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Puppies, kittens, infants: All adorable. And do you know why? Because they're tiny. If you start to magnify these things, then you wind up with the substantially less cute wolves, jaguars and teenagers.

Yes, if there's one thing nature teaches us, it's that what may start out as an adorable little animal friend can quickly turn into a Lovecraftian horror when its itty-bitty wittle mouth gets big enough to start eating your face. And when the little versions are already a little bit creepy, the big versions are the stuff nightmares are made of:

7Snails

Snails are like minuscule old-timey hobos; the charming kind you see in silent movies with little red bags on sticks--not the kind that pee in your hand when you fall asleep on the subway. They carry their homes on their backs, pose no threat to anybody and generally stay out of sight from polite society.

Occasionally, you might see one that's an inch or more and think, "Christ, that thing is fucking huge!" But, as we told your mom when she exclaimed that very same thing last night: "You ain't seen nothin' yet."

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

The Giant African Land Snail is one of the rare things that both science and religion can agree should not exist: They can be up to 14-inches long, are simultaneously male and female and can survive up to three years sealed in their shell. And, as you can see from the above picture, they are aggressively not cute.

While tiny humans lose their cuteness gradually after reaching puberty, it's actually quite easy to identify the precise moment a snail stops being cute: When its sickly green snail labia drape over your outstretched fingers like the genitals of an old whore stationed too long outside an army base.

Holy Shit! Is it Dangerous?

Yes, sort of. They're highly invasive and can utterly destroy a local ecosystem. In fact, they were introduced on purpose to several islands in Indonesia during WWII in an attempt to cheaply produce food for U.S. troops. This ingenious plan ultimately failed when U.S. troops, after suffering the countless hardships of war, were less than eager to go down on a snail the size of their face for dinner.

6Crabs

Big eyes, tiny legs and a funny walk: Crabs are nature's adorable cartoon character, scuttling awkwardly across our beaches, hilariously clambering for freedom from our chefs and occasionally composing catchy songs for our oddly arousing mermaids.

We even keep hermit crabs as disposable pets to teach our children that life is fleeting, and that it is OK to paint smiley faces on animals as long as they're smaller than you.

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

From left to right, those monstrosities are a coconut crab, a Tasmanian giant crab and the Japanese spider crab. The Tasmanian one is the runt of the litter, being only a foot and a half across the carapace, while the Japanese spider crab can be on average 13-feet across with the legs spread out! Shit!

The coconut crab is the only land living one of the bunch, and there are reports of them reaching up to six-feet long and weighing over 30 pounds. So it's probably not singing any songs about how great it is under the sea, not that you'd be able to hear anything over the sound of your shrieking vocal chords.

Holy Shit! Is it Dangerous?

OK, none of those three crabs are typically a threat to people, but we assume that's only because of their lack of organization. The coconut crab, for example, is so named because it uses its claws to tear open fucking coconuts. Coconuts! Those are nature's cannonballs!

By the way, if seized by a Coconut Crab, experts suggest that "gentle titillation of the under soft parts of the body with any light material will cause the crab to lose its hold." That's right: The best way to get this enormous, amphibious, cannonball-eating tank-spider to release its death grip is to tickle its junk with a feather.

We doubt that's even an automatic reflex, the crab probably just thinks it's funny to watch you demean yourself for its amusement.

5Earthworms

Your average earthworm is about as threatening as cooked spaghetti, and they basically only exist as either bait or the official courting gift of eight-year-old boys who don't know how to like girls yet. They eat dirt and dead leaves, and are basically little more than slimy rice noodles that shit mud.

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

The biggest earthworm on well... Earth, is the Giant South African earthworm, pictured above, which can reach over 20-feet in length. And their campaign of weirdness doesn't stop with looking like monsters from a 50s sci-fi movie.


Or, in the case of the ones from Ecuador, like props from another, less SFW film genre.

The Giant Gippsland Worm (following the South African Earthworm at a monstrous 10 feet in length) can be heard gurgling as it burrows through the ground. And Terriswalkeris Terraereginae, also from Australia and measuring a meager three-feet in length, is bright blue and glows in the fucking dark:

And, because New Zealand is close enough to Australia to absorb horror by proxy, New Zealanders have upped the bizarre threshold even further with the North Auckland Worm, a four and a half foot-long monster that glows so brightly, you can read by wormlight.

Holy Shit! Is it Dangerous?

Well no, they can't harm you physically, but try telling that to your therapist when you innocently fall asleep in a South African meadow and wake to find yourself coiled in a two-story length of slithering, segmented penis rope.

4Pill Bugs

Pill bugs, potato bugs, rollie pollies; whatever you call them, you have to admit that, for insects, they're pretty damn cute. Look at it. Isn't that adorable? It's like a little Extra Strength Tylenol that's trying to cuddle with itself. Awww...

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

... wwwwWOH CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

The Giant Marine Isopod, like pretty much everything else we wish we didn't know about, comes to us from the deep sea. They're usually scavengers, but do sometimes hunt slow moving creatures and much like horrible, alien, insectile guinea pigs, they're known to eat so much in one meal that they become bloated and unable to move.

