Login or Register

Sign in with Facebook

What's the most badass thing you've ever seen a man do? Crack a cinder block with his fist? Catch a crossbow bolt with his bare hands? Chew bubble gum with his ass cheeks? Well take that shit and multiply it by about a thousand, and you'll have the kind of things that other species do in their everyday routine. We're talking about creatures like the...

6
The Mantis Shrimp's Fists of Death

The mantis shrimp lays claim to owning the fastest and tastiest arms of the water bound kingdom. If Chuck Norris lived under water, he would drown and die. And a mantis shrimp would punch a hole in his carcass.


Those tiny boxing gloves aren't for gardening.

The speed of the mantis shrimp's punch is delivered at some 50 mph. Keep in mind the shrimp is doing this in water. If you've ever stupidly wrestled with friends at the beach, you realize how your devastating roundhouse winds up moving in slow motion as you slosh through the surf. Think how strong you'd have to be to punch through the water as fast as a moving vehicle.

Wait, What?

The mantis shrimp's power comes from the two club-like arms it keeps behind its head. It locks those arms in place allowing energy to build up in the muscles. For an added "fuck you" there's an organic spring mechanism in the joint that adds extra force.


So when the local shrimp from Cobra Kai start shit, the mantis shrimp unleashes the force of the muscle which, when combined with the added oomph from the uncoiling spring, means the weapon is released at an acceleration which can reach 10,000 times the force of gravity. That's kind of like being punched by Mike Tyson in his prime, if his outstretched arm was attached to a meteor as it entered the atmosphere.


How Badass is That?

In captivity, the shrimp have been known to punch through aquarium glass, totally fucking up people's rugs. In fact, the punch of the mantis shrimp is so fast, it actually lowers the pressure of the water in its path which--conveniently for a badass sea-ninja who fancies some pre-cooked crab--boils the water around the punch. Steven Seagal's probably only done that once or twice at best.

5
The Trap-Jaw Ant's... Trap Jaw

The trap-jaw ant is the proud owner of the fastest moving predatory appendage in the animal kingdom. Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint: It's called the fucking trap-jaw ant.


The smaller insect will soon regret taking a closer look at the ant's sweet handlebar mustache.

Wait, What?

The trap-jaw ant has two mandibles attached to the front of its head which are held open at 180 degrees, making it look a bit like a surprised Southern gentleman. If the fine hairs lining the mandibles are touched, the mechanism is triggered and the jaws close at speeds of up to 140 mph. That's 2,300 times quicker than you can blink your freaking eye.

How Badass is That?

The speed of their jaw is useful for catching food and also facilitates one of the most incredible evasive maneuvers, or party tricks, in nature. In a tight spot the ant can bite at the ground and use it to jump incredible distances, the human equivalent of which would be the ability to snap into a Slim Jim with such ferocity it rocketed you over a four-story building.


Continue Reading Below

4
The Giant Amazonian Centipede's Ninja Skills

Any time "giant" and "centipede" end up in the same sentence, if you're not talking about Atari games, it's probably a bad scene. And at over a foot long, the extremely venomous giant amazonian centipede certainly qualifies.


Like any centipede this one is earth bound. But rather than sticking to an easily attainable centipede diet of insects and the occasional cast member from the film Willow, this species has instead refined the art of catching bats in flight. Yes you read right: it catches fucking bats in flight. Shit.


Wait, What?

By climbing the walls of bat-caves, the centipede is capable of suspending its body from an overhang and holding itself there, waiting for its unsuspecting prey to pass by. From this seemingly prone position, they've been seen snatching bats nearly twice their own size. To fully appreciate how awesome that is, look at the next fat dude who passes you at CostCo. Imagine trying to hang from your feet and catch him. Now imagine he's flying and you have to hold him for two hours until you're done eating him.

How Badass is That?

The giant amazonian centipede has 42 murderous legs, but it only uses ten of these to keep hold while it dangles, catches and eats. So to further enhance the captive flying fat guy scenario, imagine doing the whole thing while hanging from the ceiling with only two toes.

