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10 Weird And Wonderful Oddities Of Nature

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

Nature is full of wonder and mystery – and, fortunately for us, bizarre facts! This is our first bizarre facts list of 2009 and will definitely not be the last of one of our most popular topics! I hope you enjoy the facts, and if you have any more of your own to add, please feel free to do so in the comments!


Miracle Mice


Weird Fact: A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen

During the summer months, mice will generally live outside and remain contended there. But as soon as the weather begins to cool, they seek the warmth of our homes. Because of their soft skulls and gnawing ability, a hole the size of a ballpoint pen (6mm – 1/4 inch) is large enough for them to enter en masse. Once inside, they will constantly gnaw at virtually anything – including concrete, lead, and plastic. This is to keep their ever-growing teeth at a convenient length. Contrary to popular belief, mice don’t generally like cheese – but will eat it on occasion. Mice can jump up to 46cm (18 inches), swim, and travel vertically or upside-down. To mouse proof your house, check all small openings with a ballpoint pen – if it fits the hole, it will let mice in.


Square Eyes


Weird Fact: Unlike most creatures, goats have rectangular pupils

We all imagine pupils to be round – as they are the type we see most often (on humans) – but goats (and most other animals with hooves) have horizontal slits which are nearly rectangular when dilated. This gives goats vision covering 320 – 340 degrees; this means they can see virtually all around them without having to move (humans have vision covering 160 – 210 degrees). Consequently, animals with rectangular eyes can see better at night due to having larger pupils that can be closed more tightly during the day to restrict light. Interestingly, octopuses also have rectangular pupils.


Blind Horses

2  Horses

Weird Fact: Horses can’t see directly in front of themselves

A horse has considerably wide vision (and the largest eyes of any land mammal) – being able to see a total field of up to 350 degrees. Horses have two blind spots – the first is directly in front of them and the other is directly behind their head. As far as seeing details, horses are red color blind and have vision of 20/33 (compared to a perfect human vision of 20/20)


Sick Rats

Rat 0

Weird Fact: Rats can’t vomit

Rats can’t vomit or burp because of a limiting wall between their two stomachs and their inability to control the diaphragm muscles needed for the action. Neither rabbits nor guinea pigs can vomit either. This makes rats particularly susceptible to poisoning (hence its popularity in controlling rat infestations). Because of this inability, rats will nibble at food to see if it makes them feel sick (they can’t vomit, but they can feel like they sure as hell want to!) If they don’t feel nausea they will scoff the lot.


Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla


Weird Fact: The scientific name for a gorilla is “Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla”

First off, let us just be clear: this is the scientific name for a particular type of Gorilla – the Western Lowland Gorilla (this is the type you are most likely to see in a zoo – and the most common). For some reason the poor gorillas got stuck with the weird names – if you aren’t a Gorilla gorilla gorilla, you are a Gorilla gorilla diehli, Gorilla beringei beringei, Gorilla beringei graueri. The Bwindi Gorilla (a type of Gorilla beringei) has not yet been given a trinomen – for the sake of fun and to be a little different, I propose it be named Gorilla beringei ChuckNorris. If you didn’t understand this item, don’t worry – I didn’t either!


Killer Swans

2505993187 551E2Da470

Weird Fact: A swan can break a man’s arm

Next time you are feeding the beautiful swans and want to give one a nice pat on the back – don’t do it! Swans are very protective of their young and will use their incredibly powerful wings to fend off dogs (and sometimes humans). They have a wing span of around 2.75 meters (9 feet). In 2001, a young man in Ireland had his leg broken by a swan when he was trying to provoke it. The following year another person had their arm broken.


Fragile Spider


Weird Fact: If you drop a tarantula it will shatter

First of all, unless you are allergic to tarantula venom, they are harmless to humans (though they pack a painful bite). Some tarantulas can also shoot the “hairs” off their legs which can pierce human skin and cause great discomfort. Now – back to the weird fact. Tarantulas have an exoskeleton (that means its skeleton is on the outside) like crayfish and crabs. They shed their exoskeleton regularly – normally by lying on their back. (When they are shedding their skeleton, it is a good idea to keep right away from them as they will attack due to their vulnerable state.) Because the exoskeleton is very fragile, if a tarantula is dropped from a low height, it will shatter and die.


Scary Spice


Weird Fact: Nutmeg is poisonous

Nutmeg is a hallucinigenic drug which is regularly used to flavor such lovely things as custard tarts and fruit cakes. It is also a poison which will kill you while you suffer a variety of extremely revolting (and one or two not-so-revolting) side-effects on the way. Ingesting 2 grams of nutmeg will give you similar feelings to having taken amphetamines (the not-so-revolting side-effect) but will also cause nausea, fever, and headaches. Ingesting 7.5 grams will cause convulsions, and eating 10 grams will cause hallucinations. Eating a whole nutmeg can lead to “nutmeg psychosis” which includes feelings of impending doom, confusion, and agitation. There have been two recorded cases of death by nutmeg (one in 1908 and one in 2001).


Shaking Leaves

Weird Fact: The telegraph plant is capable of rapid movement – even in the absence of wind

The Telegraph plant is a tropical plant usually found in Asia – but also in the South Pacific. The plant has the amazing ability to shake its leaves (which rotate on their axis and jerk up and down). There are a few other plants with rapid movement abilities (such as the venus fly trap) but this is the most bizarre and least known. It should be noted that when we refer to “rapid” in relation to plants – it is not super fast – but it is definitely visible with the naked eye. I have linked to a real-time clip of the plant in action above (apologies for the music – this is not my own clip or it would be far more awesome).


Burning Issue

Weird Fact: The Bombardier beetle shoots boiling liquid as a defense mechanism

The incredibly complex bombardier beetle has an amazing and unique ability: when threatened it shoots boiling hot chemicals from its abdomen up to 70 times rapidly. The liquid is a combination of hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones which join together inside the beetle causing a chemical reaction. The liquid is fatal to small insects and creatures and can be very painful to humans. You can watch the incredible reaction in the clip above.

Contributor: JFrater

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • stevenh

    Excellent list, Jamie.

    As requested, here are a few more that I've gathered over the years…
    1) a dog's nose print is unique and can be used like human fingerprints
    2) porcupines float
    3) elephants are the only (land) animal that can't jump
    4) sharks and rays are the only known animals that never get cancer. Also, of endoskeleton animals, they have no bones, just cartilage. scientists do not know if these two facts are related.

    • Mystikan

      Elephants are not the only land animal that cannot jump. Assuming that by “jump” you mean “make a motion such that no part of the body is in contact with the ground at a given moment of time”, then neither can rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, most species of sloth, several species of snakes and lizards, crocodiles, alligators, anteaters and pangolins. All are vertebrates, I didn’t include invertebrates such as worms and insects (there are several species of insect that can’t jump.) So elephants are not alone in their inability to jump!

    • Rob
  • babygirl2882

    Wow. So random but interesting! :D

  • lena

    cool list.

  • c w

    death by nutmeg? flame throwing insects? this is why we build cities people! killer swans? don’t fool yourselves… this is why we have tanks and machine guns.

  • Redcaboose

    What a nice list, very interesting.

  • Les

    Nutmeg tea is good. I brew a whole nutmeg ground fine to treat insomnia. People have used small quantities of nutmeg for centuries as an anxiolytic. When you say it’s fatal surely you mean someone who consumes the whole fruit, mace and nutmeg and not the dried whole spice found in grocery stores?

  • lily_89

    ew ew rats mice ew i hate rats and mice and the thought that they can come into my homethat easily bring shivers down my spine. Other than that nice list.

  • Meg

    Woah. I didn’t know any of those facts. O_O

  • Thomas

    nice one

  • astraya

    Re no 10: The early bird catches the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  • Raptr2

    Poor frog:(

  • bdeans

    Great list!

    However, #4 contains a couple of errors.

    First, to be really picky, the hairs that ‘shoot’ (called ‘utricating,’ btw) are found on the abdomen and dispelled by the legs. These are found on New World (North American) tarantulas.

    Secondly, the main reason that a fall can kill a tarantula is because the tarantula’s ‘heart’ runs from it’s abdomen up into it’s thorax, so it can literally die from a broken heart. It’s true that the tarantula could break in two, but I’ve found using the broken heart example helps foster sympathy in even the most arachniphobic person.

    Also interesting is that spiders can die from a broken leg, due to the fact that their circulatory system is open, and it would bleed to death if the wound was too large to clot.

    And that’s the end of my spider nerd rant. ;)

  • KneelDown

    It’s a falacy that a swan can break a human arm. Alot of the other facts on this list are dubious but atleast we’ve got a decent list on here for once.

    • iceblue

      Not true – – I've had my arm broken by a swan – – not nice.

  • vss3t

    LOL at bdeans… XD

    anyway, cool list…

  • Leah

    Great list,

    it’s good to see a good one up, ive felt a bit let down by the quality of the lists for past few days, but thats just my opinion

  • Qeremius

    Another interesting animal fact: Although the blue whale is the largest animal in the world, there is a type of deep sea jellyfish and a worm that are over twice its length.

  • RandomPrecision

    awesome list!

  • Denzell

    6. lily_89-

    me too, I hate mice!

  • ronsantohof

    My sister got a tarantula for her son. It did not bother her that there was a tarantula in her house; it bothered her that she kept live crickets in her house to feed the tarantula. Every month the tarantula would shed it’s skeleton she couldn’t put the live crickets in the cage with it as the cricket could easily kill the tarantula. I’ve always been scared of tarantulas ever since The Brady Bunch took their trip to Hawaii. My sister was also once bitten by a moose.

  • kathleen

    haha mice. I’ve never disliked them. in fact after the first fact, they sound even more adorable :) great list.

  • DuckyJem

    Great list, have an intrest in aminals n nature so readin this was fasinating.

