6 Horrifying Dark Sides of Creatures You Think Are Adorable

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We werent kidding when we saidcamping sucks.

Oh, but starfish arent done poisoning your once-pleasant dreams. The snake-armedLabidiaster, despite having all the speed and agility of, well, a damned starfish, manages to snatch fast-moving, swimming prey as it passes by. Naturally, it doesnt look like much:

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6 Horrifying Dark Sides of Creatures You Think Are Adorable

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But dont think its just the one Down Under snail that secretly hates everything. Theres also the rosy wolf snail, acannibalistic speciesthat was sent to Hawaii in order to eradicate an invasive group of African land snails. They did that and far more, chewing their way through just about anything resembling a snail, ultimately rendering hundreds of species completely extinct. Heres some footage of them doing just that; even without the horror movie music, this scene is just plain terrifying:

Of course theyre made of teeth.Of course they are. These organic traps are known as pedicellariae, and theLabidiasteris completely covered in them. That explains how it catches so much prey; if one claw doesnt get you, theres about a million more just itching to have a go.

You can see more abominations of nature at Jonathans site,The Insidious Bogleech.

See the above pics? All arrows point to the same fucking tentacle, which is still very much alive in the bottom-right pic. The squid can, at any time, snap off part or all of as many limbs as it wants, at which point the murder spree begins. See those painful-looking, razor-sharp barbs the tentacles sport the entire way down? Yeah, they hurt. Once severed from its owner, the disembodied limb goes completely berserk, wiggling and convulsing in every possible direction, over and over again. Like mindless, fang-covered worms, the severed tentacles will just keep digging their thorns into whatever they were wrapped around when they broke loose.

And we mean anything; heres one using two of its limbs to attack a cleaning brush, a rare delicacy only served at the fanciest and most exclusive squidstaurants around:

6 Horrifying Dark Sides of Creatures You Think Are Adorable

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This particular bug is called Lunch.

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Admit it, youd do the same thing if you were five times larger than everyone else and armored like a tank.

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Its nice when we find proof that the teams that made our favorite games had fun behind the scenes.

It would certainly redefine bear traps if others could.

Oh yes, their children. As is often the case with creatures that are evil on the down low, ladybugs are goddamned cannibals. But they dont typically cure their munchies with the corpse of an adult that they just poisoned to death. No, theyll stick to the eggs, thank you very much. Theyre defenseless, theyre chewy, and theyre immobile. Perfect prey for the beautiful bullies of the insect world.

In conclusion:SpongeBobis bullshit. If that show were truly accurate, Patrick would be covered in gibbering demonic maws, regularly disguise himself as a traveling circus, and shit out his own intestines en route to turning SpongeBob into a melty, quivering taste sensation that even the krabbiest of Krabby Patties couldnt hope to match.

Actually, were not joking when we say humans may learn something from these mice. This is a mammalian species that can completely regenerate its own cartilage, skin, hair follicles, even sweat glands, without so much as leaving a scar. Studying these guys could well lead toadvancementin the quest to develop regenerating human organs. No word yet on whether this would allow us to rip apart our own flesh, too, but hopefully it will, simply for the pranks we could pull on Grandma every Thanksgiving.

Theyre nasty as fuck, too, as you might expect from a sharp-toothed psychopath that eats its own cousins. The arboreal salamander is described as aggressively territorial, often carrying the battle scars of run-ins with its own kind. If you stick two of them together in a cage, theyll probably try to kill each other, or at least bite each others tails off, because playtime is for the weak.

Rodger Jackman/Oxford Scientific via Getty Images

When grabbed by a predator, entire chunks of the mouses fur, skin, and underlying flesh will simply peel right off while the rest of the mouse scurries away, no worse for wear save for a shitload of gaping, gory holes in its body. The attacker, meanwhile, is left holding a gross hunk of skin thats almost completely inedible due to being covered in sharp spikes and all. This phenomenon is officially known as a crumble zone, although since pretty much every part of the mouses body is fair game, zone may be the wrong choice of word.

