What is this? The product of an illicit and forbidden love at Old McDonald's Farm? We're not sure if we're looking at a beautiful pig or a sheep with a great personality. That's the Mangalitsa, a type of pig that was specifically designed to be as delicious as possible. It was bred by Hungarian nobles who tasted the glory that is bacon and thought "This will not do." So they set about breeding a tastier pig, with more lard. They ended up with a pig so delicious that its pork was reserved for Hapsburg royalty.
"We fed them a combination of fine grass, money, and poor people."
Its lard is valued by chefs all across the world because of its magical flavor-enhancing abilities. And its fur is equally valued by nasty perm enthusiasts.
Guido Gerding/Wiki Commons
Apparently you can spray activator with cloven hooves.
Observe the majestic beauty of the flying snail:
Wait, what? Did we take a wrong turn at the art museum and step into a Dali painting?
That's a Thecosomata, also known as a butterfly snail, which grows no larger than a single grain of sand. We are, of course, cheating a little bit. We're bastards, we know -- it's not flying through the air, but rather slicing through the water. Their "wings" are in fact extensions of a modified foot, but work just as well for flapping gracefully through the sea like an avid gardener's feverish nightmare.
The way butterfly snails eat isn't quite as graceful as their locomotion: They secrete copious amounts of mucus to create billowing, detritus-catching nets that can cover an area much larger than the snails themselves. When in danger, they can jettison the mucus, leaving a goopy minefield behind for encroaching predators to wade through. Despite their disgusting proclivities, scientists consider them important as a "canary in the coal mine," since the slightest change in oceanic acidity can dissolve them like the citizens of Toontown. But until that day, we can all rejoice in the elegant ballet that is the flapping, snot bubble-hurling sea snail.
Russ Hopcroft/Wiki Commons
From a distance. Once sea boogers get in your hair, they're not coming back out without a fight.
Guenter Fischer/Getty Images
This perpetually startled monstrosity is called a spiny devil katydid (and in some parts, the thorny devil bush cricket), and like many of the world's most repugnant horrors, it comes from the Australia of the West: the Amazon. Much like the ordinary little katydids you've seen, it's noisy and green. Unlike the katydids of your childhood explorations, however, this one works part time as a Final Fantasy boss.
Robert Oelman/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images
If you step on one, it drops the Gigantaxe.
Its goofy appearance does not belie a gentle, herbivorous nature. Although leaves and flowers do make up the majority of its diet, it is also frequently carnivorous and nasty. Those spike-laden forearms are quick to snatch up hapless prey, while those bolt cutter mandibles on its face make mincemeat out of anything too slow to wriggle from its grasp, including small reptiles.
We wouldn't recommend picking one of these things up, as the spines are reportedly sharp enough to rend flesh. They often emerge victorious in fights with monkeys.
Robert Oelman/Photodisc/Getty Images
Keep in mind: You're pretty much just a glorified monkey.
Kel Zhang is a writer at Cornell University and is spending his days thinking about how he can get one of those delicious sheep pigs. E. Reid Ross is a columnist at Man Cave Daily. You can also follow him on Twitter here.