  • ViewARandomList…

    sucks to be the dude who OD’d on nutmeg, what a puss

  • The_Patient

    Cool. Interesting list!
    I knew number 9 and 8.
    You say you didnt choose the music for no.2, I think someone did!! lol

  • jhoyce07

    awesome !!! more !!!

  • AutoFocus

    Great list!

  • Scar

    The only this scarier to me than spiders.. is dead spiders..
    I twitch thinking of them >_>

  • skipps

    Gosh, I fell asleep watching the shaking leaves. I think Mimosas are far more interesting to watch.

  • Hastey

    It’s a good list, but you should seriously stop using so many exclamative sentences (“they can’t vomit, but they can feel like they sure as hell want to!”, “If you didn’t understand this item, don’t worry – I didn’t either!”, “Next time you are feeding the beautiful swans and want to give one a nice pat on the back – don’t do it!”)

    It makes you seem child like and less serious. You have lots of fascinating facts here, and you should just rely on those facts to speak for them selves.

    • TyB

      I seem to remember that you left a similar (or did you cut and paste it?) comment in one of my lists. What's wrong with being child like? When confronted with nature, anyone who can really appreciate weird and wonderful stuff would feel like a child in awe. It's nothing wrong, and besides, if Jamie (or myself) are writing the list, hell, why should we pretend that we don´t feel that awe and want to share it with others?
      Maybe you can write a "serious" list but I warn you, everyone will think you copied it from Wikipedia or something…

      • listless

        it is kinda dorky…

        but otherwise i love your lists! thanks, yer awesome.

    • iceblue

      What!!!!! Do you really believe that!!! C'mon!!!!

  • glaukopis

    27. Hastey
    Loosen up. I’ll sic my swan on you!

  • Val

    25. Scar-
    I twitch thinking of any dead bugs, and to me they ARE wose than bugs that are alive… I don’t know why, but they’re so much more disgusting to me… BLECH

    Cool list! Very interesting, I actually read a few of these out loud to my boyfriend.

  • Ghidoran

    Heh, knew about the bombardier beetles from playing Impossible Creatures.

  • Diana

    Great list! There are a lot of rodents that can’t vomit (including mice). The students I teach seem to love that piece of information. If anyone cares, the official term is “food aversion” for how animals that can’t vomit avoid being poisoned.

    • Kei

      On that note (nearly two years later), though rabbits share the trait of not being able to vomit as well as similar teeth, they're not rodents. In fact they're hardly related to rodents at all – their digestive system is closer to that of a horse. Rabbits and hares are classed as lagomorphs.

  • Flying Circus


    My sister got a tarantula for her son….MY SISTER WAS ONCE BITTEN BY A MOOSE

    Thats the best thing on this entire page. GO MONTY

  • Damien


    there is a fresh water fish called a Paddlefish (or Spoonbill or Spoonbill Catfish depending on where you live) that also has no bones, only cartilage. Their skin is much more shark/ray like than other freshies. They are filter feeders though.

    There are also fresh water rays.

    I have always wondered if they are more closely related to the salt water fish than we might assume

  • Dana

    Cool…anyone else want to help me try the tarantula expirement?

  • smurff

    Nice list – may I add:

    The Marine Iquana is the worlds only sea going lizard.

    Squids mate all day long

  • copperdragon

    i’ll bet the govt is studying the bombardier beetle so intensely to try and mimic its defense mechanism for chemical warfare.

  • deepthinker

    The telegraph plant reminds me of a kind of plant we have here in Texas.. it is a small fern that has leaves similar to a mimosa tree. When you touch the inside of the leaves, the leaves will instantly close up around themselves. Neat. I love these kinds of lists… I always thought goats have freaky eyes.

  • ringtailroxy

    hey gang! long time since I posted anything. mainly because (sorry Jamie) the lists have been a little lame as of late.

    this was an enjoyable list…


    the shaking leaves clip isn’t so great. really. I can sit on patio in the early morning, sipping my coffee and smoking my morning clove cigarette, and watch my hibiscus flowers open up to the dawn sunlight. right before your eyes. yes it happens slowly. but within 10 minutes, closed flowers become large, lush blooms. it’s actually cool to watch the stamens erect. kinda like flower erections!


  • stevenh

    you have added interesting and wonderful information. my entries were from memory (and years of reading lists like this), and not from thorough or complete research.

    Thank you for the clarification.

  • stevenh

    “kinda like flower erections!” :)

  • Totally fascinating list!
    My one run in with a tarantula was while living in Australia, as a child.
    I awoke one night to see a tarantula the size of my face (or so it looked to me, at the age of 4!) on the wall directly beside me. I ran, screaming for my dad to kill the horrid monster. I don’t know if he killed it, or just put it outside, but it was gone by the time I went back to bed.
    My dad was a super-hero, he could fix anything!

  • DCI

    This list was pretty good, I wish there was a video of the mouse getting through the ballpoint hole! I shall check youtube…

  • JwJwBean

    I love these interesting and useless trivia lists. They are so fun.

  • Ro

    I don’t believe #5.

    And there should be spider alerts before any lists which feature them. My heart skipped a beat as I scrolled down from #5 to #4.

  • Vivii

    Excellent list Jamie! A very interesting read.

  • Mom424

    Excellent List Jamie, lots of interesting tidbits.

    For all you doubters out there – I’m of the opinion that you’ve never seen a swan close-up. They’re flipping huge, getting hit with one of their wings wouldn’t be any different than taking a baseball bat to the arm or leg. Quite capable of breaking bones. I’ve seen my 6′ father run rather than confront an angry swan during nesting season. Btw, all that is required to irritate them is your presence. You needn’t even tease them.

  • itsmejld

    Interesting list. I’m not sure why, but the Telegraph Plant completely fascinates me. I never heard of it before. I think it intrigues me because I can’t find any explanation as to why it moves. The venus flytrap eats bugs, so it has a reason to move, but this one seems to just like to dance under the sun. I guess that’s all the reason it needs. Thanks for teaching me something today!

  • Mortal LIght

    Feelings of impending doom is such a cool sounding symptom…

  • guy

    to be honest, i would luagh my ass off if i saw a guy get beat up by a swan.
    great job on the list

  • nikki

    never heard such weird facts of nature………nice list

  • alex

    Charles Darwin actually came across a Bombardier beetle on one of his voyages. He was carrying so much stuff that he had to put the beetle in his mouth to carry it, and the beetle released that liquid in his mouth

  • DK

    Super cool list today Jamie! This stuff is fascinating!

  • J

    Not to be cynical, but the Western Lowland Gorilla, although the most numerous and awesome gorilla, is critically endangered. I feel that its conservation status should have been noted instead of “most common”. And besides that,

    good list.

  • Del Davis

    53. tron..
    please explain your comment.
    Maybe it’s because I just woke up, or maybe I’m missing something really obvious. Please clarify.

    BTW, great list!
    I have read the recent comments givin you grief, JFrater.
    Don’t listen to em!
    Keep it up.

  • Jordan

    cool list :)

  • Obviously tron, #53, is just a troll, out for a fight. Ignore the ID 10 T error and it will go away.

  • Anon


    “The telegraph plant reminds me of a kind of plant we have here in Texas.. it is a small fern that has leaves similar to a mimosa tree. When you touch the inside of the leaves, the leaves will instantly close up around themselves. Neat.”

    Your plant is indeed a mimosa, M. pudica, popularly known as the sensitive plant. It is common in hotter parts of the Americas and widely naturalized elsewhere. For obvious reasons it’s also a favourite cultivated plant, under glass in colder climates, and great fun for gaining kids interest in plants.

    I’m no plant physiologist, but can try a brief, simplified explanation. Except when growing, plants don’t and cannot act. They react. They react to stimuli such as temperature, light, moisture, chemicals and touch. In fact even their growth is largely governed by these. Despite the terrifying rate weeds proiferate in our garden, most (controlled) plant actions are tediously slow by our standards, and some of the rapid ones like leaf and petal fall are attractive rather than interesting. However, a few seed-dispersal tricks are very active and eye-catching. All those involve quick-release of one part of the plant by the rest. Observable integral movement such as opening and closing of flowers, the questing cirulation of tendrils seeking something to twine around, the closing of the Venus fly trap, movements of the sensitive and telegraph plants, and various pollinating mechanisms are essentially set off by one of two processes. If very fast they are spring-triggered (like the jump of a flea). If slower, they work on similar lines to our hydraulic systems. The chemicals and mechanics of these are awesomely complex, but the result is simple. Large groups of long cells are stimulated to contract or expand together as rapidly as they can. Myriads of tiny movements then add up to one big one. There is no conscious ‘decision’ on the part of the plant.

    Many reasons exist for these actions. That of fly traps is quite obvious. They imprison insects and digest the nitrogen of their bodies, which is lacking in their habitat. The sensitive plant closes at night anyway. It may be a stratagem to reduce transpiration or the surface area exposed to predators when not photosynthesising. It may also scare off predators during daylight too. Codariocalyx gyrans, the telegraph plant, might also have dislodging predatory insects in mind. Which is not to dismiss other possibilities. It reacts to warmth. Maybe there is a build- up of static, stale hot air around the foliage and the shaking serves to freshen the environment, as we fan ourselves.

  • Anon

    Sorry. forgot to welcome and give thanks for a most interesting topic.

  • max

    wow this was a really cool list, only knew the goat one. If im ever lost in the wild, now I know not to eat nutmeg lol

  • CCCC

    it’s HOOVES!!!!!!!!!

  • krazz

    ya im comfused by #53’s comment too. great list. best one in the last week or so

  • em

    I second the idea for a spider warning on lists… I’ll have nightmares tonight because of that pic.

