We humans tend to think that we successfully conquered the planet centuries ago and are currently sitting comfortably at the top of the food chain. But there are several different species of animals, including bats, crabs, and walruses, that routinely travel in groups so hopelessly massive that it really does appear they could easily knock us off that throne like a jousting match on American Gladiators. They just choose not to. Yet.
6Giant Fruit Bats Live And Fly In Swarms Of Millions
Samal, Philippines, is a lovely place. The "Island Garden City" is a honeymooner's paradise, complete with breathtaking natural landscapes, scenic beaches, beautiful resorts, and a giant bat-filled hole in the ground.
Monfort Bat Sanctuary
Rich orphans get free admission.
And we don't mean that pit is teeming with sporting equipment. It is a scar in the Earth loaded with winged night-mice:
Monfort Bat Sanctuary
And the terrified thoughts of everyone in a 20-mile radius.
Monfort Bat Cave is home to the largest colony of bats in the world, and they aren't the teeny-tiny kind, either. These are Geoffroy's rousettes, scientifically classified as fucking megabats. Rousettes are fruit bats, which means they don't drink blood (at least, not with any witnesses around), but the fact that there are between 1.8 million and 2.3 million of them is enough to make even the underdwellingest mutant uncomfortable.
Josh Aggars / Flickr
Only half the poop you see left behind is guano.
The farmers of the surrounding areas aren't particularly fond of the cave -- which is a conservation area -- but that doesn't worry the owner of the property, who is actually planning to build additional bat caves to deal with the current overcrowding issues. It's so full that some of the bats have to sleep on the ground outside the cave, which in turn attracts hordes of predatory snakes and rats, which means nobody within five miles of that goddamn cave is going to get any sleep.
Have you ever wondered whether a multi-million-member flock of bats taking flight looks like the end of days? Well, you're in luck, because here is a picture of one of those things:
That's Kasanka, Zambia, where an estimated 10 million to 15 million fruit bats migrate from late October to December, stripping bare more than a billion fruit trees as they pass. These guys don't have a sweet cave to sleep in during their migration, so they just land on trees, bushes, and really any surface that happens to be available to them. This unholy bat-blizzard is the largest mammalian migration in the world, easily outperforming the second-largest mammalian migration -- of the wildebeest in the Masai Mara -- and looking a thousand times more metal in the process.
Hell Bent For Leather Wings
5Crabs Occasionally Form Giant, Horrible Armies (On Land And Underwater)
Crabs are maybe one socio-evolutionary rung above cockroaches in terms of species that are respected by the animal kingdom, so it probably seems strange that anyone would actually close a major thoroughfare to facilitate a widespread crab migration, instead of just running the damn things over.
Allison Shaw/Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
To be fair, melted butter probably can't mask the taste of tire residue.
Christmas Island is a tiny, 52-square-mile island in the Indian Ocean that is taken over once a year between October and December by tens of millions of red crabs, who are all meeting for their annual crab sex party. And therein lies the answer to why they simply don't run the crabs over -- 10 million crabs would immediately flip any consumer vehicle and punish the driver accordingly.
"And a pinch to cut a bitch!"
Every year for several weeks, Christmas Island locals have no choice but to endure the horror movie that is the red crab migration. Over 7.5 miles of crab fences have to be installed along roads, and special underground crab crossings and bridges have to be created to help the sex-driven crabs march across the island.
Christmas Island National Park
No shame in this walk.
At this point, it probably does not even need mentioning that Christmas Island belongs to Australia, the official sponsor of the world's most terrifying multi-legged creatures. Even Australia's Ministry of Environment describes the event like the plot synopsis of a SyFy Channel original movie:
Department of the Environment and Energy
"Coming this summer, it's Orgynado."
And a complete siege of an island isn't even the worst thing crabs have to offer, migration-wise. They also have a vast, undead, undersea army at their disposal. We've previously spoken about the giant spider crab, an animal that owns the rare distinction of being exactly what it sounds like. Every year, these giant critters swarm underwater by the thousands, which is probably a warning of some kind that humanity has thus far failed to decode.
"Yes, human. Make more shark movies. Ignore us. Gooooood."
Their mission is to molt: They flip over on their backs and lie perfectly immobile for hours, before finally emerging from their older exoskeletons with a fresh, moist orange shell. And before you ask, yes, the entire battalion of crabs emerges from their shells simultaneously, because the god of this universe is Chaos, and he is forever laughing at us all. And when they do, it seems as if the number of terror-crabs has doubled, because you now have the crabs as well as their shod exoskeletons lying in gigantic pile of nightmare fuel: