Nature's Nightmares: Snake Bites, Squid Sperm, And P*ssed Off Peacocks
Some stories are so disgusting, so flat-out bizarre and unsettling, they’re an affront to every shred of rationality in you. They break your brain, and shake your soul, and like — I don’t even believe in souls. Which is why when Petr dropped a particularly nasty news story from the world of science in the Overlord Slack-pipeline yesterday, I read the headline and then told him to fuck right off because there was NO WAY I was even going to click on it.
And then… obviously I went ahead a read it. If there’s one thing I handle worse than irrational horror, it’s curiosity. Here’s the headline, courtesy of IFLS:
“Woman’s Tongue Gets Inseminated By Squid After Eating Undercooked Seafood”
No, it’s cool. Let that one sink in for awhile, because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna explain it any further for you. I mean, yes, the details of the story are AWFUL — scientists are mystified, squid sex is weird, and blah blah squirming spermatophores something something. But really, all you need to know is that the headline is accurate. And also maybe don’t eat raw squid sex organs (remove them or cook them thoroughly).
So I wasn’t going to write that up, because *whole body shudder*, but in the course of trying to go on about my day as if tongues can’t get inseminated by goddamn squid, I came across this fucking headline right here (from SFGate):
“Texas Man Bitten By Severed Rattlesnake Head Almost Dies”
Coincidence? Fine. But it also felt like a personal challenge, like the universe’s way of saying “BY THE WAY NATURE IS SCARY AND WEIRD AND I’MA KEEP SENDING YOU STORIES ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU FUCKING FACE FACTS HERE.” The universe and I, uh, have a rocky relationship, it should be noted.
Right, so: on May 27th, Milo and Jennifer Sutcliffe were at their home near Lake Corpus Christi, doing yard work, when Milo came across a 4 ft rattlesnake. And then he whacked its head off with a shovel, you know — as you do. But when he went to discard the remains, the severed head fucking BIT HIM, injecting — and this is a direct quote — “a super dose of venom with its dying twitch.”
I dunno exactly what constitutes a super dose of venom, but in Milo’s case, it took 26 doses of antivenom to save him (as opposed to the typical 2-4 doses usually required). He’s in stable condition now, by the way.
But I don’t want you to think that my Day Of Natural Nasties was made up only of stories about weird, grievous bodily injuries. Like the perfect cherry on top, this morning Kristy shared a prime example of how even seemingly harmless creatures can just straight-up be huge fucking assholes:
It’s so quaint! And there’s nary a mention of spermatophores in sight! Apparently the residents of Surrey, British Columbia have been contending with the antics of a group of about 150 feral peacocks, who were raised recreationally by a nearby farmer until he moved away and left them behind. At first, they just kept people up at night with their awful ruckus. Then they started roosting on people’s doorsteps. And now they’ve started picking fights with dark cars, trying to attack their own reflections. Apparently, they can go at it for hours, and they cause thousands of dollars worth of damage in the process.
So that’s the past 24 hours of my life in a nutshell — just terrifying and/or baffling stories from the animal kingdom coming out of the woodwork. Thanks for bearing witness to it while I got it all out of my system. As a reward, here’s a reminder that sometimes nature is also incredibly fucking cool:
These fish turn their eyes black to show that they're mad.— Ed Yong (@edyong209) June 4, 2018
Their eyes are usually silver, but black is the default color. They’re constantly suppressing that darkness, and then releasing it when it’s time for a fight
Nature is METAL.https://t.co/BJn0L4tAMa
Guppies go full-on Supernatural demon-eyes when angry? FINALLY AN EXCUSE FOR AN UNNECESSARY WINCHESTER .GIF!