  • itsmejld: I think that Darwin wrote an entire book on the telegraph plant – if you can track it down it will no doubt have the answer – or at least some good speculation :)

    CCCC: oops – I was thinking “roofs” – I have corrected the error. Thanks.

  • Anon

    Gorilla, gorilla, gorilla!

    Sounds like a warning someone might have shouted to Fay Wray or Naomi Watts. (about Gorilla gorilla rex-kongii?).

    I’m no biologist either, and too lazy and short on time to check for full details, but I’m pretty sure one of the world’s smallest birds, the European mainland wren, not only has a very loud song indeed, but one of the longest latin trinomials, Troglodytes troglodytes troglodytes. The reason for this (I believe) is the existence of a distinct island form, the St Kilda wren. (Any UK LV twitchers will undoubtedly be able to provide its infraspecific epithet and tell me of more variants, or knock me down if my memory served me badly.)

    An interesting fact about repetitive trinomials is that they form one of the markers that show up the differences between biological and botanical practices. When we name new plants our rules forbid the use of generic and specific homonyms. The common daisy could never be Bellis bellis: it has to be something like its present Bellis perennis. After that yes. We can have Bellis perennis var. anonae (I should be so lucky!) and its type variety Bellis perennis var. perennis, for example.

    The different ways in which the various organic kingdoms have evolved and reproduce or interact has led to distinct and somewhat contradictory differences in the way their respective disciplines categorize them. At some levels taxonomy is a matter of individual personal judgement anyway, and always to a certain degree ‘articficial’.

  • Goatboy

    So bdeans, that explains why spiders die when I crush them with my boot! Nice to know I don’t have to actually step on a tarantula to kill it but can simply use driving iron to send it where it needs to go.

    Fun Goat Fact: Goats love to smoke weed. They also love to eat weed. They won’t eat “tin” cans but will eat beards, shirt-tails, and cigarettes with the filter. Some goats will happily sit in your lap (and eat your hair.)

  • Tio

    poor frog :( …

  • In future I will put warnings on lists that include spider pics :)

  • Kate

    Ah! More animals to be terrified of.

    As always a good list. Consider the “Snakehead fish” for the next time you do a similar list. They’re certainly not wonderful, but maybe you could include them on a “Top 10 possible apocalypses that you’ll almost certainly die in” list.

    • TyB

      Snakehead fish are bad for local ecosystems when they are introduced in places where they don´t belong, but they pose no threat to humans. I don´t know where everyone got their picture of the snakehead as a man killer… maybe a bad but popular movie I have yet to see?


    Gorilla gorilla gorilla is actually the name for the subspecies of the western lowland gorilla. The species name for any gorilla is Gorilla gorilla, and to distinguish between species, the third name is added, which is it’s subspecies name.

    Just letting you know!

  • Anon

    jf, (66),

    Interesting and welcome news. I didn’t know and must try to get hold of that bit of Darwin’s output.

    In fact I’m quite surprised. The late Tony Huxley’s standard work on the vegetable kingdom, ‘Plant and Planet'(1974) only mentions in passing that there is no apparent rational explanation for the telegraph plant’s ‘semaphore’ (and that in a paragraph where he quotes Darwin on circadian plant rhythms). Huxley was usually very impeccably genned up, being the son of Sir Julian, the nephew of Aldous and a direct descendant of Thomas!

  • Anon


    “This is our first bizarre facts list of 2009 and will definitely not be the last of one of our most popular topics!”

    Can I put the death’s head hawk moth in your sights for the next list. pkease?

  • Anon

    Nº1 reminds me that large octopi can stretch and squeeze through very narrow glass tubes indeed. Of course they do have the advantage of being boneless. I seem to recall they are apparently also pretty smart at finding their way around when these are arranged as mazes.

  • Horses (and possibly other large grazers though I’m not an expert on livestock in general, just horses) also cannot vomit. They have a muscle at the end of their esophagus that allows food in but not out the other way. This enables them to lower their heads and long necks to graze without vomiting or other reflux.

  • amac

    For any of u who doubt that the swan thing, trust me, swans are not nice, luckily I wasn’t mangled by it.

  • jazjsmom

    Tarantulas are disgusting little creatures, in fact all spiders are, okay yes I suffer from arachnaphobia and I would not cry if it broke it’s heart, I would be happy because it is dead, period. Yuck. Where I live are nasty little brown recluse spiders and they jump at you, brave little suckers they are and nasty, nasty, nasty. Okay, my rant is over.

  • Usher

    finally, an entertaining and fun read (unlike the last 12 or so). JF u shud write more lists

  • lo

    anyone doubting the danger of swans has never been chased by one!

    in north america, a pair of large, nesting canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima) is also a terror. an angry canada goose can have a wingspan of over 7 feet (2.2 meters) and will chase you, hiss and honk loudly, and make mighty swipes with those big wings. my family lives on a pond and must walk around it armed with large sticks/rakes during nesting season. not to beat the birds, merely to hold them off enough to walk by (they attack if you come too close.)

    mute swan (Cygnus olor) males average 30lbs (13.6 kg) with a wing span of almost 8 feet (2.4 meters) and are just as eager to beat you up when defending nests or babies.

    give the birds some respect -or nurse some injuries- lol.

  • Usher

    my science teacher showd us an experiment once, he put a frog in liquid nitrogen and was about to dissect it. but he slipped and dropped it. the thing shatterd into a hundred peices. the only comfort waz tht it died painlessly (i think).

  • Lauraleeplease

    What? No mention of Horned Frogs (Horny toads to some) shooting blood out of their eyes??
    Otherwise cool list….and watching a mouse fit through a hole like that is a sight to see I video taped it to prove my landlord wrong (a-hole!)

    Anyway, great site! Go TCU!

  • Yozuki Ri

    Nature truly is an amazing builder.

  • Nicosia

    Oh, Usher, I would never want to clean up that mess!

  • Pingback: 10 Weird and wonderful oddities of nature - Zoidbot()

  • Lauraleeplease: I nearly added the horned toads for that reason – but the bombardier beetle won out :)

  • shaymm

    #3 c m—-hilarious

  • Anon

    For those who hate and kill spiders, I couldn’t begin to tell you what a disaster our world would be without them. They are surely the most effective pest control in existence. Countless of the small organisms that attack us directly or bear diseases, or consume and foul our food crops are destroyed by them in numbers beyond imagination.

    Our family was lucky enough to have the delightful, late W.S. ‘Bill’ Bristowe as a neighbour when my daughters were small. He was Britain’s top non-professional spider expert and we have an autographed copy of his New Naturalist series ‘The World of Spiders’. He opened our girls’ eyes to that world. Read his splendid book, and you couldn’t help coming away with respect for spiders’ marvellous, often amazing abilities too.

    All spiders are rapacious predators. Only a very few species live on other spiders. So if you doubt their effectiveness, think of that and try this statistic. Bill calculated that an average undisturbed field in southern England contained two million spiders to the acre, yes, that’s right, 2,000,000 per 4840 sq.yards, or if you want to get more intimate, some 500 to the square metre. Many, of course are ‘sweet little money spiders’ – until you look at them under a magnifying lens, and see they have much the same appearance as their big brothers and sisters!

  • 67. Anon: Gorilla, gorilla, gorilla!
    Your bit on the gorilla names reminded me of a job I was on, lo these many years ago! One of the “actors” was a baby gorilla, and at one point I got to hold him for a few minutes. Looking into his eyes was like looking into the eyes of a human. It was an eye that held knowledge, awareness, selfness. I was awestruck!
    When I went to hand him back to his trainer, he kept hold of my finger for a moment, and held my gaze. Then he was gone, into the hustle and bustle of the set, the familiarity of his pen, and I was back at work.
    Those minutes, though, those minutes of communion with another species, my God! They will never be gone. I will always know that behind those gorilla eyes lies a brain as aware of itself as we are of ourselves. When I experienced a meeting similar to this one, with a baby chimp a few years later, I was not at all surprised to see the look of self-awareness in his eyes.
    They are truly our cousins.

    • TyB

      Kinda absurd, isn´t it, that some people still refuse to accept that reality? Apes are magnificent creatures and I am proud of being related to them. I don´t even mind that we humans are now officially included within the "great apes" group. It was about time that we accepted our cousins; it was a crucial step if we are to save them from, well, ourselves.

  • Anon


    Re nutmeg, I believe almost every plant and many other compounds have two thresholds. Below the lower one the substance is either beneficial or harmless. Quantities above the upper threshold will start to poison. Into that throw the variables of individual tolerance or allergic reaction. The problem is the massive variability of those thresholds from subtance to substance. Who could drink enough water to reach the upper threshold and poison themselves? On the other hand for medical treatment we ingest minute controlled amounts of numbers of substances which we regard as intrinsically highly dangerous, such as colchicine for gout and digitalin for heart conditions. Clearly the nutmeg has a low upper threshold. But at least its high market price serves to ensure it’s highly unlikely to be consumed in lethal doses!

    Many food plants have an unpleasant, sometimes deadly component. The red flesh of yew berries is delicious, but if you bite the inner seeds open and swallow them … you’re dead! The wild almond-nut used to transform readily to prussic acid, no doubt a useful way to deter predators from eating the seeds. This capacity has been lost in cultivated varieties … or has it quite?

    I love almonds, but again the difficulty of cracking them open and their price limits intake. Here in Chile, including in our own garden, is a splendid variety with a loosely fibrous stone. This crumbles away readily and the resulting almond is deliciously and irresistibly sweet. I’ve been known to eat over 70 at a sitting. I used to suffer from quite severe visual migrane, but it died away over time. Suddenly it returned with a vengeance. It took a while, but eventually I tied it firmly to those almond binges. Residual amounts of prussic acid, maybe?

