Now that summer is in full swing, and the sun is shining on the western hemisphere, it’s time to rise from our coffins, slather on some sunscreen, and become one with nature… or so I’m told. I’ll be hiding in a movie theater somewhere in the darkness with air conditioning. For many, summer is the season for traveling, beaches, and camping but not all sights in the outside world are things of beauty. The great outdoors inhabit unpredictable creatures with some disturbing traits both physical and behavioral. Some pose a serious threat to mankind as we know it and some are just gross. These six hell spawn abominations might convince you to reconsider your vacation plans…
Despite its spooky name, there really isn’t anything more terrifying about the ghost shark than any other oceanic predator. In fact, you’re probably safe from this beast as long as the males don’t attempt to engage in any funny business with their retractable “sexual appendage.” On their forehead. Yes, this shark is a literal “dickhead”. These interspecies inbreds are a cross between a shark and a sting ray and have somehow outlived the dinosaurs with their fins a flappin’ and their sex organs a floppin’. Of course, seeing a ghost shark is about as rare as seeing a ghost since they were first captured on camera in 2016.
Hippo Butt Leech
Reverting back to my adolescent state of distasteful humor, let’s back away from the erectus dysfunctious to examine a creature that is half the size of a ghost shark, but twice as disgusting. The hippo butt leech (also known as placobdelloides jaegerskioeldi if you prefer not to have a potty mouth) conveniently resides in South Africa where hippo rumps can be found in great abundance. Lucky for us humans, this particular leech won’t latch onto just anything. As its name implies, the hippo butt leech is known to take up residence and sustenance within the rectum of a hippo. Of course, this living arrangement is no picnic for the tenant or the landlord seeing as the hippo endures a real pain in the butt and the leech struggles to dodge some rather, well, shitty situations.
We’ve all endured the annoyance that is the common housefly. They look like tiny aliens with their oversized eyes glistening and their front legs rubbing together as if they are plotting something diabolical. Between the inherent buzzing and abrupt vomiting on our food, there is not any question that flies are the scum of the earth. However, not all flies are created equal and their most aggravating relative is definitely the human botfly. The human botfly is attracted to people for one reason only: increasing the botfly population. Female botflies lay larvae inside humans which can cause an excruciating skin condition to occur. Pro tip: DO NOT attempt to remove the larvae by squeezing. The larvae will explode and their bodily fluids could send you into anaphylactic shock.
Often referred to as “diablo rojo,” the Humboldt squid is one of the largest squids in the world, reaching approximately 5 feet in length. Their nickname is derived from their innate ability to flash red and white in coloration while hunting prey. Mostly residing on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean, this aquatic eight-legged freak bears tentacles that include 100-200 suction cups aligned with teeth resembling tiny daggers that are used to drag prey into their large toothy mouths. These things of nightmares are notorious for displaying aggression toward humans… especially when they are “hangry”. And don’t even think about trying to escape. Not only do the Humboldt squid travel at a stealthy 15 mph, but they also travel with their Humboldt squid buddies in tow. All 1,200 of them.
Like the ghost shark and the hippo butt leech (still snickering), the hairy frog does not pose any threat to human civilization. It’s really just not cute. This little dude gets his name from the coarse hairs extending from the body and thighs of the male. So, in addition to the slimy factor, he’s not too different from some dates I’ve had in the past. As tadpoles, these critters contain several rows of pointed teeth that they use to feed on various meaty bugs in the water. Upon reaching adulthood, the hairy frog develops a disturbing defense mechanism against predators in which it breaks its own bones in its toes, causing them to protrude through their skin and act as retractable claws like Wolverine.
Native to the Galápagos Islands, the vampire finch is a total jerk… but mostly to other birds. With its sharp straightened beak, the vampire finch has been known to feed on the blood of its feathered foes such as the blue-footed boobies and the Nazca boobies by pecking a hole in their skin until the blood begins to spill. Like in every classic vampire movie, the prey do not seem to mind that they are being drained as they don’t show any signs of resistance. It is often tradition for other vampire finches to stand by and watch the horror taking place. It is also in their nature to eat the babies of their neighbors, stealing eggs by rolling them away from nests with their beaks. Fortunately for other birds but unfortunately for the finch species, these baby-napping murderers are currently endangered.