Not every animal has to kill to be horrifying. Case in point: the spiny mouse. Resembling the adorable love child of a gerbil and a hedgehog, spiny mice are timid little desert dwellers who basically lead normal mouse lives: pooping, nibbling, and more pooping. That is, until danger comes along. Then its time to get nasty. You see, spiny mice have an incredible (and disgusting) mutant power where they willrip apart their own bodyif attacked or threatened. And not just a little bit. No, theyll tearup to 60 percentof their own fucking flesh if need be.

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Oh, and this isnt just some show meant to distract prey until the main body gets back from the salon or the mall or whatever it does after dropping the arms off at day care. No, the goals here are to survive, and kill. Remember, this squid is not very big, so its often prudent to get the shit out of Dodge when an enemy arrives. Of course, if you flee, you cant eat, right? Well, thats where the spastic limb brigade comes in. After the squid swims away from the scene, the arms keep attacking and injuring the enemy until it dies, or at least is maimed beyond repair. Then, much like an asshole manager who swoops in to take credit after his employees do 99 percent of the work, the squid itself returns to finish the job and feast away.

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For many of us, starfish are little more than blind, deaf, headless, brainless creatures that feel just as at home dried up on the beach as they do rambling along in the water. If they could talk, they would absolutely be Patrick fromSpongeBob. Its almost impossible for them to look less intimidating than they already do. That, unfortunately, is part of their cruel master plan. Behold a starfishs eating habits:

Kinda weird, kinda leggy, but kinda fuzzy too, right? Lets get a closer look at those legs:

And judging by this video, said crabs are alive the whole time, because nature actively enjoys being the worst.

Ladybugs are basically Voldemort, is what were trying to say.

In case the visual sign isnt enough, a ladybug will ooze its own rancid, toxic body fluids into a predators mouth, something researchers refer to asreflex blood, and something we refer to as eww

Related Reading: For some animals that are adorable on the outside but terrifying on the inside,read our article about cute animals with nightmarish skeletons. If youre interested in sweet animals that have just recently embarked on a career in violence,this is the article to read. Youll never look at squirrels the same way again. Last, wind down with thesebloody rampages by benign critters. Did you know a chicken once tricked six people into drowning to death? Yep. We were shocked too.

Unlike the giant squids of the world,Octopoteuthis deletrondoesnt look like it could do any damage whatsoever. Its just an ordinary little squid, right? Even the whole one-eye thing is cute for once.

Yep, starfish are voracious meat lovers, consuming anything they can catch: oysters, fish, snails. Shit, if we were small enough, theyd probably get us, too. But perhaps youre wondering how they actually, you know, digest stuff, since they lack teeth, jaws, or anything even remotely resembling a mouth. Simple: They spit their sticky, acidic stomach cleanout of their body, catching their prey and digesting it for hours, sometimes days.

Daww, just look at that thing. Forget that its slimy and cold-blooded for a second and just stare into those puppy-dog eyes. Theres no earthly way it could do any harm at all, right? Even if it has teeth, theyre probably harmless little blocks, useful for gnashing teeny bugs and thats about it, right?

Ladybugs, or ladybirds if you live in the U.K. and have no idea what a bird looks like, are bright, colorful, and oh so pretty. Theyre probably neck and neck with butterflies on the list of the most socially acceptable insects around. If you call a little girl a ladybug, its a sign of love and affection — far less so if you call her, say, a mealworm. Other, smaller bugs, though, are not exactly fans of the polka-dotted beauty. In fact, if you could talk to one and pointed out a particularly pretty ladybug to it, its reaction would likely be along the lines of OH JESUS FUCK, RUN AWAY. Because theres a good chance the ladybug wants to eat it.

In a sea full of two-eyed marine life, the one-eyed cephalopod has trouble judging distance.

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6 Horrifying Dark Sides of Creatures You Think Are Adorable

Yep, these adorable little babies are basicallycloset crocodiles. With its muscular jaws and wicked fangs, an arboreal salamander can easily draw blood from a human being, and would definitely eat us if it were just a little bit bigger. And we mean it; they like them some meat. For the most part, arboreal salamanders feast on insects, worms, and other invertebrates, but they have no issues with making a meal out of their fellow amphibians, particularly the even more adorable and totally-harmless-for-real-this-timeslender salamander.

