4The Bird That Eats Giant Hornets Like Popcorn
As a fearsome Asian giant hornet, you and your swarm of homeboys spend your days terrorizing Japan, bringing down animals hundreds of times your size and starring in YouTube videos where you happily massacre scores of really, really helpful insects. There is pretty much nothing in the world that can withstand the neurotoxins of your unnecessarily huge stinger. You are a ruthless, mindless part of the most dangerous hive in the world, incapable of fearing anything, as one would expect from a bug known by the nickname of "yak-killer hornet."
The background is gone because the hornet fucking ate it.
You are, all in all, more untouchable than Eliot Ness and MC Hammer combined. You were once declared one of the five most horrifying bugs in the world.
Which makes it all the more shocking when a random bird comes along and starts munching on you and your friends like candy.
Via Wikimedia Commons
"I'm building a necklace of stingers."
Pernis ptilorhynchus, aka the crested honey buzzard, is, well, a big bird. Common sense says that seems like pretty much the worst thing to be in a fight against a swarm of huge, overtly toxic hell-insects. The honey buzzard, however, disproves our puny logic by being the only natural predator to Asian giant hornets -- and therefore pretty much the only thing keeping the entire ecosystem of Asia from collapsing into a dark, twisted realm ruled by the Hornet King.
It manages to hunt the little monsters by having certain natural advantages that come off like they were designed by Lucius Fox himself. The buzzard's coat consists entirely of unique feathers that are capable of protecting it against wasp stings like the ornithological equivalent of the Batsuit.
Robin not included because he devoured his soul.
While YouTube does sport its fair share of the giant hornets doing their thing, there's also footage of a crested honey buzzard setting a trap, ambushing a whole hornet's nest using detective mode and then eating their young while the hornets watch helplessly. Oh, and the best part ...
Yes, much like Batman, this particular honey buzzard not only insulted these hornets to their faces by bringing the fight to their turf, but also as a parting salvo she actually destroyed their whole base of operations. Enjoy this photo of one absolutely not giving a shit:
Via Jiri Bohdal
"Why, I've stumbled across an angry swarm of treats! Yay!"
3The Whale That Stalks Great White Sharks
Let's say you got to choose which animal you'd be reincarnated as this time. You want the one creature who absolutely is not going to get eaten. So, of course, you pick the earth's most perfect hunting and eating machine: the freakin' great white shark.
Even your skin is made of teeth.
You are now 20 feet and 5,000 pounds of pure, distilled murder, immune to any harm as long as you remember to avoid ragtag trios from nearby coastal towns on shabby fishing boats named Orca.
Orca. That's, like, Free Willy, right? What a funny name for a shark-hunting boat. Wondering why someone would decide to name their ship after some damn Disney whale, you're lost in thought ... when, suddenly, you notice a huge cavern of a mouth opening up riiight next to you.
What the great white sharks represent to mankind, Orcinus orca, better known as the super-shiny killer whale, is to great white sharks a hundredfold.
It's not necessarily true that killer whales hunt great whites for food -- scientists actually aren't sure what the relationship is between the two species. What we know is that the whales are smart enough to have figured out that sharks need to move in order to breathe, so they hold the sharks upside down until they are immobilized, slowly suffocating, until they're dead. After that, we truly enter serial killer territory.
Watch at your own peril:
Yes, that was a killer whale eating the shark's liver, Hannibal Lecter-style. Interestingly, this particular case of organ theft was not even an isolated incident. In another instance, a great white approached two orcas while they were eating a seal. Not only did he end up having the shit kicked out of him, but also one of the orcas took the shark to the surface and, no shit, held the shark there while the other disemboweled it, feasting on its liver.
These killer whales were not even hunting for shark liver. This was simply a case of a great white being at the wrong place at the wrong time ... unless, of course, the whales were just using the dead seal as bait.
"Don't mind me. I am just a regular, not-shark-eating whale."
Whatever the truth may be, such attacks do happen, and they have one hell of an effect on the local shark community. In two wholly separate instances off California, more than three years apart, documented cases of great whites being found liverless resulted in "the entire great white population -- up to 100 individuals" escaping the orca threat in almost human-like panic within days.
In one case, a shark that the researchers were tracing had not only skipped town, but swam 2,280 miles to Hawaii. To put that in context, there is virtually no spot in the United States that is 2,280 miles away from the nearest coastline, which in shark terms would make Kansas too close to killer whales for their comfort.