The upward growth of mankind has been marked by the extinction of countless other species that got in our way, from the mammoths were were too tasty for their own good, to all the animals dumb enough to live where supertankers ply. It's natural selection!
But then, there are those species that, to any rational person, are being wiped out for no good reason at all. These are just some of the creatures who we're rapidly slaughtering for the pure hell of it.
#6. Guajon: The Frog Too Horrifying To Live
Also known as "Cook's Robber Frog" and the slightly unfair "Demon of Puerto Rico," the guajon are small cave dwelling frogs. They are endangered for many of the normal reasons: habitat encroachment, introduced species eating them. Oh, and people killing them out of sheer terror.
Yes, in Puerto Rico, an innocuous two inch-long frog is being killed because they think it's kinda scary looking, believing that one look from the frog can bring down destruction and doom. So far, no one knows if Puerto Ricans have found anything peculiar in the fact that the creature they're so terrified of is also so easily defeated, but the smart money says that, no, they have not.
We're pretty sure this isn't the first species to get the genocide treatment because people were afraid of it, but we are also pretty sure this is the first one that didn't have fangs or claws and couldn't do much but ribbit.
El Chupacabras. Go back to hunting and spreading legends of a non-existent monster and leave the damned frogs alone.
#5. The Manus Island Tree Snail Makes Great Earrings
Of all the things to hunt to extinction, why snails? Sure, some people eat them, but it's not like people are ordering super-sized boxes of them at fast food chains. And it's not like they're causing much of a threat or anything; their most dangerous activities are "hiding in cracks if the weather's too dry" and "trying not to drown."
And while these creatures are partially threatened for the standard reasons (that is, chopping down the forest that the snails call home) there is another, far more ridiculous reason:
The booming market for people who want overpriced snail jewelry.
Ironic jewelery for hippies.
Yes, even though through most of history snails on a woman was a sign of poor hygiene, these days there's a demand for bling made from the brilliant green shells the snails are living in. Thus, now you find Manus Island locals making a living off of killing and selling these creatures.
Boy, this is a tough one. After all, the dazzling colors of the shells really can't be imitated. Well, you know, unless you have some paint. It can't really be that hard; go to the beach, pick up shells, paint them green. Or use green rocks, like emeralds. They were born dead.
#4. Elfin Tree Fern: Imprisoned In Your Living Room
On the subject of "Least Exciting Topic for a Nature Documentary," you probably thought we couldn't top snails, but you'd be wrong. Now, why don't you go ahead and guess what could be causing Puerto Rico's Elfin tree fern to go extinct. Did you guess? You were wrong again. It's TV. TV is behind this.
It seems that, in addition to the usual pressures that mankind uses to fuck up life for earth's children, the Elfin tree fern gained popularity as a house plant due to home improvement shows suggesting sticking them in a pot in the corner. The problem is the damn trees take 40 years to get to a decent size, so it was easier to go out into the wild and dig them up than to try and grow them at the risk of them losing popularity in the intervening four decades.
TV isn't the only reason these trees are heading for extinction, though that doesn't mean the competing reasons are any less retarded. People have been using the bark of these trees to carve out tiki statues for idiot tourists. And sometimes they make plates out of the wood, which they sell to idiot tourists. And sometimes they use the wood for "orchid bark," a substance used to cultivate orchids (which are predictably ripped out and sold to idiot tourists). Now, we aren't plant doctors, but if a tree is headed for total annihilation, maybe it's best that you don't make all of your shit out of its bark.
There are probably hundreds of thousands of other species of plant that can be put in a house or turned into a plate or a dumbass statue or whatever. Some of them are even trees and/or ferns. They even make fake ones out of plastic. Let's just brainstorm on this for a while.