36 pictures of Mother Nature that left us wanting off this planet
These days, the gruesome reality of nature is kept behind closed doors (that, or it's consigned to the great outdoors), but in the not so distant past, it wasn't uncommon to see corpses littering the street. But every so often we get a glimpse of the gruesome reality of being a biological organism and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Animal Kingdom.
Living beings have a remarkable ability to survive and they can adapt to their surroundings in ways that really do have to be seen to believed. While many of Mother Nature's feats are impressive, there are some which are worse than anything you'd see in a horror movie - and what makes them so terrifying is the fact that they are very much a reality.
To see some of Mother Nature's scariest feats for yourself, check out the video below:
Perhaps in days gone by these phenomena wouldn't have freaked us out so much, but now that we live in a world where everything from birth to death is sanitized, seeing nature laid bare can be more than a little startling. After all, few people in the modern world can even attest to having seen a dead body - let alone witness an animal eat itself alive!
So, without further ado, here are 40 pictures of the Animal Kingdom that made us say "NOPE"...
1. The wrap-around spider
I don't even need to explain how it got its name. All I'm saying is that if I accidentally touched one, I'd faint.
2. Seaweed in the waves
It looks like the tentacles of the Kraken and it would be enough to inspire me to run out of the water faster than Jack Sparrow.
3. Xylaria Polymorpha - otherwise known as Dead Man's Fingers
This fungus definitely doesn't look like a fun-gi...
4. This frog that ate a firefly
Hats off to you little guy for letting your little light shine... Even as you're being digested.
5. A very rock and roll puffer fish skeleton
This looks like the kind of thing Marilyn Manson would have on his mantlepiece.
6. An arachnophobic's worst nightmare
But hey! Every cloud has a silver lining. Just pretend this little eight-legged freak is protecting you from malaria.
7. This looks like something straight out of the Bible
Or one of Alfred Hitchcock's dreams.
8. The brutal reality of the circle of life
Growing a plant out of a skull is a pretty badass use for a skeleton IMO.
9. This woman's toilet after a flood
If I was her, I'd turn it into a pond. That, or I'd invest in a very large net.
10. A dried up frog outside a store
When the frog was spotted by the manager, he said, "Let's try splashing some water on it." Remarkably, it came back to life!
11. This gives a whole new meaning to being "lit"
This is making me want to go to an underwater disco...
12. Snapdragon seed pods
Or, as they can be more accurately described, the skulls of the damned.
13. A scallop's eyes and teeth
Now that's one creature I wouldn't want to accidentally step on in a rock pool.
14. A gecko casually eating its own tail...
In the Animal Kingdom, amputations aren't necessary when you're willing to eat your own flesh. It's disgustingly fascinating.
15. You'll never see an animal creepier than a hammerhead bat
"Look, Ma! A donkey bat!
16. Oh god. Can someone please set it on fire?!
It looks like the bugs from Oogie Boogie's sack - even if it's just a bunch of insects trying to save themselves from drowning.
17. Why you should always check the toilet before pooping...
I can think of few things worse than having my genitalia bitten by a giant snake. It'd be even worse if I was a man. Yikes!
18. The Clathrus Archeri fungus
This gives a whole new meaning to the movie Little Shop of Horrors. DO NOT FEED THIS FUNGUS SEYMOUR!
19. This frog that caught a spider
Talk about biting off more than you can chew...
20. These plants that look like tiny hands
"Do you want to go UP or DOWN?" Well, you have to wonder if it played some role in inspiring Labyrinth!
21. A deer skull that's been soaked in water for a year
If this isn't intimidating, I don't know what is. It looks like something you'd see in a bar frequented by outlaws.
22. A leopard seal looking through a shoal of plankton
This looks like something straight out of a Disney movie - albeit one directed by Tim Burton.
23. This monstrosity that made an appearance during a home renovation
The homeowner who got close enough to take this picture is a lot braver than I'll ever be.
24. Acid spitting ants
This is enough to put me off going into the great outdoors for life. I thought ants were harmless?!
25. An articulated cobra skeleton
Whoever put this terrifying piece together must have had nerves of steel.
26. A black swallower that died attempting to eat a fish four times its size
In its defense, the same thing could happen to anyone hungry enough at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
27. A lizard casually eating a cockroach alive
If I ever see a cockroach in my house (although I hope that never happens), I'm definitely getting a pet lizard.
28. This tree that wasn't going to let a statue stop it from growing
On a first glance, it looks like there's a person trapped inside and that smile just makes it even creepier.
29. Legionary ants attacking a wasp honeycomb
They've formed a bridge with their bodies to defy gravity and I am both disturbed and impressed.
30. This poor fox that fell into a river
And became entombed in Mother Nature's icy coffin.
31. A chameleon mummified alive in the sun
This poor little guy was so close and yet so far from the water he desperately needed.
32. A five-legged frog
I wonder if it accidentally took a stroll into a radioactive pond.
33. A snake with a tick infestation
I think this is the first picture I've ever seen that's made me feel sorry for a snake.
34. This dolphin that caught a squid
I have no right to complain the next time a pen bursts in my hand.
35. The puffer fish that ended up in a tree after a storm
"The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind."
36. Okay. I'm done. There are no words for this...
Who knew that snakes were living, breathing fishing rods?!
In short, the Animal Kingdom world is a simultaneously amazing and terrifying place and we should admire it for the spectacle it is. After all, if animals could see some of the feats we are able to carry out in the operating theatre (like face transplants), I think they'd be just as amazed and terrified as we are when we see the natural world laid bare.