Every now and again, evolutionary pressures churn out an animal that was seemingly designed by the cosmic providence of Beavis and Butthead. We understand that not every creature can be a timber wolf or a great white shark, but it's hard to believe that these species didn't come about solely to keep middle schoolers in stitches. Here are the six greatest morphological punchlines in the animal kingdom.
#6. A Worm That Resembles a Disembodied Butt
See, this is what we're talking about. Are we the immature ones for acknowledging that this looks exactly like a severed ass? LOOK AT IT.
This disembodied rump is a tiny worm known as Chaetopterus pugaporcinus. In 2006, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium discovered this species bobbing along 3,000 feet deep under the Pacific Ocean. Upon discovery, this worm earned some profoundly unfortunate monikers, such as "pigbutt worm" and "flying buttocks."
They are not above duck-facing for their profile pic.
What appears to be the bull's-eye at the center of the butthole is where the creature's mouth is located. In order to feed, said mouth is surrounded by a "cloud of mucus" that catches organic detritus known as marine snow. As far as their appearance goes, researchers at the aquarium offered up this explanation:
"... researchers found that although the worms had segmented bodies, one of their middle segments was inflated like a balloon, giving the animals a distinctive gumball shape. All the other segments were compressed up against the front and back of the inflated segment, like a cartoon character whose nose and hind parts have been flattened in an unfortunate accident."
Or "ass-ident," as it were.
Rather than reacting with flustered embarrassment, Dr. Karen Osborn of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute was positively giddy at finding this seagoing sphincter clenching for survival in the bottom of the bay. Most similar worms confine themselves to the mud of the ocean floor, but researchers believe that the pigbutt worm is the first yet discovered to take the "evolutionary leap" of living freely and proudly in the open water. Shine on, you crazy evolutionary abomination.
#5. The Monkey That Is Half Ass
So, males of different animal species use ploys like expansive antler racks and outrageous plumage to attract the opposite sex, but sometimes the females get adaptations for courtship display as well. Female Celebes crested macaques (Macaca nigra) seem to have developed a feature that cuts to the chase. They exploit an anatomical area that humans have only recently begun to celebrate with the advent of Sir Mix-A-Lot's discography.
Cracked Fact: Sir Mix-A-Lot actually received his knighthood for his work in the field of taxonomy.
There are a number of primates that boast unusually large, colorful posteriors, such as baboons. But for sheer bulbous, horrible, in-your-face assy-ness, crested macaques are without rival. Found only on two islands in Indonesia, these monkeys are often mistaken for apes due to the apparent lack of a tail. They do indeed have tails -- it's just hard to tell with so much other stuff going on.
"Just once I'd like a scientist to study me for my personality."
There is no specific breeding period for crested macaques. It's backdoor busy season year-round, and the abundant, overinflated, zeppelin-like keisters mean the owners are primed and ready for boarding. Their lifestyle is described as "polygynandrous," a biological term that shares the plot of Pizza Man Gang Bang V: The Pepperoni-ing.
Yes, both male and female crested macaques enjoy multiple sex partners, and the dirty deed is initiated when the female presents her grotesque balloon genitals to the male. Like so:
Even with all that rampant monkey boning going on, Celebes crested macaques are critically endangered due to habitat loss and bush meat hunting, but can you really call it hunting with a target like that?
Conservation efforts are being put in place, and fortunately the macaque population has stabilized. And as long as humans stay out of their way, repopulating shouldn't be a problem for these monkeys at all.
#4. An Amphibian That Looks Exactly Like a Penis
Should you believe in reincarnation, you'll be happy to know there's an outside chance that everyone you hate could be reborn as a dick -- or at least a squirming facsimile thereof. For starters, there's Atretochoana eiselti, commonly known as "the floppy snake." This amphibian is such a simple bastard that it doesn't even have lungs, arteries, or veins. What it does have is the rugged good looks of an engorged dong.
We'd have called it Johnius holmesia.
Brazilian engineers discovered this creature while draining a hydroelectric dam in 2011, whereupon many reports declared it to be a brand new species. But science has known about Floppy for decades, since the animal was first described in 1968. Biologists aren't exactly sure how this animal breathes, but a group of Brazilian researchers believe that its fleshy wrinkles facilitate skin respiration.
There's hundreds of animators in Japan furiously drawing this as we speak.
And in Asia, we have Urechis unicinctus, a species of marine spoon worm usually found throbbing around the western North Pacific Ocean. Although members from the genus Urechis are sometimes called "fat innkeeper worms" -- as they share their tunnel homes with a variety of other species -- this animal's also nicknamed the sea penis. Here's a video of some sultry Urechis action:
In regions of China, Japan, and Korea, this species is considered a delicacy, and you can find vats of them pulsating at seafood markets. Melt before this creature's Dance of the Seven Veils:
And here it is again, gyrating at some unaroused octopuses:
Because anything that even looks remotely like a penis must logically therefore somehow improve your sex life, marine spoon worms are regarded as an aphrodisiac. In Korea, they're occasionally served alive, sliced up, and writhing, as nothing improves the mood like a confused invertebrate dong that's semi-aware it's on the verge of death.