Eh? Title get your attention? Oh, it’s real my friends. And it’s coming for your testicles.
Very well, but where do the testicles come in? Turns out the pacu has previously been introduced in Papa New Guinea:
There, according to British fisherman Jeremy Wade, the pacu is known as the “ball cutter.” In 2011, Wade said locals informed him that two fisherman had died from blood loss after something in the water had bitten off their testicles.
“The locals told me that this thing was like a human in the water, biting at the testicles of fishermen,” Wade said.
You know, biting at the testicles of fishermen, like a human.
Maybe it’s because in the wild, pacu eat nuts (literally and figuratively it seems). Maybe it’s because fish don’t like fishermen, and pacu have the teeth to do something about it. Maybe it’s because people of Papa New Guinea fish pants-less, and pacu find this offensive. Or maybe they’re just mimicking humans, because apparently that’s what humans do to fishermen in Papa New Guinea. Who knows.
But what I do know is that if you’re planning to come swimming in my neck of the woods, gird your loins my friends. Gird your loins.
That’s not just some eye catching headline, designed to upset you and draw you in. It’s actually a fact.
It turns out there is something called the “lone star tick”, whose bite actually makes you allergic to meat.
Technically it doesn’t really make you a vegetarian, since you could still eat poultry and fish, but it is still very interesting that a bug bite could change something so fundamental about your way of life.
It begs the question: was vegetarianism originally an unnatural state brought about by tick bites? And are all the vegetarians since descended from copy-cat followers on? And what other states of being can be brought about by bug bites (besides “itchy”)? Could this explain the difference between “dog people” and “cat people”? Could it explain exercise fanatics? People who like the little disgusting things known as deviled eggs?
Wait a minute! Maybe I’m thinking about this the wrong way. Maybe vegetarianism is a super power, transferred by the bite of an insect. There is some precedent for that.
In any case, nature never ceases to amaze me.
Link via Sara.
Alright, nature, I think you’ve reached a new low.
Here we have a virus which infects caterpillars, and turns them into zombies. The virus forces them to climb up in the tree and grab on, where they slowly liquefy, raining down virus-infected body-goop to affect other caterpillars and begin the circle of caterpillar zombie life anew.
This particular virus only affects gypsy moths…as if they weren’t bad enough to begin with. However, as awful as the gypsy moth menace is, I can’t condone turning things into zombies. That’s just bound to go wrong. As long as we live in a world where a zombie-producing virus lives, there’s always a chance that virus mutates into something that can affect humans.
This kind of reminds me of the zombie ants. That’s right, we now know about a kind of zombie created by a fungus, and another created by a virus. And you people scoff at my zombie preparations! Who’s laughing now?
Link via Sara who enjoys nothing more than horrifying me.
Nature can be beautiful sometimes after all!
I just got done saying that any new nature we discovered was all horrible, when an astute reader (and, only slightly less important, my wife) sent me this link which introduced me to the beautiful pink katydid:
Turns out those little guys don’t last very long…pink isn’t quite as camouflaging as green. But, I’m sure that the last thing a bird thinks before gobbling it up is, “Hmm, that is quite beautiful.”
So color me wrong, there is at least one non-horrible thing out there in nature. (Not horrible for me, that is, but kind of horrible for the poor, pink, and easily eaten katydid…)
We just can’t stop getting enough horrific nature around here. One thing after another. Listen, why is it that every time we discover a new fish or insect or whatever, it is frightening? Why aren’t things evolving in the direction of cuteness? Well, that’s not the world we live in folks.
Why are all these fish being discovered? It turns out, our old pal global warming causing these things to move into new territory, where they are not normally located. So now they’re coming into places where they have contact with humans. Where will they turn up next? Your back yard POOL?
As long as we’re on the topic of this, I saw this one a while ago:
Turns out that beautiful mug is almost extinct. That’d be a shame, wouldn’t it?
Another crazy fish would be the Snakehead fish:
Of course, anybody (like myself) who has seen Snakehead Terror, would not be surprised about this menace. This little thing can actually walk on land and, “may even climb trees”. That’s right, it not only eats you in the water, it can actually come on land to get you.
So finally, let me close with a new type of nose leach, with teeth 5 times larger than other leaches. I don’t have a good picture of this thing, but it is indeed a parasite which uses it’s giant teeth to attach to the inside of your nose. Don’t worry though, the article is quick to point out that its genitalia aren’t a lot bigger than a red blood cell. So take that, nose leach! I will certainly be gloating over that while you are eating my nose from the inside out.
Links mostly via Sara
We’ve been on this Earth for a while. We have the Internet and cameras and cell phones and airplanes and all other sorts of things for connecting with people. We’ve explored every nook and cranny, from the depth of the ocean to the highest mountain, right? Right??
Then why do I keep hearing about these crazy creatures that we’ve just discovered? Shouldn’t we know them all by now? Giant carnivorous plants, horrible parasites that replace your tongue, a fungus that makes zombie ants, a wasp that lobotomizes a cockroach to make it a docile, living, larva carrier, and a plant that lives by eating excrement.
And now this:
That monster is just over 2 1/2 feet long. That’s big enough to eat your face, believe me. It was found clinging to an ocean explorer, which had been down at a depth of about 8,500 feet.
Don’t let anybody tell you there aren’t monsters left on this Earth.
Horrifying nightmare via Sara
We all know that regular things can evolve into really bizarre things in order to survive. I mean, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? But sometimes I wonder if mother nature has gone too far. Case in point, I present to you the “toilet plant“:
Pitcher plants are carnivorous and usually eat insects for nutrients and nitrogen. But in the highlands of Borneo there are not enough for it to survive on insects alone, so the pitcher plant evolved into a toilet plant, complete with standing lid that serves an unusual purpose.
Basically, the lid contains a nectar that these little rodents like to eat. The plant is positioned such that, while the animal is eating the nectar it is positioned to do its business, into (for lack of a better phrase) the plant’s mouth. But the plant doesn’t just stop there, oh no.
There is even some thought that the nectar might have laxative properties
How far would you go to survive? What I don’t understand is, why couldn’t the plant just evolve to eat the shrew?