4 Snails Are Nature's Chainsaw Massacre
Unless you make your living growing cucumbers, you probably don't fear snails. They're slightly slimy, very googly-eyed, and quite delicious when cooked the right way. At worst, they resemble giant loads of phlegm that gained sentience and slowly slithered away. That's certainly gross, but it isn't nightmare fuel, right? Well, tell that to this earthworm, which is about to be ground up by the snail's mouth-razors:
That, children, is an amber snail, native to New Zealand (in case you needed another reason to not go there). It will slowly stalk its prey (sometimes in full view if said prey is blind or stupid enough) and suddenly attack, scooping it up and swallowing it in one bite. But it's not so much what it eats but how it eats it. Turns out its mouth is a full-blown medieval torture chamber.
Sadly, the band name "Snail Mouth" just doesn't have the same ring as "Iron Maiden."
See that? That's its mouth. Called a radula, it's completely covered in thin, overlapping, razor-sharp blades, operating like slow-motion chainsaws that peel the skin off their victims one agonizing layer at a time. So in the above video, for the 30 seconds or so that the end of the worm was dangling outside the snail's terrible, terrible mouth, the front end was getting skinned alive so as to make digestion easier.
Except for Yosemite Sam, who would come out the other end as a bale of hay.
But don't think it's just the one Down Under snail that secretly hates everything. There's also the rosy wolf snail, a cannibalistic species that was sent to Hawaii in order to eradicate an invasive group of African land snails. They did that and far more, chewing their way through just about anything resembling a snail, ultimately rendering hundreds of species completely extinct. Here's some footage of them doing just that; even without the horror movie music, this scene is just plain terrifying:
And it still doesn't end! Even heavily armored creatures are no match for these slimy demons. Beach-dwelling moon snails have recently been observed sneaking up and pouncing on crabs, drenching them in slime until they can't escape, and using those goddamned chainsaw tongues to drill a hole clear through the victim's shell, scraping and shaving until they can slurp out all the tasty, tasty crab guts available.
And judging by this video, said crabs are alive the whole time, because nature actively enjoys being the worst.
3 The Arboreal Salamander Is a Tiny Crocodile in Disguise
D'aww, just look at that thing. Forget that it's slimy and cold-blooded for a second and just stare into those puppy-dog eyes. There's no earthly way it could do any harm at all, right? Even if it has teeth, they're probably harmless little blocks, useful for gnashing teeny bugs and that's about it, right?
Val Johnson via CaliforniaHerps.com
We're gonna take that as a "wrong."
Yep, these adorable little babies are basically closet crocodiles. With its muscular jaws and wicked fangs, an arboreal salamander can easily draw blood from a human being, and would definitely eat us if it were just a little bit bigger. And we mean it; they like them some meat. For the most part, arboreal salamanders feast on insects, worms, and other invertebrates, but they have no issues with making a meal out of their fellow amphibians, particularly the even more adorable and totally-harmless-for-real-this-time slender salamander.
Totally no poisonous genitals or anything. That we know of.
They're nasty as fuck, too, as you might expect from a sharp-toothed psychopath that eats its own cousins. The arboreal salamander is described as "aggressively territorial," often carrying the battle scars of run-ins with its own kind. If you stick two of them together in a cage, they'll probably try to kill each other, or at least bite each other's tails off, because playtime is for the weak.