  • Anon

    segue, (67),

    Awesome. I believe orangs ARE YET MORE AWARE and even closer to our inner selves. I once saw a natural history programe on them in their Borneo habitat where one was holding gently and gazing raptly at a colourful flower it had picked exactly as we look at our Andean wildflowers here.

  • Kiribub

    10. Raptr2


    69. Tio

    Poor frog

    I agree. :(

    Perhaps he healed up.

    /I am such a marshmallow.

  • Brickhouse

    I love this list! Absolutely amazing. :D

  • Mouser

    Ok, interesting but, if mice can fit through any hole the size of a a ballpoint pen, how in the hell to they stay trapped inside cages with a mesh size slightly larger than that of a ballpoint pen (yes, I have one beside me). Are you talking about fetal mice? Or perhaps holes made in wood and other chewable or flexible material. IMHO there’s no way in hell that a grown mouse could fit through a ballpoint-pen-sized hole in, say, sheet metal without becoming mouse jam.

  • lifeschool

    we are not worthy!

  • John JAmes

    Wow dude, no way that is crazy!

  • J. Lindsey

    very informative! :)new lessons learned.

  • evilk8

    Awesome list ;)

  • lo

    the mouse thing seemed unreal to me too.

    as #93 said, i get it if it’s in a chewable material and the “pen sized” hole just gives them a point to begin gnawing to enlarge it (perhaps they can’t sink their little teeth into the middle of a flat piece of plywood, but a pen-sized hole/dent gives them a “starter hole” to fit their jaw into?)

    can you tell us where this info came from? or some details jamie? just curious.

    great list. and please don’t squish every spider y’all see, please! i draw the line with brown recluses in my house (i live in a southern illinois) but all told they do so much good and are a vital part of their ecosystems.

    happy (belated) 2009 :)

  • lo

    HATE typos… “live in southern illinois.” i was between typing “live in an infested area too” and my brain compromised without my permission.

  • lostagent

    Isn’t it too early for April fools?

  • Anon


    I simply can’t believe I’m the first to notice. Nor can I believe I’ve only just noticed. Is this a deliberate booboo to see if we are all awake and on our toes?

    So could we please have a pic of Gorilla gorilla ssp. gorilla (high domed forehead, close-set and sunk eyes, furry face with some black skin) to illustrate Nº6, instead of Pan troglodytes, the chimpanzee (low, shallowly rounded skull-top, much pale exposed facial skin and prominent, lidded eyes)?


  • Anon

    Poking my nose into the mouse controversy now. The point about mice not escaping from cages seems a good one provided there’s no relevant physiological difference between pet and wild mice.

    When we were staying at a friend’s country home in Devon (England) a few years back, a common shrew got into the kitchen. Anita had never seen one before and was pretty excited. She tried to catch it but the shrew, although not at all concerned, was just too active. (Just as well, it would probably have bitten the end of her finger off.) To her amazement it suddenly sqeezed its way into a gap of less than a centimetre between two wooden boards and was away.

    Of course it didn’t actually contract into a biro-sized hole. It actually flattened and spread itself remarkably. But still. Could we be talking shrews here?

  • Reyairia

    One that is always fun to mention is Socratea exorrhiza.
    Otherwise known as the walking palm

  • lo

    side note: context made it pretty clear, but i had to google “biro” to be sure it was a ball point pen. never heard it before (and i love words and etymology.) we don’t (to my knowledge) use that term at all in the states. we just say “pen” and the assumption is that it won’t be a fountain pen or anything else unless specified. another interesting term we lack.

  • Anon

    I’m reminded that maybe the Germans took a hint from the bombadier beetle during WW2.

    The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was a tailess, swept-wing rocket-powered inceptor with a phenomenal rate of climb, but a short power duration of only 8 minutes. Although military secrecy and war supressed the fact, in 1941 it broke all existing world speed records, achieving around 1000 k.p.h. (820 m.p.h.). Fortunately (for the allies) it only saw limited service, with a mere 9 recorded kills.

    It achieved this by mixing two chemicals in the motor to create a highly volatile fuel. These were T-Stoff (80% hydrogen peroxide, 20% water) and C-Stoff (hydrazine hydrate, methyl alcohol and water). Not so very different from the beetle’s devillish cocktail.

    Unburnt dregs of the highly unstable fuel mixture left in the tank when the machine was landed by gliding not infrequently exploded violently as a result of jolting, literally blowing machine and luckless pilot to smithereens. (Almost certainly more of its own than allied airmen were killed!) So both beetle and aircraft also share lethal chemical consequences!

  • Anon


    Re posting 105, why moderation?

    I’ve read it through three times and can’t find any single controversial hint.

    Well, at least this gives me the chance to correct a sleepy-eyed typo.

    On line two ‘inceptor’ should read ‘interceptor’.

    To hell with the at least three other typos, I doubt anyone will read it anyway!

    Good night, all.

  • DK

    Hmm…the only thing I can see that may have flagged the moderation is the word cocktail, Anon. Filters can be picky & take a part of a word out of context sometimes.

    I love lists like this, where I learn as much from the comments as I do from the list itself.

  • Anon

    lo, (104),

    “side note: context made it pretty clear, but i had to google “biro” to be sure it was a ball point pen. never heard it before (and i love words and etymology.) we don’t (to my knowledge) use that term at all in the states. we just say “pen” and the assumption is that it won’t be a fountain pen or anything else unless specified. another interesting term we lack.”

    See entry 10 of my one and only list: 10 People Immortalized In Products under the heading Science.

    You will find a brief outline of Lázló Bíró, the Hungarian who invented the ballpoint pen, and afterm whom it is still named by some. Everything under the sun can be found in LV (well, almost).

  • Anon

    (sighs) bloody post 105 again.

    620 m.p.h., not 820.

    Right, that really is it.

  • Rascalian

    Number 5 is in fact true. I work on the North Slope, where swans will migrate in the summer and a worker was trying to help what he thought was an abandonned young swan. Turned out the parents where around attacked him. One of them broke his forearm and he was soon fired (its a big no-no to interact with the wildlife up here…insult to injury).

    that one and gorilla x3 are the only ones i knew about. Great list!

  • lo

    hear that kids? swans are strong, so no more “omg how can a swan break a leg its a bird lol!
    (“50. sarah)” even feathered ones can be tough ;)

    (109) stay warm in the AK winter. you live in the most (geographically) amazing US state, and i’m a little jealous.

  • Rascalian


    I’ll try…its -70 right now, and i work outside all day…fun fun. I’m not surprised by the jealousy, i know many people who came up just to check it out ended up staying. :)

  • Cyn

    Anon & DK –
    only one in moderation when i just now checked was DK’s. so no idea what was going on ..other than another admin took it out of moderation. and it was there due to numbers and varying kinds of punctuation. :(

  • shausha

    Spider schmider …

    The tarantula is the most numerous spider in the spider kingdom with close on 900+ different variants of it. Of these about 15 are deadly to humans.

  • bdeans

    RE: Post 114

    I respectfully disagree with you last comment. There are actually no true tarantula species that could be considered deadly to a healthy adult human.

    In fact, in most cases of *any* spider-related fatality, you’ll find the victims are either really young or old, or in poor health.

    Some well-known exceptions are the Australasian funnel web spider and the Brazilian wandering spider, which are well-known *because* they are exceptions, and are dangerous not only for their highly toxic venom, but also because they are very aggressive (which is rare among spiders; the next time you see a spider in your house, and if it’s aware of you, is it running toward you or away from you? :P).

    I suspect that one of the reasons you might have been lead to believe that tarantulas can be deadly is because the Australian funnel web used to be placed in a family that included tarantulas, but is no longer.

    Perhaps I should change my login to spider nerd after all.

  • Anon

    bdeans, (115),

    Here in Chile we have one or two ‘interesting’ arachids. Most notorious is the so-called corner-spider, an ordinary house spider whose fangs are sufficiently wide and well developed to close on human flesh. Much then depends on which sex bit you, how old you are and in what state of health (as you noted), where you are bitten, and whether the wound is superficial (almost invariably), or deeo. These creatures are extremely common, essentially nocturnal, and very timid. The main danger is applying one to bare skin that is dormant in clothing or towels, or touching one unknowingly that has fallen onto your face or body. The bite is not that painful, but necrosis sets in, and may ultimately spread to cause fatal gangrene. This is rare, but we do have occasional deaths, particularly (but not only) of children. Sometimes the wound is so superficial it’s hard to identify as the spider. But I was bitten several years back on the bare stomach when I picked up a bale of hay. A rather painfel dark red necrosis patch just under a cm. across formed and took two years to clear away without a mark.

    Another fun spider we have in the south is a quite beefy, handsome black widow with four red abdomen spots, Latrodectus quadrimaculatus. This one will gain the attention of lusty, testerone-powered young LV males and has to be a must for the follow-up list to this! We often see it in the field when investigating plants in the south, even in Patagonia. Normally it is unagressive, slow and no worry. However, some years its populations explode and it becomesmore active, not least among the harvest crops, when field workers may get bitten. The bite isn’t lethal but has a violent effect on the nervous system, which includes causing men (and presumably boys) to get an uncontrollable and exceedingly painful erection which ‘stands’ continuously for about three days. I have never heard or read what effect the bite has on women …

    If you don’t know or have it, bdeans, you’d love that ‘World of Spiders’ New naturalist volume by Bill Bristowe. It’s probably pretty pricey by now though.

  • Rasta

    Really good list this time. Congrats

  • That beatle is freaking amazing!

  • bdeans

    RE 121

    The little jumping spiders are very colourful and are fun to watch. They're active hunters, so their eyes are set in the front and actually look kind of cute close up. It's interesting the way they jump. Like leaf-hoppers, they concentrate blood at the bottom of their feet, and suddenly release it to jump.

