I know, it’s the season of goodwill and all that, it’s just that we need a little scare all year. So, I have compiled a short list of some delightful beasts, and no, they won’t feature in festive fare!
At number one, the Bobbit Worm. What a darling.
It buries itself in sediment up to its neck, where it lies in wait for its prey.
The Bobbit pictured above may look like it’s only a few inches — but it may be up to ten feet long under all that sand. Imagine, if it popped out to help you with your sandcastle, all 10 feet of it!
Then it launches itself with such speed and ferocity that it will often cut its victims in half with its scissor-like jaws!
If that wasn’t enough, it also ingests a toxin into its prey which allows it to be easily digested, even when much larger than itself.
You can consider the Bobbit Worm next time you take a swim in the ocean!
The Cordyceps Fungus
This fun fungus provides us with the closest thing we have to zombies in the known world. – That is if you believe in the walking dead.
This funky fungus infects a specific species of ant — the Carpenter ant (Camponotus leonardi). Once infected, the fungus takes over the ant’s brain, controlling its movements and mind by releasing chemicals that force the ant muscles to contract. Over seven days, the fungus tells its prey to abandon its nest and go find a grass stem at precisely 25cm above the ground. There, it tells the ant to bite into the leaf or stem, locking its mandibles and ultimately grows a long stalk through the ant’s head — bursting open to rain more deadly spores on the colony below.
You might think I picked these spooky pals because they have thousands of legs. That IS creepy, true, but they come in at number three for a different reason:
They can actually taste what their victims experienced as they consume their victim’s flesh.
(In this case, the victim was a fallen leaf, next time it could be you! Not really, you are a bit big.
Even so it is spooky.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane — no, it’s a vampire bat! Very much real and not a myth. These fearsome foes feed solely on the blood of their prey, and only when it’s very dark. When they land on their prey, they carefully shave away the hair with their razor-teeth, before sinking in their fangs, in a bizarre reenactment of Vincent Price at his best!.
What’s worse? Sometimes they aren’t successful in finding prey — so they beg for regurgitated blood from their colony-mates. Don’t we all need friends like this?
Don’t we all love spiders? These sinister spiders often have trouble taking actual bites out of their victims. Instead, they inject their prey (not only insects but also larger prey like toads and mice) with venom to liquefy their flesh.
They then drink the liquified bodies through their straw-like mouths, like an extra-potent protein smoothie.
These bad buddies are fiendish when mating. The males must quickly scuttle away from the females for fear of being eaten post-copulation!
Camilla are you reading?
I hope you enjoyed that? Don’t forget human horrors can be read about in ‘Worry No More’ at
EBook ASIN: B07K6GC2JQ
Paperback ASIN: 1730898661
And 2019 you can read ‘Children With No Worries’.