Holy Shit! Is it Dangerous?

They're not going to be a threat unless you're already immobile and trapped on the floor of the deep sea (like say, from a cramp-inducing jellyfish sting) but if that is the case, they'll likely swarm over your motionless body and feast on your soon-to-be corpse until they're bursting at the seams.

There's no record of anything like that ever happening, of course, but then again, there's no record of it not happening, and looking at this thing's smug horrible "face," we're ready to assume the worst.

3Water Bugs

That up there is just your average, ordinary, everyday water bug, also called water striders or pond skaters. They're about the size of a mosquito, and are so light that they can skim across the water using surface tension. The normal variety can, in extreme cases, grow to be up to an inch long, but any bigger and they'd no longer be "pond skaters" but just drowned-ass mosquitoes.

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

This is the Giant Water bug, so named because scientists are not exactly "creative types." It can grow to over four-inches long, a size which technically makes them less "water striders" than "insect barges of terror."

We wish we could tell you that they stay in their watery homes, and that you only have to worry about them if you go swimming in South American ponds (in which case you're either suicidal or a South American) but they're also colloquially known as "electric light bugs" because of their tendency to fly toward artificial light sources at night.

Oh, right, did we not mention that they fly, too?

So hey, if you find yourself in South America, just stay away from all water and artificial lights sources and you should be cool.

Holy Shit! Are they Dangerous?

Regardless of their actual threat level, a four-inch long amphibious insect with Jesus powers flying at your face will, at the very least, severely wound your manhood when you cry and swat frantically at the air around you before politely asking God to let you go home.

However, it doesn't stop there. Giant water bugs are considered to have one of the most painful bites in the bug world. They sink their mandibles into you and inject their saliva, which is used to liquefy their prey's insides so that it can be sucked out through their needle-like mouth. In severe cases, they can inject enough saliva into a human to permanently damage the muscle tissue.

So it literally liquefies your muscles, and metaphorically liquefies your testicles.

2Spiders

We're not being controversial here when we issue this statement: Fuck spiders. Just look at that picture up there; fuck that noise. We don't care how big that thing is, it needs to have a make-out session with our shoes just for existing on the same dimensional plane as us. Spiders don't need to grow in size to be scary; any size is too big. That thing up there could make this list exactly as it is.

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

We guess spiders are chronic terror over-achievers, because that image is not bullshit, it is exactly what it looks like: A spider eating a fucking bird.

That's called Nephila Edulis, the Giant Golden Orb-web Spider and, according to the Head Spider Keeper of the New South Wales Australian Reptile Park (who must have murdered a convent full of puppies to get karma shitty enough for that job) tells us that this type of spider sometimes grows "as big as a human hand but the northern species in tropical areas were known to grow larger."

Holy Shit! Is it Dangerous?

Look at that! It's eating a freaking bird! Birds can fly! Can you fly?! The bird literally had access to an entire axis that you don't, and the spider still got it. What chance is there for you?!

Although the poison this particular species makes is pretty much the same thing produced by black widows, it is much less concentrated and merely causes localized pain, swelling and blisters--however, it should be noted that birds are not exactly on this spider's normal diet: These photos are of freak incidents.

Some might call that a comforting thought, but not us. We just see it as a sign of ambition.

1Jellyfish

Most of us are aware that jellyfish are little more than floating shopping bags filled with wet terror. What's worse is that they're typically too small, too translucent and too inconspicuous to spot in open water.

Most poisonous creatures flag themselves with bright colors and elaborate displays to let potential predators know that they're poisonous. Jellyfish apparently don't really care if you attack them, they're just content to make you hurt before they go down.

The Horror, Oh God the Horror:

Well, most jellyfish are content with their invisible dickery, anyway. Not the Lion's Mane Jellyfish. It wants you to see it. It's going to make goddamn sure that you don't miss it, because it's the size of a fucking Ford Fiesta.

The Lion's Mane Jellyfish can grow to be eight-feet across, with some types growing tentacles to over 120-feet long, making them some of the longest living things on earth.


The Lion's Mane Jellyfish, pictured here with its only natural predator: Gravity.

Holy Shit! Is it Dangerous?

We'd like to tell you it's harmless, we really would. We would love to tell you that the worst thing that could happen is that you get slimed by something that looks like a giant exploding testicle, but we can't lie to you: It's a big enough threat that entire pages are dedicated to informing scuba divers to stay the fuck away.

Considering that anybody even considered that advice is ballsy enough to be underwater in Australia in the first place--the country where monsters are born--you know that's a pretty serious warning. Their sting can cause extreme pain, cramping and even respiratory failure; which would suck in the best of circumstances, much less when you're trapped beneath several million tons of water and surrounded by orbs of living poison, while below, herds of Giant Marine Isopods wait to consume your prone body.

Find more from David at Associated Content.

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And for more beasts to kill with fire, check out 6 Terrifying Bats You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped and The 7 Most Horrifying Parasites on the Planet.

And for more on things that go bump in the night, click here.

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