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FASCINATING FACTS: 21 Bizarre Facts About Animals

Nature is full of creatures beautiful, terrifying, strange and funny. Every time we find out something about them we are left with no other choice but to be amazed or shocked by the eccentricities of Mother Nature. No matter how many bizarre facts about animals we learn there is always one more lurking round the corner of evolution’s vast plans to surprise us. Here we have collected 21 of such strange and bizarre animals facts that will make you say WTF!

21. Horn sharks make egg cases that look like huge corkscrews to protect her offspring. She fixes the corkscrew eggs into rocks to make it hard for predators to get at them.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The horn sharks are solitary night hunters and their habits depend on external environmental factors. They become active when it’s dark and inactive during light. During a study done on captive horn sharks, they were able to go on being active for 11 days under light before stopping from fatigue. The sharks are preyed upon by many large fishes that eat adults, young and even the eggs. To protect the eggs, the horn sharks carry them in their mouths until the shells become hard and they find a good location to safely keep them.(source)

20. Researchers at Penn States University have found that pigs can play video games using joystick and excel at it. They were said to enjoy it so much they’d beg to play.

Image Source: mypigmeupwarlight

Apparently the animals that were thought of to be anything but intelligent show far better abilities than other animals such as dogs or cats. According to professor Stanley Curtis pigs have very long memories. He conducted studies in which he gave the joystick controllers to the pig and taught them to play a small game that involved moving a dot. He was able to teach the pigs various actions such as fetching and found that they were able to remember and distinguish between the objects. There were also many instances in which domesticated pigs were able to learn actions such as turning the shower on or even save people.(source)

19. Elephants are often bisexual creatures. Almost 45% of their sexual activity observed in Asiatic elephants was between the same sex.

Image Source: pickywallpapers

The elephants are very open and playful when it comes to sex. Unlike in other species, their interest in homosexual behavior is much stronger than in heterosexual behavior. The male and female attraction is very brief and is limited to just copulating. But, when it comes to a male-male relation, they develop very strong bonds that often last a long time. They males engage in playful sexual teasing, affectionate behavior, kissing and forming companionship. The females as well use their trunks to masturbate each other, though it has only been observed while in captivity.(12)

18. Black Panthers, jaguars and leopards are actually the same species of animals. Black Panthers are black due to Melanism, the development of dark pigmentation.

Image Source: www.poster-bargains.comWikimedia Commonsweb.stanford.edu

Melanism in felines is a common occurrence and is seen in almost 11 of the species, not counting cross breeding of those in captivity. For a long time black jaguars were thought to be a different species, but in fact they are the same as panthers. Upon close inspection of the skin color of black panthers you can observe small light colored stripes that are virtually unnoticeable because of the fur’s dominant black color. There has also been breeding between a black jaguar named Diablo and a lioness named Lola who gave birth to a charcoal black female and a spotted tan colored male.(source)

17. Lobsters never age. The only common reasons for their death are being food for humans, parasites and growing too large.

Image Source: doyourpart

Lobsters have an enzyme called telomerase that repairs the parts of DNA called telomeres. In most vertebrates, telomerase is present only during the embryonic stages of their life. It does not continue into their adult stage which is why the body ages as the telomeres are shortened with each cell division and until finally its deplete. However, this is apparently not so in the case of lobsters. They are known to live as long as 70 years after which they end up growing so large that they don’t have the metabolic energy required to create their exoskeleton. So, instead of aging lobsters die because they get too exhausted.(source)

16. The blood of starfishes is just filtered seawater. They have no brains and their nervous system is spread through their arms.

Image Source: mrcroce

Starfishes have an extremely remarkable body. Their skin is just a bony calcified surface with extraordinary colors that prevent predators from attacking them. No wonder starfishes don’t die that easily. Though some kinds require the central body part to be present to regenerate when cut, some kinds can grow into a entirely new body from the cut arm. They also have the ability to eat their prey by bring the stomach out of their body. When that’s done they just retract the stomach back inside.(source)

15. A chunk six pound whale vomit has sold for more than $150,000. It has huge demand and is used in the manufacturing of high-end perfumes.

