#3. A Turtle That Could Pass for the Human Taint
The above is not a medical textbook photograph of a clown being born. It's actually a rare white Chinese softshell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). These turtles can be found across Asia, particularly in their namesake country, where they often wind up on the menu.
Good Lord, it's like a Rule 34 Thanksgiving.
The turtles aren't normally this pale. Rare albino turtles like these just so happen to occupy a special place in Chinese culture, namely as a mystical creature in the ancient novel Journey to the West. (And no, they're not portrayed as sea monsters with three uncircumcised micropenises.)
"This beast can only be slain with the Jade Dagger of Exiled Foreskin!" -- Something nobody says in Journey to the West.
Also, these turtles have one particular trait that's unique among all other animals. Last year, biologists at the National University of Singapore reported that an unusual gill-like structure in the turtles' buccopharyngeal region is actually being used to expel urea. Indeed, Chinese softshell turtles piss out of their mouths. At least evolution's keeping things thematic.
#2. A Monkey With an Ass on Its Head
Bearded sakis hail from the South American jungle and boast what strongly resembles a butt for a forehead. But their misfortunes don't end there -- these monkeys live in one of the most heavily human-populated areas of the Amazon, so they're inevitably one of the region's most endangered primates.
Bearded sakis rarely come down from their trees, as locals love hunting them and using their luxuriant tails as dusters. The humpty-humps on the forehead, also known as temporal swellings or "circular coronal tufts supported by underlying muscle," are found only on males and may act to distract the females from their nightmarish penises, which come equipped with large hooked spines.
Luiz Claudio Marigo
Don't be fooled by the meaningful eye contact, ladies. This guy's a real swinger.
Bearded sakis also engage in geophagy, meaning they like to eat dirt. This is an unusual trait for primates. But -- running in contrast to their lamentable reputation as butt-monkey hybrids -- this behavior is thought to merely supplement mineral intake and soothe gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea. So at least bearded sakis are making an effort not to be totally gross.
Nonetheless, their profiles alone are an FCC violation.
#1. A Caterpillar and a Frog Who Masquerade as Shit
Let's get one thing out of the way right now: This isn't just us saying, "Hey that sort of looks like a bird poop." These creatures actually evolved to look like turds, because, duh, most predators don't want to eat shit.
"I thought you ate pieces of shit like me for breakfast? Yeah, that's right, just walk away ..."
For instance, in another article, we told you about the spider that hides from predators by doing a spot-on impersonation of bird dook. Well, mimicking a fresh-squeezed growler is a viable survival strategy all across the animal kingdom. Behold the caterpillar of the giant swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes).
"Wait till those other turds see me at the 10-day reunion."
The giant swallowtail is the largest butterfly in North America. Before it takes to the air, it has to spend some time camouflaged as bird crap. But hiding out as avian droppings isn't the only trick up its sleeve. When pestered, they flick out a bright red Y-shaped organ called an osmeterium from behind their head. (Here it is in action.) In addition to emitting a foul smell, this contraption looks enough like a snake tongue to scare off potential attackers, even those desperate enough to eat a piece of crap.
"Please don't eat me. I have a wife and three snake-poop daughters."
And it's not just insects that are into the doo-doo double-cross. Climbing a few rungs up the evolutionary ladder, we find a Southeast Asian amphibian known as the pied warty frog (Theloderma asperum). It's also called the "bird poop" frog, for obvious reasons, but it's not the only frog to have been saddled with that distinction. It is, however, probably the most deserving.
We'd say not to judge him on looks, but his personality is pretty crappy, too.
The gambit is apparently paying off, because this frog is hardly ever seen in the wild. Maybe people are actually seeing these things all the time and are simply not the type of folks to meticulously examine every stray wad of bird glop.
Congratulations, you found me! Also, what's wrong with you?
E. Reid Ross writes some other stuff at RealToyGun.com.
For more reasons Mother Nature seems like a cruel prankster, check out 8 Terrifying Skeletons of Adorable Animals and 5 Lovable Animals You Didn't Know Are Secretly Terrifying.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The 3 Most Terrifying Faces Drawn by Nature.