like we move from one point to another with the help of maps, and recently smartphones and GPS, animals have their own ways. Migratory animals that move from place to place have their own methods of doing so. It has been found out that salmons, much like sea turtles, use the earth’s magnetic field like a map! They, therefore, use to guide them towards their intended direction, mostly home. They use a combination of the intensity and the inclination angle of the magnetic field as a guide. Sockeye Salmons are known for travelling over 4,000 kilometres to breed in the same place that they were hatched.
4. Dragon Millipede: Dragon at its Best
The Desmoxytes Purpurosea, also known as the dragon millipede, looks sweet and innocent, quite photogenic even. In a pretty pink colour, it isn’t half as sweet as it looks, though. Spiny and toxic, it has the ability to shoot hydrogen cyanide, which smells like almonds, when in fear of predators. It has glands that produce the said chemical to protect it from possible danger. Just to let you know, hydrogen cyanide is lethal enough to harm humans immensely. 300 ppm of it can kill a human within 10 to 60 minutes, and 3500 ppm in under a minute.
5. Snakes: Real-life Predators
Remember how in Predator, the 1987 sci-fi movie starring Arnold, there was this mega-powerful extra-terrestrial being, the Predator, which trapped its prey by detecting them via the infra-red heat of their bodies? Awesome! Now, did you know that snakes have an ability to do the same? Vipers, pythons, and boas are known to have pit organs, which are essentially small openings on their faces, and these organs have membranes with which they can sense infrared radiation from around a metre away. Even a blind rattlesnake can target vulnerable parts of its prey using the same power.
6. Pistol Shrimps: Bubble Bullets
Quite true to their name, pistol shrimps, are known to use their massive claws to shoot bubbles which could even kill their prey. Think about it. Mere bubbles! These bubbles are almost as hot as the surface of the sun. Extending out from the claw, the bubbles usually reach about 100 km per hour, and the pressure is enough to kill small fish. They are also known for the humongous sound that often accompanies the snapping. At around 210 decibels, these are a major source of noise underwater. To give you an idea of how loud this is, let me tell you, an actual gunshot is around 150 decibels. Absurd!
7. Lyrebirds: Mock Away
We all know that some species of Mockingbirds mimic the songs of other birds, insects and amphibians, but there is another type of birds which surpasses its mocking ability by a mile: Lyrebirds. These beautiful birds – whose tail feathers, when fanned out, are gorgeous – are mostly known for their stellar mimicry of natural as well as artificial sounds! It has been found that they can imitate any given sound, even urban sounds from our daily lives. Some of the sounds they have been recorded mimicking are car engines, car alarms, chainsaw, camera shutters, music and crying babies! Some reports even say they can mimic the human voice, but it’s more of a myth.
8. Turritopsis Jellyfish: Immortality?!
Here’s a blow to us egotistical humans who take so much pride in our intellect: the secret to immortality may have been unlocked by creatures that ironically do not have brains! Turritopsis jellyfish break the cycle of mortality by creating a cycle of immortality, and here’s how. For most species, curling into a ball at the end of their lives is a signal for death to come take them, but for these jellyfish, it only indicates that they grow from their ruins into immature juveniles. So they grow old, only to grow young again, and an unending cycle of life is formed.
We watch as Logan pushes claws out of his fist and destroys all those who deserve destruction. To think of anything remotely similar in nature would be unbelievable, wouldn’t it? Well, here’s a surprise. Much like Wolverine, when threatened, a bizarre hairy frog called Trichobatrachus robustus actively breaks its own bones and pushes them out of its toe pads as claws. It has been said that the claws look a lot like those of cats. These frogs live in Cameroon, and are actually, quite surprisingly, roasted and eaten by people inhabiting the place.
10. The Beetles
On one hand, we have all known The Incredible Hulk for his incredible strength. He destroys monuments, throws towers, and crushes puny humans. But compare his strength to his body size, and a lot of his feats aren’t very impressive, honestly. On the other hand, look at the dung beetle. The strongest males from the species can effectively pull up to 1,140 times their body weight. Even the rhinoceros beetles pull about 850 times their body weight.
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