Image Source: whaleopedia,gq-magazine.co.ukearthtouchnews

Also known as ambergris, literally translating into “grey amber”, the whale puke floats up to the surface. The chunks are made inside the whale’s bile duct. When it’s fresh it smells as terrible as any normal puke, but when it’s aged it gives off a musky scent. The fact that it smells good is actually a bonus as perfume manufacturers are more interested in its ability to make the perfume stay on the wearer’s body. Another such small chunk was recently found by a man along a coast, which was later auctioned with a starting price of $10,000.(source)

14. After ingesting opium poppies, Australian wallabies have made crop circles in the field grown for medicine.

Image Source: brainz.orggranitegrok

Wallabies are a species of Australian animals belonging to the same family as kangaroos, but not as large as them. They live on vegetable, grass, leaves and other such plant foods. According to attorney from Tasmania, an island in Australia, the wallabies often come into opium fields meant for manufacturing painkillers such as morphine to eat after the poppies. Then they get high and run about the fields in circles creating their own crop circles.(source)

13. Female spotted hyenas have penises that serve as an anti-rape mechanism. The male has to enter through it during copulation rather than the vagina.

Image Source: koryos.tumblr.com

The spotted hyenas are a matriarchal society with the male taking the submissive role during sex and otherwise. The females have what is known as pseudo-penis comparatively thicker and more rounded than the male’s, and is actually the clitoris enlarged and erected. The females give birth, copulate and urinate through their pseudo-penis. So, unless the female is interested in mating with the male that has approached her, in which case she retracts the penis, it is very difficult to proceed further. Giving birth to cubs during delivery is also a tricky process as they have to come out through the penis.(source)

12. An estimated one third of all sex among ducks is forced sex. It is so prevalent that the females’ genitals are evolving to counter it.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The male ducks have the most interesting looking penis. It is shaped as a spiral with groves that take their sperm to the tip and a feathery surface to clean the sperm of other males inside the female. It is a rare thing because almost all male birds do not have any penises. Their copulation requires aligning what are called cloaca, openings to their internal chamber, which in the case of female is for laying eggs and in the case of male to discharge sperm. However, the female ducks have evolved and developed an opening that doesn’t make it easy for the male duck to enter. The inside of their claoca is spiraled in the opposite way.(source)

11. A male porcupine douses the female with his urine to provoke her into having sex.

Image Source: youtube

The male first makes his rounds sniffing all the scents of the female he is pursuing. He smells everything she has touched along where she has urinated. He then performs a few masturbatory acts like rubbing his penis on objects he could find. A female also does the same when she is in pre-copulating stage. The male also likes to smell her all over, after which he would stand on his hind legs exposing his penis to her which is reciprocated by the female if she is ready. The male then ejects a stream of urine onto her. After every move the male makes the female usually either responds positively or runs away.(source)

10. Argonaut, a variety of octopus, has a detachable penis that swims to the substantially larger female’s sac.

Image Source: news.softpedia.comacanadiannaturalist

Also called paper nautiluses these male octopi are just 10% of the size of their female members. This unbelievably large difference in size has created a unique method of copulation in which the male ejects a tentacle containing its sperm towards the female. The tentacle develops a pouch under its eye that explodes and propels itself to attach and enter the female sac after which the male dies. The argonauts are an amazing species. They are the only octopuses that develop and live in their own shells. Unlike many octopi, these creatures live in the upper layers of water.(source)

9. An elephant in Corbett National Park, India, was so smitten by a lizard that she played with it and took it along with her for a few days.

Image Source: dailymail

The name of the elephant in question is Madhuri. Jagdeep Rajput, a photographer, caught her on camera exhibiting some extraordinary behavior. He heard about her interest in lizards and the park having quite a lot of them provided her with ample entertainment. She played with it, trashing it about, dropping and throwing it. Elephants have very large brains owing to the large size of their heads. They are capable of remembering memories for a very long time and can also wonder what’s going on in the heads of other elephants.(source)

8. The “World’s Ugliest Animal” blobfish looks ugly when out of water because of its low-density flesh. Under the deep sea the fish looks normal because the pressure compresses it to normal state.

Image Source: ipfactlyabresourcesllc

Blobfish is a fish that looks quite unlike fish. Its skin doesn’t have the beautiful iridescent scales that normal fishes have. Instead, it looks like freshly formed lump of human skin. These fish live under more than 2,000 feet underwater. The heavy load of water creates high pressure which is almost 60 to 120 times than at sea level. The blobfishes survive on crustaceans that float on the surface of the sea. Because of its low-density body all the blobfish has to do is float to the surface and swallow as much as it needs.The blobfish have also been used as the mascot for Ugly Animal Preservation Society for children who are not thought to be aesthetically pleasing.(source)

7. Male giraffes often taste the urine of a female to determine if she is fertile as part of an action known as flehmen response.

