One of the things we at Cracked have learned to love about nature is how much of it just looks faked. Like that time we found a whole bunch of animals that looked like badly Photoshopped combinations of other animals. Nature is just chock full of those utterly ridiculous surprises, like these very real creatures that wound up with just grossly implausible paint jobs:
#6. The Flat-Headed Agama Is Dressed as Spider-Man
Technically, this type of reptile is known as the Mwanza flat-headed rock agama, but it's way better known as the "Spider-Man lizard," for obvious reasons: It can walk on walls. Oh, and also, it looks like it's wearing a Spider-Man Halloween costume. Or like Spider-Man himself, if he had been dipping into Doctor Connors' lizard-man formula.
The formula affected clothing as well as skin because of decency. And science.
While not fighting crime with smart-ass one-liners or blaming itself for the death of its loved ones in New York, the flat-headed agama can be found in East Africa -- specifically, southwest through the Serengeti, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Kenya. Only the male lizards of the species have this particular paint job; presumably, the females look like either She-Ra or, uh, Storm of the X-Men (yeah, not much to choose from there).
D. Gordon E. Robertson
She-Venom. The female looks like She-Venom.
And while it may look a bit intimidating, especially if you're arachnophobic, the flat-headed agama actually makes a great pet ... as long as you get the special equipment to maintain its temperature, feed it properly, and keep it away from alien symbiotes. Their resemblance to Spider-Man created quite a demand a few years ago, when a photographer snapped some pictures of them. We assume the photographer looked suspiciously like a reptile wearing a bow tie and glasses and has never been seen in the same place as Spider-Lizard.
The lizard is now being considered for the lead in either a 2016 spinoff movie or the 2018 re-reboot.
#5. The Pink Katydid Looks Like Somebody Spray-Painted a Grasshopper
OK, that's clearly an origami model made from some Hello Kitty stationery or something, right? Nope, this thing only wishes it wasn't a real bug: It's actually a pink katydid, which as the name suggests is just a regular katydid that got fucked-over by nature and ended up looking like Kirby's most unflattering transformation.
And, by the way, we're serious about the "fucked-over by nature" part -- generally, bugs have coloring that allows them to blend in with the plants they live around, like in the case of the regular, green katydids. You usually get brightly colored variants like this only in exotic locations where the plants are sort of crazy-looking as well, but curiously the pink katydid is turning up in non-tropical areas such as Osaka and the American Midwest. Meaning that the ones pictured here probably got eaten by something a second after these were taken.
"Mmmmm, crunchy strawberry!"
The pink katydid is pretty rare, occurring in about one out of every 500. Oh, and science's explanation for their coloring? They're gingers, which also explains their general look of defeat. Not that they're the only ridiculously colored katydid variants out there: They also come in yellow, white, orange, and blue ...
And hey, what happens when they raise their rings and yell "Go Planet"?
Michael Q Powell
They get spotted and eaten even more quickly?
Captain Katydid appears, of course. OK, that one actually looks kind of awesome.
#4. The Peacock Spider Won't Be Getting Laid at the Club Tonight
The peacock spider is a type of jumping spider with a flair for the dramatic. Most of the time, the male of the species simply looks like a somewhat more brightly colored version of a regular spider (the one above looks like it was designed by Edvard Munch). However, when a female is around, these tragically unhip Casanovas prop up the flaps on the upper side of their abdomens and start moving their legs around like maniacs, furiously signaling their desperation to get laid. Sing along: It's fun to stay at the ...
"Y-M-C-" *hesitant, awkward bob*
The mundane-looking females carefully study the colors during the male's courtship displays to choose which male is the healthiest to mate with. How do the males show the females that they're the best choice to get down and dirty with? By dancing their goddamned faces off:
Technically they dance their asses off, but their asses look like faces.
The courtship ritual of the peacock spider is a majestic spectacle of nature that- Hold up, is that spider twerking?
Why? They're otherwise so naturally beautiful.
That goddamn spider is twerking. OK, which Pick-Up Artist message board said this was a good idea? Look at yourself, dude. Look at your life.
At this point, it will surprise no knowledgeable animal lover that these ridiculous dance-machines can be found jumping around nowhere else but Australia. Oh, and perhaps the most ridiculous part of all is that they are also absurdly tiny, only growing to about 5 millimeters.
It's not the size of the boat, it's the spider that's a grinder.