3
Pistol Shrimp's Laser Claw

Do not be deceived by the small size of this creature--that lumpy shape by the pistol shrimp's head is its claw. It's specially modified to blow the shit out of its opponent by snapping shut so quickly it produces a flash of light and a blast of sound reaching 218 decibels, which science says is louder than a damned gunshot.


Wait, What?

The sound isn't caused by the claws snapping together, but rather a jet of water which is shot at 60 mph. Due to the, um, "underwateriness" of the action scene, a low pressure bubble is formed and the sound is created when the bubble collapses. And the sound is so powerful it stuns the opponent into a somewhat retarded stupor, leaving Mr. Pistol to reap the rewards and tuck into a lovely comatose crustacean snack.

How Badass is That?

Wait, it gets weirder. The sheer force of the bubble collapse means it reaches temperatures up to 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit, a.k.a. hotter than the surface of the fucking sun.


In theory this means if you could train a bunch of these shrimp to shoot at each other they could cook and prepare themselves as a meal.

Continue Reading Below

2
The Palm Salamander's 18,000-Watt Tongue

Meet the palm salamander, who science has awarded with the title of "owner of the fastest muscle in the world." While probably one or two Guido salamanders go around bragging about which muscle that is, it's actually a reference to it its tongue. It's possible the lady salamanders are still impressed by that, but it's disturbing so we'll just ignore it.


Wait, what?

The palm salamander can fully extend its tongue (which is about half the length of its 18-centimeter body) in about seven milliseconds. That works out to about 29 mph, which might not sound all that impressive until you watch this bastard hunt.


It's like a freaking magic trick. One moment the insect is chilling on the wall across the room, and then suddenly it's not and for some reason the salamander is lazily chewing on something. If the human tongue moved that fast, every middle school dance would be a blood bath of French kissing fatalities.

How Badass is That?

The strongest muscle in the human body (the quadriceps) can put out about 100 watts of power. The salamander's tongue can produce 18,000 watts. If your thighs were a generator they could barely power a light bulb while our amphibious friend would be running two five-ton air conditioning units. Your thighs officially suck.

1
The Jellyfish's Supersonic Stingers

Likely you're already aware that jellyfish can fuck you up mightily by the simple act of you having the audacity to occupy the same space as their godforsaken appendages. This is caused by thousands of stinger cells concentrated on each of their tentacles. The box jellyfish has up to 60 tentacles reaching seven-feet in length. Every inch of those tentacles has over two million stinging cells full of venom, which is why so many people shit their bikini bottoms when they turn up at the local beach.


Fucking ouch.

This isn't the result of the jellyfish being a dick, though. It doesn't sting you for wearing that preposterous Speedo out in public, it doesn't even have a brain. The sting is a natural reaction which is so badass it's un-fucking-controllable.


Science explains how it works.

Wait, What?

Within each of the stinger cells is a harpoon style weapon, designed to deliver maximum venom on contact. That's contact with anything that brushes by it in the ocean, be it a fish, a school of used condoms or you. When the trigger of the stinger cell--which science people in wetsuits call a nematocyst--is fired, the harpoon is discharged in 700 nanoseconds. In slightly easier to comprehend language that's 0.0000007 seconds. Or, in other words, holy shit that's quick.

How Badass is That?

The nematocyst cell fires the harpoon at such a high speed, the force of the acceleration equals 1,000,000 times the force of gravity. An astronaut will typically encounter four to five Gs during takeoff, which means if you put a jellyfish in the space shuttle, and it fired its stingers at the moment of takeoff, it would travel back in time [citation needed].


More science.

Have an idea for an article? Want your writing to be read by thousands of people? Cracked can help! Just go here and sign up. No experience necessary.
Free set of ninja-shrimp when you sign up.

For more badass animals, check out The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You and 7 Species That Get High More Than We Do.

To see who wins the fight between Swaim's finger and the trap-jaw ant, check out our Top Picks.

To turn on reply notifications, click here

366 Comments

Load Comments