Other starfish, like the appropriately named ambush starfish, trick their prey by raising themselves up like an adorable little tent. Just when whatevers on the menu thinks its found a sweet little bunker to hide from predators in, its murdered via sheer irony, and then slowly digested in horribly painful ways — the usual routine.

Sadly, the band name Snail Mouth just doesnt have the same ring as Iron Maiden.

Still more dignified than Golden Corral.

That, children, is anamber snail, native to New Zealand (in case you needed another reason to not go there). It will slowly stalk its prey (sometimes in full view if said prey is blind or stupid enough) and suddenly attack, scooping it up and swallowing it in one bite. But its not so muchwhatit eats buthowit eats it. Turns out its mouth is a full-blown medieval torture chamber.

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See that?Thats its mouth. Called aradula, its completely covered in thin, overlapping, razor-sharp blades, operating like slow-motion chainsaws that peel the skin off their victims one agonizing layer at a time. So in the above video, for the 30 seconds or so that the end of the worm was dangling outside the snails terrible, terrible mouth, the front end was getting skinned alive so as to make digestion easier.

Totally no poisonous genitals or anything. That we know of.

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Yes, those precious little ladybugs harbor secret contempt toward all life, especially the delicious kind. Strictly carnivorous, their diet is comprised largely ofsoft, defenseless little bugs, like mites and aphids. Their roly-poly, waddling body is actually a protective dome, allowing them to plow through a ton of cute little farmer ants and freely massacre their herd, even though theyre oftentimes much, much larger. So yeah, not only are ladybugs cold-hearted murderers, theyre cowardly bullies, too.

Hey, would you like to watch? Of course you would. Here are a slew of baby aphids, disappearing one by one down the gullet of this living killdozer, flailing helplessly to the bitter end:

But at least they still got those cute polka dots we can stare at, right? Yeah, about that — there aint a damn thing cute about them after all. Those dots are nothing but a warning to other animals that ladybugstaste like shitand are poisonous. This poison cant hurt us, but it can definitely do in any fellow insect that the ladybug deems a threat.

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Well, it turns out the eye is the only harmless part of this little guy. Thats because this thing engages in something known asattack autotomy. In a nutshell, it deliberately snaps off its own limbs, leaving them behind so they can kill at will while master is away. As far as we know, this is the only animal that does it, so theres some good news at least.

And it still doesnt end! Even heavily armored creatures are no match for these slimy demons. Beach-dwelling moon snails haverecently been observedsneaking up and pouncing on crabs, drenching them in slime until they cant escape, and using those goddamned chainsaw tongues to drill a hole clear through the victims shell, scraping and shaving until they can slurp out all the tasty, tasty crab guts available.

Boy have we thrown ethicists some curveballs.

Has anyone tried offering them a Snickers or something?

So now that this cute (kind of) little guy has shown up any puny skink or newt that thinks losing their tail makes them hot shit, whats left? Well, how about the ability to completely regenerate any and all lost flesh in ashort period of time? Yes, much like Wolverine, the spiny mouse will begin to heal its wounds almost immediately, taking only three days to begin growing back lost flesh and skin. It takes a bit longer to grow back its hair, but even then its only a month or so. Naturally, the hair is exactly the same color and texture as the old stuff, a secret most middle-aged men would love to get in on. Even if it requires the loss of their flesh first.

Unless you make your living growing cucumbers, you probably dont fear snails. Theyre slightly slimy, very googly-eyed, and quite delicious when cooked the right way. At worst, they resemble giant loads of phlegm that gained sentience and slowly slithered away. Thats certainly gross, but it isnt nightmare fuel, right? Well, tell that to this earthworm, which is about to be ground up by the snails mouth-razors:

Except for Yosemite Sam, who would come out the other end as a bale of hay.

And the Sarlaccwaitedfor Boba Fett to fall into its mouth like a goddamn amateur.

Nature is filled with horrible beasts that look like they want to kill you (and in fact very much do). But at least those nightmares are honest, and look the part. The real assholes are those animals that look completely harmless — adorable even — but possess secret powers that expose them as the goddamned monsters and borderline space aliens that they truly are. For example …


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