At some point during World War II, a cargo ship pulled up to the Pacific island of Guam and, unnoticed by anyone, out slithered a brown tree snake that had been hiding on board.
Well, can't be that big of a deal -- originating from Australia, the brown tree snake poses almost no threat to an adult human and probably spends most of its time being picked on by all the other snakes.
The pit vipers always steal his lunch-mouse.
"MY GOD... WHAT HAVE WE DONE?"
Since Guam has no indigenous species of snakes, the few brown tree snakes that sneaked onto the island were 1) able to breed out of control and 2) able to catch just about every native creature off-guard and eat the shit out of them. Birds, lizards, rodents -- scientists have concluded that the snake is responsible for decimating the populations of several species and even bringing others to extinction. There are currently millions of snakes in Guam today, so the small-animal genocide is likely to continue for some years to come.
WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHINCHILLAS?
Oh, and the snakes have also been known to cause rolling blackouts and power outages by climbing into power boxes and shorting them out, presumably turning the snakes into creatures of pure energy like that one gremlin in Gremlins 2.
The Nile perch is a species of fish that has been known to reach over six feet in length, and as the name suggests, it's usually found in the Nile.
Or clenched in the hands of hillbillies.
Lake Victoria in Africa, meanwhile, was at one time considered the most diverse fishing environment on the entire planet. But damn it, there was one monstrous fish that was clearly missing from the collection. Thus the giant and terrifying Nile perch was introduced to the lake to try to attract more sport fishermen to the area and generate some revenue, because old drunk white people mean nothing but dollar signs.
Nothing says "Africa" quite like this picture.
"MY GOD ... WHAT HAVE WE DONE?"
The locals are in fact catching and eating the perch, but the damn things are so big they're actually contributing to deforestation in the area because of the massive amount of wood required to cook them.
"Do we have 40 bags of charcoal?"
And in the meantime, Lake Victoria lost its "most diverse" status after the Nile perch ate just about all of the other fish living in it. In fact, the perch have eaten so many of the lake's indigenous fish that they have had to start eating each other to survive.
Like this, with fish.
Now we can't blame people for wanting to bring tourism and money into the area, but if you want to attract fishermen, perhaps advertising the fact that you have one of the best fishing areas in the world is a decent way to do so without the hassle of introducing giant shark-size monsters into your lake.
The only thing that could make them worse is if they, oh, we don't know, could escape the water. You know, like ...
The snakehead fish is (you guessed it) a fish with the head of a snake that can grow to be over three feet long and HOLY SHIT LOOK AT IT:
Look into its eyes and know the Doom of Man.
They are normally found horrifying the rivers of Asia and Africa, but they've been springing up in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. The snakehead fish are spread by pet owners who just get tired of taking care of them and dump them into the nearest body of water, except in places like Taiwan and Japan, where they have actually been introduced on purpose to help the fishing industry.
And by "fishing industry" we mean "the nightmares of children".
"MY GOD ... WHAT HAVE WE DONE?"
The fish are extremely aggressive and will eat just about anything they can, including other fish, frogs, crayfish, plankton ...
... and rats. And birds. Things that don't live in the water.
Like your soft, delicious family.
Yes, the snakehead fish can freaking walk on land, where it can survive for up to four days and travel a quarter of a mile to other bodies of water. They can do this because they actually have primitive lungs right above their gills that allow them to breathe air. We figure it's only a matter of time before they start boosting cars and robbing convenience stores.
There is no good reason for anyone to ever look that excited about a fish.
Normally annoying people and sanitary departments alike in the U.S., the raccoon has invaded Europe and Japan thanks to Nazis and anime.
They make peculiar bedfellows.
In Europe, the raccoon plague started when the Nazis' Reich Forestry Service decided that it would "enrich the fauna" by introducing raccoons into the German wilderness, a move bewildering to even the most steadfast Nazi supporter. Raccoons were also kept in fur farms in the German countryside.
As for Japan, it all started with a popular anime show in the 1970s called Rascal the Raccoon. As a result of the show, Japanese kids brought in raccoons as pets at the rate of about 1,500 per year. Most of these pets either escaped or were tossed out by their owners, because a raccoon is kind of a pain in the ass to keep indoors.
The perfect pet for the communicable-disease-loving child in your life.
"MY GOD ... WHAT HAVE WE DONE?"
As you should've learned by now, introducing a nonindigenous animal into an ecosystem can have terrible results. The raccoons caused staggering agricultural losses with their insatiable appetites. In fact, at one point they had pretty much wiped out the German winemaking industry by eating the harvests of numerous vineyards. They've even been known to damage UNESCO World Heritage temples in Japan.
Germany has declared raccoons to be a game animal and encourages people to hunt them, while Japan has made it illegal to import them or to keep any as pets.
You can't blame them, when they carry umbrellas and wield their scrotums like clubs.
Learn more about animals that need a firm talking to in our new Cracked.com book. And once you get that book, make sure you take a picture of yourself with it, then upload it to our Facebook fan page for a chance to win $250!
For more ways we've boned up with Mother Nature, check out 6 Animals Humans Accidentally Made Way Scarier and 6 Natural Disasters That Were Caused by Human Stupidity.
And stop by Linkstorm to learn about proper raccoon care.
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