    Chile has a very diverse and abundant spider population. The Chilean rose hair tarantula is the most commonly kept tarantula, in fact. And in spite of it being the most common tarantula kept in captivity, there have never been any recorded incident of it biting humans. I have one, and she's very docile and only moves fast if I move to quickly. She's only assumed an aggressive stance once, and that was when I first got her and she was about to molt.

    Deepthinker: It's hard to describe an earwig. They're ugly looking insects, nicknamed pincher bugs because they have pincers at the end of their abdomen. But the pincers are harmless. I think they're originally from africa, but are now common everywhere. And in spite of their name, they don't crawl into people's ears while they sleep.

    • Steve

      I know a couple of people who have been bitten by rose hairs but knowingthese people they may have been tormenting the poor things. I guess its not recorded because they never wrote it down. The two I have right now are skittish as all get out and are very reluctant to let me hold them.

  • Hemza3000

    “Horses have two blind spots – the first is directly in front of them and the other is directly behind their head.”

    Eehm, don’t we have that second one too?

  • bdeans

    RE 116

    The corner spider you describe sounds quite like a common spider we have here in western Canada (it’s also common in the US), called a hobo spider. It’s actually a grass spider that originated in England. It’s venom can cause necrosis as well.

    However, when I looked into it more, it’s also known as a Chilean recluse, and a more dangerous member of the family that includes the brown recluse. All three spiders have venom that is localized, and causes tissue death, in which the wound heals extremely slowly and is vulnerable to infection. Again, most bites occur when a human accidentally squeezes or crushes a spider against the skin.

    The interesting effects you’ve described regarding the Chilean black widow are common reactions to all spiders in the Lactodectus family, since it’s venom affects the nervous system.

    And since I’m on yet another spider nerd rant, I’ll share that I used to be very afraid of spiders. It was an encounter with a black widow that led me to learn more about them, and most of what I learned dispelled my fear. I was with doing a nature walk with a group of kids, and one of the girls overturned a log, and there it was: A huge and shiny black spider. What intrigued me was that she was running away.

  • Anon

    bdeans, (120),

    Thanks for the info. By the way, I understand there’s a rather fragile and nerdish-looking long-tiger-stripe-legged
    predatory spider which specialises in attacking and consuming the recluse. People are encouraged to foster it. How do they expect the Chilean man in the street to differentiate! I’m told this one lacks venom. Apparently it stalks its prey very cautiously indeed, so as not to end up at the wrong end of the knife and fork. It then ‘nets’ and immobilises its vitim in a web, and dines at its leisure in the usual spiderly way.

    We have some super spiders in our Chilean garden, but apart from a full guide to the butterflies and a conspectus of the insects, there is no ready means to identify such small creatures. It’s so frustrating. Some of the salticus jumpers are delightful, and we have one extremely handsome beaut about the size and build of a raft spider who carries her young pick-a-back on the carapce. Charming. That species is extremely drawn to light. One got drawn inside, I put it in a glass tumbler and took it was out to shed many metres away. A few minutes later it was back in the house (it had a small wound to identify by). We should attempt to add images of the bigger species to our digital collection.

    Interesting, your history. I have a curious precise converse. We had a friend who was obssessed later in his life with cacti, and first with reptiles of all kinds when young. Nothing phased him, least of all snakes. He went to Malaya for his national service, a fine posting for any naturalist. Various lizards and snakes there too. One night he had a nightmare. He woke up, and from being fascinated by snakes and having no more than a rational caution, he found he had developed the well-known psychological terror. (I have it of earwigs: I woke up with two huge ones in my pyjamas when tiny: castraction complex I always reckon!) No application of the rational side of his mind or all his years of experience could control it. But overnight!

  • deepthinker

    Anon- thanks for the info. Pretty cool stuff… do you read encyclopedias all day or something? Ha! Keep it up.

  • deepthinker

    Anon- what are earwigs?

  • Anon

    deepthinker, (122),

    No, I’ve just lived a good while, have a fair number of interests (with even more behind me I no longer have time for), have been lucky to meet interesting folks, have travelled somewhat, and in all this accumulated a vast amount of useless mental pabulum along with a few bits that do serve me. Oh, and of vital importance, although 72, Dr Alzheimer hasn’t yet caught up with my fairly seviceable memory. So better make the most of me before he does! Hahaha.

  • lo

    jfater, please give us your (further) info on the mouse-hole thing, if you have the time.

    it’s awesome to hear all this spider talk. in my childhood i was so afraid of any and all spiders i’d wake my whole family to kill one i spied in the night. as i got older i became more ok with them -like “ok, you can live in my house, but not the bedroom. then, later, bedroom corners are fine, but not near the bed.”

    then i spent 3 months living in the peruvian amazon (outside iquitos) and it became “if you don’t look like a brazilian wandering spider i won’t poke you, please don’t poke me, good night.”

    the weirdest thing is tarantulas helped me conquer my childhood arachnophobia (it was so bad i wouldn’t enter a room if a spider had been seen in it that day and not killed). for tarantulas, there are a few ornate asian species that have a very harsh bite (and are aggressive), one is rumored to be fatal (in one uncorroborated instance), but most in the pet trade are docile and fascinating! something about them being so big and (mostly) not so fast made me less afraid of them. I’m kind of a spider fan now :)

    i think it really changed for me when i was back-backing in montana at age 16 and our group leader picked up this big black spider at our camp site. in retrospect, it was probably some kind of female orb-weaver. i was i petrified by the sight of it, but the spider just climbed gently over his palm and up his thumb and hung out. then we released her in the brush. it made me realize most spiders don’t want to bite us, and most are no more dangerous than a bee sting if they do. there are exceptions (i still fear the brazilian wandering spider, for its venom and its attitude!) but most spiders want to live their little lives and leave us alone.

    so don’t kill harmless spiders (which are 99.8% of them), please.

  • bdeans

    RE 126

    Well said, lo! And it is true that a few Old World species are known to be more aggressive, mainly because they don’t have any other defenses like the utricating hairs New World tarantulas have. And, as you said, most in the pet trade are New World and therefor docile.

    I suspect you’re referring to the Indian Ornamental, which is as beautiful as it is mean. That’s another thing about spiders, if they’re dangerous, they definitely *look* it. If it’s really shiny and/or pretty looking, give it space.

    Which one is rumored to be fatal, btw?

    RE: 125: I, too, strive to be a polymath.

  • lo


    -70! my bones frost over just thinking of it!

    i spent 3 week in AK back in ’98 (mostly kayaking in kenai fjords nat. park) but it was summer around the solstice (i got to do 4th of july in seward, good times :) ) and i want to go back -should i ever have the travel funds. but i am a winter wimp, even the southern illinois winter i’m sitting in right now makes me long for the equatorial tropics (i skipped “winter” last year in peru) so you are much braver and tougher than i! i send you some love of AK, from a confirmed weather wimp, and wish you all the best. have a happy and safe ’09 :)

  • lo


    i just googled it and can’t find a species. there was a time when i was really thinking of acquiring a pet tarantula (the ultimate showing a phobia who’s boss! i currently keep turtles and felt an arachnid could have a similar maintenance schedule…) and i think i read it on some spider hobbiest site (a place for more than the casual pet-keeper, where they give great detail on housing/keeping “challenging” species) and it was a side note on one of the gorgeous (but FAST and aggressive ornates.)

    as i remember, it was referenced as a “possible death” in the local population of the spider’s native habitat. of course, this would not rule out an allergic reaction for the unfortunate victim, but it was definitely a reference to the local population believing it was a dangerous spider. wish i could tell you the species. all i remember is the site giving the anecdote and recommending it “for VERY experience keepers.”

  • bdeans


    I highly recommend getting a tarantula to help dispel any fears. That’s how I came to own my chilean rose hair. She was in a little corner pet store, and they had mistaken her for a species that only needed gravel substrate. I tried on a couple of different visits to convince them she needed soft substrate, but no one listened. Well, being the passive Canadian that I am, instead of continuing to argue I struck a deal and bought her. She is by far the easiest pet to care for, even easier than a turtle. She needs to be fed about 4 or 5 crickets a *month.* Females don’t need to feed very often, as they aren’t as active as males. Also, females live 5 or 6 times longer than males. Males only live 3 or 4 years, on average. Females live 20+ years.

    You can easily handle them, but I’ve never held mine because I don’t want to hurt her.

  • Jono


    Sorry to bring to light the fact that invertebrates can get cancer. Cancer has nothing to do with bones and they have found many specimens of sharks with cancer. It’s just a myth being perpetrated by people who rely on old knowledge. Old books should really be destroyed or at least, locked away. I’m looking at you Bible.

  • lo

    thanks bdeans,

    i have a spot right now that could house a spider (if s/he could be happy in a 10 gallon tank) and won’t rule out getting one. when i was researching them i saw so many that are both beautiful and reasonably (don’t threaten them, they won’t threaten you) gentle. perhaps it’s time to take that big step and become a tarantula mommy :) and i’m not at all squeamish of feeding live foods like crickets/roaches/pinkies as are size appropriate to my pets.

    ok, bed time for me -thinking of pet spiders! :D

  • bdeans


    A 10 gallon tank would be more than enough to house a chilean rose hair, and most other New World species. I keep mine in a 5 gallon, and she’s pretty happy with it. I’ve seen collectors keep their tarantula in those plastic boxes that are smaller than shoe boxes. A female won’t go more than 3 or 4 feet from her burrow in her entire life, anyway.

  • Freca

    enthusiastic congratulations from Hungary

  • Freca

    I am a fan of cats.
    Any weird oddities about them?

  • Jenova4

    @ Post #15: You watch QI, don’t you?

  • Freca

    88 segue
    you shocked me with this

  • spurwing plover

    I understand that the CASSOWARY a flightless bird in NEW ZEALAND can kill a man and theres a bird in SOUTH AMERICA that secrets a deadly poison on its feathers when their distiturbed

  • Anon

    deepthinker and bdeans,

    (PS. Sorry, folks. I tried to post this very late last night immediately after my previous comment, but had server trouble, so could only record it, file it and hit the sack until now.)