Image Source: giraffeworlds

The flehmen response to determine if the female is ready is seen in every animal, though almost all of them only smell with their upper lip curled back and inhaling with the nostrils closed for some time. In giraffes the action includes the male stimulating the female’s hind side to urinate. If it’s positive, then the male starts to court her. The male prefers to mate with females of specific age group, leaving the very young and old ones. Giraffes exhibit a polygamous relationship, with the dominant male getting to mate while the younger ones or weaker ones are left aside. Using their necks they fight each other for the female and whichever neck stands straight the longest wins the contest.(12)

6. The penises of male alligators are always erect. They stay inside their body until they are needed.

Image Source: nps.gov

An anatomist, Diane Kelly of University of Massachusetts, conducted a study in which she found is tough and erect constantly. When dissected she found that the penis filled with a lot of collagen, a tough and fibrous tissue, that keeps it always erect. When injected with saline fluid, she noticed that unlike other animals, the penis stayed the same. Instead of using it for copulating, the alligators use a set of muscles that help it eject and retract whenever necessary.(source)

5. Pigs can ejaculate for up to a surprising 6 to 30 minutes continuously. 

Image Source: friendseat

Though it is not clearly known how pigs would perform during a real mating experience with a female, it was observed their intercourse usually lasts for anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes. Some studies conducted in 2001 have tried giving some boars “a hand” with surprising results. The pigs, however, are bound to turn very angry if they are let go before their complete ejaculation is done.(source)

4. Dead whales that wash up to the beach can bloat so large that the pressure can cause it to explode splattering all its innards out.

Image Source: nationalgeographic

On Newfoundland’s beach a stranded blue whale was found dead. The tongue of this 50-feet long whale as seen in the image above was bloated to immense proportions.

When an animal dies the bacteria and enzymes inside and outside start doing their job of decomposing the body. The organs inside will be turned into gasses such as methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, starting with the stomach. The body starts to smell terrible and foul as the decomposition processes goes on. These gasses fill up the body stretching the skin and when the animals are as big as the whales that wash up to the shores after dying they make quite a bit of an explosion.(source)

Image Source: giphy

The whale above washed up to Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic. As the local population wanted to have its skeleton exhibited in the museum, biologist Bjarni Mikkelsen took up the job of cutting and removing its flesh. What he didn’t anticipate was that the whale was bloated and when he made a cut on its stomach it exploded.

3. Hippopotamuses secrete an oily red liquid that acts as sunblock and moisturizer. Despite what most people think, they do not sweat blood.

Image Source: greenarea

Hippos are a vastly water creatures. They love being water and stay in submerged in lakes for a long time, sometimes up to as long as 16 hours at a stretch.  Because their nostrils and eyes are located quite above their heads they don’t face any problems with breathing or watching for danger while relaxing in the water. The oil their skin secrets, apart from being the perfect sunscreen when basking in the sun, has also an added advantage of germ protection.(source)

2. Many animals, both domestic and otherwise, have been known to commit suicide and exhibit self-destructive behavior.

Image Source: oddee

It is a common knowledge that when faced with a loss of their owner many dogs tend to get depressed. However, there have also been many instances in which they take it further, such as a Newfoundland dog that went into water to drown itself and would repeat it after being rescued. There are also other reasons such as parasites that infect grasshoppers and rats driving their host to self-destructive behavior. They eventually continue their life-cycle when the host is finally dead. Termites and pea aphids are known to kill themselves to kill the invaders in order to protect the others in their colony.(source)

1. Cuttlefish are capable of changing their skin color including a display of various patterns to hypnotize their prey.

Image Source: giphy

Cuttlefish are known for their highly advanced ability to communicate visually, especially chromatic communication. They can display as many as 34 colors, various patterns including dynamic display of waves, zebra stripes and passing clouds. These patterns give a visual shock to the prey transfixing their gaze while the cuttlefish enjoys its meal. They also can change the texture of their skin from rough to smooth and can camouflage very effectively. Along with postural signals they use these abilities as a way to communicate among themselves as well.(source)

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