If there existed an award for "Most Underrated Badass" in the animal kingdom, the winner would probably be deer. We always think of Bambi when we see one, but these guys charge their way through adolescence in a blood orgy of hormone-fueled, antler-clashing mayhem. But even the most badass trophy bucks of modern times pale in comparison to the beasts our ancient brethren tangled with:
Via Kilburn Social Club
One of many reasons why man invented the cannon.
You see, back in the day, deer were essentially bears with what can only be called "antlers" in the Crocodile Dundee School of Zoology -- meaning that if you think deer today have massive antlers, well ...
"These are antlers."
Say hello to Megaloceros Giganteus: the Irish elk. This enormous Eurasian monster is the largest deer we know about, and it was easily recognized by the two insane war-axes growing out of its skull. Why did their antlers get so big? Why else? To get laid.
If women aren't impressed by them, there's something wrong with the women.
While it is believed that the Irish elk already had large antlers to begin with, it should come as no surprise that only elks sporting the largest weaponry were able to win enough primeval brawls to pump out a few heirs. By modern standards, this would be like bringing an AT-AT to a knife-fight, and to the winner went Bambi's mother.
Of course, our ancestors didn't come across any of them within the confines of a car. So now picture crossing paths with one of these maulers during mating season, armed with nothing but a sharpened stick. See how well you match up against proto-Bambi.
All of a sudden, getting shot off-screen doesn't sound so bad.
Wait, why is a fruit fly on this list? We have giant predators ripped from the terror center of the brain, and we're including the little bastards you have to shoo away from your bananas? Well, it's not the fruit fly that's terrifyingly huge. Let's just say the fly is packing some serious heat in the downstairs region.
We really can't figure out a way to make it sound less weird so we'll just say it: It has giant sperm. This next image is in no way edited or Photoshopped -- it's a scale picture. Fly in the center, its sperm looped around it:
That's not a sperm, that's a freaking bullwhip.
Now the fact that somewhere out there is a creature that has to force out a sperm many times as long as its body is terrifying in itself. But we're just scratching the surface.
After all, you figure that surely the female must be a huge hulking example of the species to even be able to fit a sperm longer than the freaking male of the species inside of ... oh we can't even finish this sentence it's just too weird. Show the damn picture.
There is no god.
Just what -- that ... holy crap, how does that even ... wait ... it's longer than the female too so that must mean... the female of the species has an equally as long and terrifying reproductive tract. So all you guys and ladies reading this, just imagine being a fruit fly and consider that a six-foot-tall male would have a sperm 120-feet long. If your brain has rightly prevented that image from entering your mind, take a look here.
Guys, imagine this crane flying out of your Johnson. Ladies, imagine if being courted meant that it chased you through the streets.
Picture a fungus. Maybe you have some growing in your basement.
Awww, it's so cute!
Now picture Central Park in New York.
Via Wikimedia Commons
Awww, it's so cute!
Now imagine a single fungus as big as three Central Parks.
Now, this is somewhat difficult to wrap your head around, since we typically think of a living thing as being a single entity, like a dog or a burrito. And since not everyone is a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan and thus doesn't have the Borg to fall back on when the word "collective" is thrown around, we'll explain.
When you see mushrooms, you're not seeing the whole organism. The fungus spreads underground, sending out roots that grow up into mushrooms here and there.
So, scientists discovered that honey mushrooms growing in a forest in eastern Oregon were genetically identical. Once they began probing around they discovered that the mycelia -- the roots of the fungus, which also make up most for the actual living fungus -- was spread over an area covering 2,200 acres, or about 3.5 square miles. It's a single living thing, but it'd take you more than half an hour to walk from one end of it to the other.
That's enough to cover most of this section of New York City.
And that's actually not the strangest thing about it.
The fungus is believed to be about 2,400-years old. Yep. It has outlasted the Romans and was devouring dead rodents before Jesus was said to be turning bread into fish.
Though there may be one life form more impressive than that: the Pando tree grove. It's one tree, sprouting out multiple trunks all connected by the same mass of roots. But it covers 107 acres and fills an astonishing 6,615 tons of mass.
Via Wikimedia Commons
All one tree.
That's the equivalent of 33 blue whales, or 76,492 adult human men. Oh, and it's thought to be 80,000-years old. Entire species came into existence and died off in this thing's lifespan. Mankind's entire rise and fall as an advanced civilization is a blink in Pando's eye.
And yet, all we can think about is that giant fly sperm.
For more animals that will make you hyperventilate through the seat of your pants, check out 13 Real Animals Lifted Directly From Your Nightmares and 5 Adorable Animals That Are Turning to the Dark Side.
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