    Earwigs. Fairly primitive omnivorous but largely vegetable nibbling insects distantly related to what you (and Cyn!) call the roaches. Tender, caring (Nemo-like) parents for their clutch of tiny white nymphs. The name is actually reckoned to be a corruption of earwing, from the shape of their little-used flight limbs, rather than the creepy (literally) idea that they take refuge in our ears. In fact human ear wax is extremely acrid with the purpose of deterring just such liberties. I don’t think you’ll find anything gets into ears for fun, unless some parasite has adapted to that.

    Some 1300 species of earwig are known globally. Of these 34 are native to Europe and 4 occur in the British Isles. (Source; Collins Pocket Guide to Insects of Britain & Western Europe, which we just happen to have on our bookshelves by amazing chance. Hahaha.)

    Forficula auricularia, the common European earwig, is a minor horticultural pest on account of nibbling at petals, in particular of daliahs and chrysanths.

    I’m sure if you google earwig you’ll get pics and more info., if you wish.

    Happily for me there are few earwigs in Chile, with only eight named in Introducción al Estudio de los Insectos de Chile.

    When threatened they may curl the abdoman up scorpion-wise and open the essentially harmless pincers menacingly: hence my childhood castration fantasy asnd continuing idiotic unease!

    ADDENDUM: bdeans: not polymath, I fear. The relevant phrase I was taught from childhood on is ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’!

    Having read your collective exchange on the conquest of phobias, I’m wondering if there’s a gentle giant Indonesian earwig with forceps the size of electric-wire pliers I might keep as a pet. I’m safe though. SAG, the Chilean ag. people, wouldn’t let it in!

  • 137. Freca: 88 segue you shocked me with this
    What about it was shocking?

  • mysasssyelf

    The list is nice, but the writer is fail.

  • I posted this up at #88, and at # 137 Freca posted: segue you shocked me with this
    I’m at a complete loss. Is anyone else shocked by this, and if so, why? Freca seems unavailable to answer for (whoever)self.
    Your bit on the gorilla names reminded me of a job I was on, lo these many years ago! One of the “actors” was a baby gorilla, and at one point I got to hold him for a few minutes. Looking into his eyes was like looking into the eyes of a human. It was an eye that held knowledge, awareness, selfness. I was awestruck!
    When I went to hand him back to his trainer, he kept hold of my finger for a moment, and held my gaze. Then he was gone, into the hustle and bustle of the set, the familiarity of his pen, and I was back at work.
    Those minutes, though, those minutes of communion with another species, my God! They will never be gone. I will always know that behind those gorilla eyes lies a brain as aware of itself as we are of ourselves. When I experienced a meeting similar to this one, with a baby chimp a few years later, I was not at all surprised to see the look of self-awareness in his eyes.
    They are truly our cousins.

  • bdeans

    RE: 139

    I seem to recall a bug that crawls into people’s ears in Africa, and causes a maddening buzzing. But I can’t find anything about it. I did find a page about treating bugs that crawl into ears by drowning them in mineral oil.

    As for the ‘jack of all trades’ comment, I suspect you’re being modest. ;)

  • matt

    you forgot to add the frogs that can literally stop their heartbeat for months at a time

  • Freca

    In my humble and narrow minded opinion, my cat is a wonder of Nature.

  • Freca

    140 segue

  • Freca

    140 segue
    It touched me so much.

  • Paulb

    mysasssyelf, don’t dis JFrater he’ll destroy you

  • Freca

    segue 142
    I am not unavailable but periodically I have to sleep :)


    I have no Darwin’s Point on my ears.
    I can feel it with my finger but visually just nothing.

  • Sugen

    interesting revelations

  • Tom

    @31 Stephenh

    elephants are the only (land) animal that can’t jump

    Close but I don’t think slugs and snails are known for their leaping aility. And as for those giant tortoises, well! they can hardly keep their feet on the ground at parties.

    Elephants are the only land MAMMAL that can’t jump, and also the only one with 4 knees

  • Anon

    Tom, (151) and (31) Stephenh,

    I can assure you both of you are wrong. There’s a 1992 film with Wesley Snipes called, ‘White Men Can’t Jump’, and white men are definitely mammals.

    However, I will concede it doesn’t say anything about white women, who are also part of the species, or black, yellow or red men either, so I’ll allow it only applies to part of the species.

    Actually, Tom, I’d thought about remarking that I’d never seen a snake jump either, though tey can get a nifty sort of assisted take-off when they ramp-launch over a rock going fast downhill. And of course they fly (well, glide).

    I also pared it down to mammals, but was still having a bit of difficulty imagining a three-toed sloth jumping from the back of its turned over claws, but I supposed you’d clocked that one up. In fact I was having a bit of trouble imagining a three-toed sloth doing anything vigorous at all!

    Apropos, are we defining jumping as upwards from a standing position, or is climbing a tree and jumping down in the frame?

  • lo

    3-toed (and 2-toed) sloths are awesome animals! and definitely mammals. i got to interact with some a while back while visiting a lady who rehabs animals in peru, they certainly didn’t show any signs of inclination or ability to jump :D

    the thing that was most amazing was she had an adult 2-toed which had adopted and was fostering a baby 3-toed left to her by a german tourist who bought it in a market under well meaning but flawed influence of “helping.” (paying money for animals encourages people to seek out more of them for commerce, and many die in this process.)

    it was so cool to see the “mom” care for a baby not hers and not even her species!

  • 147. Freca: 140 segue It touched me so much.
    Thank you. I’ve just never connected the word “shocked” with anything good. :-)

  • Anon


    “(paying money for animals encourages people to seek out more of them for commerce, and many die in this process.)”

    We have this same problem with goats, but in reverse and more Catch-22 in nature.

    If we buy and grill a tasty goat, are we usefully removing a devastator of ecosystems, or are we creating a market, so two will be bred to replace it?

  • Freca

    154 segue
    1. To strike with great surprise and emotional disturbance.

  • lo


    my animal commerce comment was directed specifically at those who trade in endangered/IUCN red listed species. (and i have a terrible confession on that: i once bought a pig-nosed/fly river turtle here in the states, knowing full well it was a sold legally only by slipping around the “letter of the law” IUCN status….) but the goat thing does raise a similar point. i would say “go on and eat up the troublesome goats” but i guess it all depends on your country’s laws for locally producing more of them.

  • Tally

    uhh, how do they make nutmeg non-deadly then?

    last time i’m using that stuff…

  • Signe

    What about those goats that faints? That is just SO weird, and also extremly funny, check it out:

    As for the mice fitting through a hole the size of a pen…hmm, I grew up in the country and we often had mice in the house, and they did fit through really small places, but the way they do it is that the flatten themselves out to sort of a pancake shape, so the can fit throught really small grates and grits, but they need a “wide” hole cause they flatten out and become wider…

  • Anon


    I’ve come back to you here, hoping you are still visiting from time to time. It’s quieter and more peaceful than that wretched human body parts, evolution topic!

    If you’ve been involved in Peru and are into botany for a career, does the legendary name Al Gentry mean anything to you? Like some friends of ours recently, Gentry, one of the world’s top tropical ecology botanists, was killed in a light plane crash. Only our friends crashed nearby here in Chile on a private flight. Gentry and an ornithological colleague (and presumably the pilot) were killed in 1993 while doing a field survey in Ecuador. The vascular catalogue of the Peruvian flora is dedicated to him. We didn’t know him, but know folks who did. He is said to have died with more unpublished information in his head than most scientists would accumulate in several lifetimes.

    My Chilean (second) wife is a biologist specialising in botany (now exclusively). I have nothing to do with genetics. I am a humble and highly specialised Andean flora taxonomist who actually slid into that comfortable niche late from a sputtering start in the humanities. Except that we need to earn money to live (even though I’m past retirement age) it’s almost a hobby, in fact. But don’t take that as implying half-hearted. We are as fanatical as any academic and our range of talents allows and are an element of a world scientific study group. We also have the signal advantage of studying a section of plants that has not been seriously touched systematically for 80 years (from the present), has never been treated sytematically seriously or in its entirety at all, and which is constantly providing us with a trickle of new taxa. (Our problem is not finding novelties: funds for fieldwork are difficult, but not impossible. Funds for prolonged investigation in institutions, writing up and publication are virtually impossible to obtain though. Frustrating. We have to eat!)

    Delighted to hear of your intention to create a plantly list. (Were any of the recent poisonous items to be included?) I toyed with the idea myself and must have some notes in a computer file somewhere. I’m more than happy to give way, and not only that, to co-operate and offer you my notes, if I can find them. If interested, contact the site organiser directly and ask to be put in direct e-mail touch with me. Make absolutely sure beyond doubt he knows it’s you. We don’t want any trollz psoing as ‘lo’ popping out of the tubework, thank you!

  • lo


    you live in chile and specialize in andean taxonomy! i’m truly jealous :) i was actually in peru around iquitos, working with a non-profit that is a joint peruvian/US venture helping local communities with everything from aguaje (Mauritia flexuosa) agro-forestry in dwarf tree, and alternate-harvest, no-cut methods, to general education, and women’s reproductive health. all i could really do for them was help with english language grant writing and some of the community education (on animal and plant biology) as my spanish is VERY limited. i studied latin in high school and then gave up on foreign language until now. i spent 2 months in cusco first trying to get SOME spanish under my belt. i think of going back everyday!

    in truth, i am currently a student in botany (or plant biology, as they call it these days) and have a very strong interest in aquaponics, no-till farming, and other methods that can increase yield without spending money on petrochemical fertilizers/pesticide/herbacides etc. this interests me both as it is easier on the earth in the long run if done well, and can be less expensive for its practitioners, long and short term. i really want to focus on applications in both modern “urban agriculture” and in tropical agriculture.

    i know in some response over on “evolution” i wrote “i’m not a vet, i’m actually in the process of becoming a botanist. so cheers to anon the botanist!” i’m 28, and my previous university work was in english and anthropology, but it wasn’t really doing it for me. i’ve always been a “plant person” and while in peru i found that this field excited me like no other -so i’ve gone back to school for another degree! i’d love to exchange emails. how exactly can i get jamie et al. to know such a request is legitimate?

