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.
6A 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.