    :) lo

  • lo


    to be really painstakingly precise, i should have said: i’m studying plant biology (emphasis in ecology) and doubling with plant and soil sciences, with an end interest in “nontraditional” (aka other than western “clean field”) agriculture. i’d love get feedback on my “pant list” candidates if possible.

    good luck with your andean studies, and most importantly, funding. i learned first hand how politically complex it can be that part of the world. in peru we were dealing with powerful government affiliated “research and species protection” groups that seemed to spend at least 2/3rds of their funding on glossy brochures making them LOOK like they were taking action, not action. we came to call them self-PR firms. it was very frustrating!

  • bigski

    That swan look`s very mean and devious. I have a pet goat named goaty and wouldn`t even think of roasting him Anon ! Unless he get`s on top of my car and crap`s on it again.I don`t care how good his eyesight is. Anything rat`s or mice can do don`t suprise me. I had a pretty pet garden spider at the entrance of my door that we would feed grasshopper`s and such to. I even made people use the side door as not to disturb her.How wierd is that ? That shaking plant had me transfixed (not). Cool list.

  • 163. bigski: A pet goat! I’m jealous! Growing up, in the L.A. suburbs, I had a pet tortoise, and a pet hare, a pair of chipmunks, and an aviary full of cockatiels. Eventually, in high school, we got a cat, and when I was in Uni we got a dog, but as a kid there was never a pet that was what you could consider interactive. A goat would have been extremely interactive.

  • My last comment is awaiting moderation because I referred to a certain type of bird.

  • Kathie

    Horses can’t vomit either. Horse owners have to be watchful of their horses eating habits.

  • DuckyJem

    i Know of number 10 well, my mouse is quite the escape artist :) Love the mouse to bits tho even if it does chew through the cage…

  • bigski

    segue- DON`T GET A PET GOAT ! Sorry for yelling,true their cute and cuddly when they are young,but when they get older you have to tie them up or cage them (which they will figure a way to escape).They have to be moved every 2 or 3 days or they will denude the ground.They get into everything they can if you don`t restrain them. They provide a certin amount of comic relief while were sitting outside drinking but the con`s don`t equal the pro`s. Having said that he`s part of the family now so he get`s a pass on getting roasted.

  • 168. bigski: segue- DON`T GET A PET GOAT !
    I can’t.
    Well, to be fair, I wouldn’t. I live in the woods. Literally. Besides the beautiful deer and the playful raccoons, we have bobcats, coyotes, and the occasional bear. A goat would be someone’s dinner very quickly.

  • Anon

    segue, (169),

    A sacrificial goat, in effect. Nowdays largely confined to wildlife films where used to attract Komodo dragons, tigers, T rexes and the like. I’d tie one up in the garden here like a shot if it would bring us a puma. Not many pumas in vineyard and peach orchard country though, alas.

  • Anon


    I don’t usually spit-roadt anyone I know personally by name or recognise by sight, so your ol’ square eyes is safe.

    We had three long-legged, elegant Polystes wasps. They built a delightful small paper nest like an inverted umbrella or upside-down mushroom on the adobe wall right beside our entrance door in the main gate. They were completely unagressive and I had to build a small protective structure to stop visitors accidentally clobbering their home. Soon they raised another worker, so we figured we had a mum and three aunties. The guy who helped us in the garden was indignant. Nasty, vicious things, he said, even though we walked right past them and watched them all the time – no hassle. They stung him.

  • Anon

    You’ll have noticed d is next to s on the keyboard.

  • BooRadley


    I was lucky enough to have a friend working in the primate house of our zoo, and with her job on the line, she snuck me to the back and let me hold a baby orangutan! I was awestruck by how much like a human baby he seemed… his eyes stared into mine, and I was in love! There is some kind of deep consciousness there, you can’t deny that. The stories my friend told me about all the primates there were amazing. They are intelligent animals, each with its own personality.

    I also really wanted to get a goat for a pet, but was talked out of it by people who knew better…. There’s something about their beards that makes me really like them. I’m the same way with Airedales… beards are cool on animals, with the exception of humans! lol

  • Talsin


    Hippo’s also can’t jump.

    A crocodile can’t stick out it’s tounge.
    A kangaroo can’t walk.
    A Tiger’s stripes go all the way to the skin and are unique to each indavidual.

  • mdique

    Apparently there are two types of tarantula, aborial and tarrestrial (According to a friend of mine who keeps tarantulas). You can drop the aborial ones but not the terrestrial ones.

  • Anon

    BooRadley, (173),

    “beards are cool on animals, with the exception of humans! lol2

    I will simply not have you talking of Father Christmas that way. Hohohoho!

  • 170. Anon: segue, (169), A sacrificial goat, in effect…I’d tie one up in the garden here like a shot if it would bring us a puma.
    With the lack of rain we’ve had these past three years, the big animals are coming down into “civilization” more and more. Very few people in all of the village, and no one in the outer village (in the woods, such as ourselves) have fences, so both predators and prey have full run of the place.
    It’s kind of fun to wake up in the morning and find bobcat prints on the deck; finding bear prints, not so much.

  • 173. BooRadley: segue: I was lucky enough to have a friend working in the primate house of our zoo, and with her job on the line, she snuck me to the back and let me hold a baby orangutan! I was awestruck by how much like a human baby he seemed… his eyes stared into mine, and I was in love! There is some kind of deep consciousness there, you can’t deny that.
    Then you know *exactly* how I felt! They truly are our cousins! You look into those eyes and there is no denying that they are sentient beings.
    Where are they are they on the scale? I haven’t a clue. I only know they have awareness, the ability to think, to react, to know they exist.

  • Anon

    segue (and BooRadley),

    “I only know they have awareness, the ability to think, to react, to know they exist.”

    Tell it to the sublime, devout Christians here in these topics who keep rubbishing evolution. A prime tactic is to ask how our introspective, self-aware human ‘souls’ could possibly have developed from animals with nothing but brute cunning and a bit of basic practical intelligence going for them.

    On second thoughts, don’t bother. Go bang your head against a brick wall instead. It’s more productive.

  • Anon


    “It’s kind of fun to wake up in the morning and find bobcat prints on the deck; finding bear prints, not so much.”

    At least not tigers!

  • Ty

    On a side tangent regarding horses: mules can see all of their hooves simultaneously.

  • 179. Anon: Tell it to the sublime, devout Christians here in these topics who keep rubbishing evolution…On second thoughts, don’t bother. Go bang your head against a brick wall instead. It’s more productive.
    I had that same thought when I wrote that. Still, I would say to those “devout Christians”, ‘Your God must be pretty puny, if he can’t develop an introspective, self-aware human ’soul’ from an animal with nothing but brute cunning and a bit of basic practical intelligence.’
    I was always under the illusion that their God was all-powerful. It should have been a piece of cake for him (Him?).

  • 180. Anon: At least not tigers!
    nuh uh!
    bob cats are fraidy-cats. One day I was walking down the path to the beach and a bob cat jumped out of the bushes about a meter in front of me. He took one look at me and galloped off ahead, just wanting to get as much distance as possible between us.
    The foxes that live in our woods are more aggressive than the bob cats. Fortunately, our deer are big and healthy, so they usually don’t fall prey to the predators. That’s what the wild turkey are for, the dogs which are left outside overnight, feral cats, etc.

  • Anon

    segue, (183),

    That’s what we here and the best part of the intervened world now lack. Self-adjusting ecosystems. Yours sounds amazing. I’m only sorry for you that the deer ‘self-adjust’ your garden plants! Nothing more.

  • 184. Anon: . I’m only sorry for you that the deer ’self-adjust’ your garden plants!
    Since I’ve greatly expanded my nasturtium beds, the deer have pretty much left the stuff I want left alone, left alone. Nasturtiums are deer magnets, they’ll stop and eat their fill of those, rather than going on to something else. Needless to sat, I now have nasturtiums planted everywhere, and they self propagate (as you know).
    As an added plus, both leaves and flowers are delicious in salads!

  • Anon

    segue, (185),

    Boring botanical/culinary fact. That’s how they got their popular name, nasturtium (or nasturshuns!). Nasturtium officinale (perhaps now Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum, its name changes are so dizzy) is actually the correct Latin name for watercress. Nasturshun was so-named as its tasty bits were a good substitute. Its actual botanical name is Tropaeolum, and these only occur naturally in South America with one important centre of distribution here in Chile, where we have just under 20.

  • 186. Anon: Not boring at all! When my children were tots, I would send them to school with peanut butter and jam sandwiches, with nasturtium leaves and or flowers, rather than lettuce. I had no idea they were related to, or known as, watercress!
    I have two forms growing, a bushy form and a liana form. Both in many different colors, from yellow to deep red. I am totally jealous of your massive variety!

  • Anon


    Ours are much smaller-flowered, but often with the flowers in such quatity as to make an impressive show. They are basically either dainty climbers or scramblers, or streamer-like Andean or steppe plant which spread out along the ground. Leaves are palmate (with radiating fingers) and much, much smaller than the nasturtium (a Peruvian species). The flowers are roughly the same shape, but again smaller and daintier. Yellow and pale orange are the main colours, but there are also indigo blue, old ivory, deep orange, purple and scarlet (exclusively humming-bird pollinated). We watched a humming bird feeding from a pale orange high Andean one the other day. Delightful.

    Linnaeus gave the name Tropaeolum (miltary trophy) because the leaves of the garden nasturtium (T. majus) reminded him of a Roman shield, and the spurred flower a Roman helmet. Who said botanists were unimaginative!

  • indigo blue? purple? old ivory? I’m insane with jealously!
    I’m not kidding. I love my nasturtiums, and I am expanding their growing area out of the front bed into the wild east side yard, which, until now, has been for trees, Echium candicans and bulbs only. I now have nasturtiums scattered here and there , knowing they’ll propagate themselves further.
    But indigo blue? purple? old ivory?
    I want! I want! ! want!

  • lo

    segue & anon-

    i’ve been off the lists for a few days, but it’s so nice to hear y’all deliciously describe your nasturtiums! best wishes and lovely days to y’all! it’s COLD where i am (i was hoping southern illinois was more temperate than it is. the winter average -sure, day to day no: it was 65F here a few weeks back, now 15F, all in january)! wish i could be back in S.A. or the US west coast ;) guess my 17 “front room” plants and 3 aquatics tanks will have to hold me over ’till real spring…..

    segue -i can’t wait to have more outdoor beds soon. it’s soon to be my first spring here…. :)

  • 189. lo: I adore gardening! Living on the central coast of California means I can garden year-round. The pacific has an enormous effect on the weather, as you well know, so our temperature is moderate all year (barring the few oddities everyone suffers now and again).
    Where in S.A. are you from?

  • lo

    segue, lol, i’m from chicago! but i had the great pleasure to spend 6 months in peru (including the northern hemisphere’s winter) last time it was cold around here. now i’m 350 miles south of chicago, which does make a difference, but it’s still 29F today…

  • lo, I have lived on the coast of California and in Sydney, Australia. I am a hothouse flower.
    btw, my son got his mfa from the School at the Chicago Museum of Art. They have a small grad program.

  • Nemiga

    Awesome! Im actually loving this site , i get into checking it everyday:D

  • Anon


    Welcome back. I’m coming and going a lot too these days!

    Did you see the common ‘nasturtium’, Tropaeolum majus, growing wild in Peru, perchance? I recall it growing abundantly along the boundaries of maize (corn) fields there.

    We have a botanist friend from Chicago whose life study is the Pacific desert coast lomas and mist zones (cf California) of Peru and Chile. He hopes to either overwinter every year on Chile’s Atacama coast or live there (here!) permanently. He’s quite well known in botanical circles as the recently retired Director of the Chicago Field Museum herbarium, Michael Dillon.

  • Me

    re # 6: There is a type of gibbon called the western hoolock gibbon which has the scientific name “hoolock hoolock hoolock”

    In my opinion tt’s crazy to make a list of 10 for this topic…. these choices aren’t even some of the most interesting!!!

  • 194. Anon:…Indeed, lo, welcome back! I have come to rely on you wit and wisdom as a daily reminder that the world is occupied by some very clever people.
    Anon, you friend, Michael Dillon, I’m sure he has heard it all of his life, but had I been his mother his name, undoubtedly, would have been Marshall Dillon!

  • Neddy

    Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla! Ahahahaha!
    Nice list, can’t complain! :P

  • 197. Neddy: Except for the fact that I’d swear that picture is of a chimpanzee.

  • Deathbringer

    Everyone should check out Leapord Slugs Mating. It’s AMAZING!

  • 199. Deathbringer: So. I took your advice. It’s astonishing! I’ve never seen anything like it.
    I absolutely second your suggestion! Leopard Slugs Mating UTube. As long as you aren’t squeamish.

  • anonymous

    cuttlefish have “W” shaped pupils. Just google “cuttlefish eye”.

  • Huck

    Great Read Thanks!!

  • Juliet

    Awesome! I always thought goats eyes looked different… I never fully realized they were rectangular though. And horses having a blind spot in front of them.. I can’t believe I didn’t know that, but it makes sense because they turn their heads to look at you.

    Cool. :D Thanks for sharing!

  • Pam-Doggirl3

    Cool page,alot of facts I didn’t know and some I did.
    Qeremius Discovery had a documetary on one giant squid that they had a live study on it while it was defrosting. This squid had teeth that rotated so if a person got one of the arms on them it world hurt like everything.
    Also something else some of you didn’t know that a bee warns people to stay away by bumping their heads on you. They only sting as the last resort. You can actually walk up to a birdfeeder if its not treating with oil and pet them on the head. Of course if they are honeybees. Bees only sting if provoke. So if you see one don’t swat them.
    If you want to see a funny thing happening with a bee, leave a little soda in a can & watch them bump one bump its head on the side for a while. He will finally figure out the opening of the can is on the top.

  • Rei

    Oh I feel so bad for the poor spiders. Why would anyone want to shatter them?
    And the poor rats, I don’t get why people are always poisoning them. it’s so mean! They’re very intellegent animals, it’s not nice to kill them that way. Get a cat or a dog! At least it’s natural.
    It’s like when that stupid French “scientest” released myximitoses(sp?) into his garden to keep rabbits away, and basically destroyed an eco system! Animals have gone extinct because they didn’t have any rabbits to eat, and the poor rabbits.
    Also, Pam-dog girl 13, why would you want to drown bees in soda?

  • Rab carr

    My girlfriend has the same effect when i squirt on her

  • 205. Rab carr:…when i squirt on her
    TMI, Rab, TMI!

  • Zach

    The frog’s like hah, I’m gonna getcha–AAAAAAAAAAAHHH WTF

  • lovelife

    regarding number 2… every being and every natural object and subject consists out of vibrations. so its very beautiful yet not a mystery that the plant vibrates on its own to our awareness.:D

  • shippu

    this is supereb info and lovely g k.
    warm rgds
    God blesss

  • Corella

    the look on the frogs face at the end of the video for number 1 is just priceless…

  • kennypo65

    What is wrong with you people? I happen to be typing this with my pet tarantula sitting on my lap. She is a very gentle creature(unless you’re a cricket), and a great companion. Her name is Isadora. I love spiders, and lets not forget that without them we would be up to our nipples in insects.

  • Violet

    I found that the plant part to be awesome!

  • Twirly

    Haha, I wrote a parody of Santana’s “Maria Maria” called “Gorilla Gorilla” when I was taking a class that had a unit on primatology and found out that was their scientific name.

  • madafxcker

    very cool very awesome

  • angel

    interesting but very small and random list there could have been more even i know some more eg:dolphins sleep with a eye open, if ur cat s near u n her tail s quivering dis s daq greatest expression of love she can give 2 u

  • divya

    wow so wonderful but very small n random

  • rose

    rats, i came to this website because i have homework due

  • Tweetybrd

    I don’t know if this has already been said or not, but horses are not blind to red. it has been proven that they can definitely see red, green and yellow. They can distinguish between most other colors, but scientists aren’t sure if they can actually ‘see’ the colors, or if they just see shades of gray. And like mice, horses cannot vomit either.

  • stanislavl13

    the information about nutmeg is not accurate, it does not have amphetime like effects at all,quite the opposite,it’s effect are in experience nearly identical to that of marijuana.
    also the dosage is not correct,depending on the freshness,you’ll need 30 to 50 grams to have severe hallucinogenic effect
    also notable is that the user will often forget he/she ate it even if intentionally,wich makes it the more danguerous

  • nicoleredz3

    Ummm… Spider (picture) warning would’ve been sooo appreciated!

  • MC

    @Hastey [27]: Actually, many of the items on this site are poorly researched or sensationalized.

  • me

    The incredibly complex bombardier beetle has an amazing and unique ability: when threatened it shoots boiling hot chemicals from its abdomen up to 70 times rapidly.

    Uh, what does “up to 70 times more rapidly” even mean? More rapidly than what?

  • Hjordis

    My dad actually had a fight to the death with a real-life, tough-ass swan when he accidentally came too close to it's nest, so nr. 5 is no joke. Swans are dangerous people!

  • Hjördís

    … my dad won btw…

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  • qusaizakir

    Loving the site, Although i really didnt want to see such a big spider, now im feeling scared! I’ve just stated my own blog, would love some support!

  • Good blog, I’m going to spend more time learning about this subject

  • Pingback: Goats have rectangular pupils.()

  • Xordanemoce

    I love it! I love this site. I did know that tarantulas shatter (never done it, as I find it cruel) but the rest are news to me. Great list!

  • johan

    really sick things live in this world where nobody even know anything about.

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  • John

    Hallucinigenic should be hallucinogenic

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  • Nameaudrina

    Enter your comment here.hi my name is audrina and iam 13 years old your post to be showeing me picture of mice not different animals

  • sfasdf
  • strangelove


    Cool list!

  • raj singh

    can u prove that A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen if u can than prove it by any evidence
    if u cant then dont put any kind of rubbish abt animals…..

  • dbag

    20/20 is not perfect human vision fyi humans are capable of 20/10 maybe a little better the lower the second number the better

  • Nevermind the snake eyes. We need to start using the description “Goat Eyes” in reference to something human.

  • Andrew

    #2 is definitively Sudowoodo

  • Steve

    Horses also cannot vomit.

  • Brianna

    I used to have pet rats…once I gave them some very tasty food and they could not stop eating they liked it so much…..and they began to throw up. I called the vet and he said they have simple digestive systems don’t worry about it. Freaked me out though….

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  • xxRachxx

    Glad to know Nutmeg is poisonous. I’m actually allergic to it (the only thing I am allergic to). I can’t drink egg nog because of the nutmeg. Makes me sad at Christmas Parties. :(

    Great list btw. TY.

  • hebejebes

    reading #10 gave me chills since I used to have a bad mouse problem in my old home

  • dansie

    wow i like dis

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