Man's 6 Most Ridiculous Attempts To Take On Mother Nature
Humans and animals live in peace for the most part, and many of us enjoy the company of a faithful dog to fetch our slippers or a sinister monkey to pick pockets from tourists while we grind our organ.
But every so often a group of animals get out of hand and humans need to set their massive intellect to the task of dealing with them. And usually, it goes hilariously wrong:
Indian Monkey Gangs
While the average North American is apt to think monkeys are all super cute and wear human clothes, they become less cute when you consider that, in India, they're known to roam neighborhoods in gangs. They break into houses to steal food, or just hang out and pleasure themselves. The deputy mayor of Delhi actually died from a monkey attack, trying to fight off a screeching swarm of the things before tumbling off his balcony.
Adding to the problem is the fact that in many parts of India, monkeys are revered animals (the monkey god Hanuman is so widely worshiped, he was named the chairman of an Indian business school). Monkeys are not allowed to be trapped or killed and many people will leave food out for the monkeys, only to find out that such kind gestures often go unrewarded in monkeydom.
The city of Delhi decided that fighting fire with fire was the only way to take on the monkey problem and has started making use of langurs (small apes that are bigger than the monkeys already causing problems) to protect buildings and scare off the little jerks.
Experts say this solution ranges from "stupid" to Planet of the Apes. There is apparently a pretty good chance that in time, the two species of monkey will end up living peacefully. Peacefully with each other, that is, and not with the humans. Humans have a thing about not getting along peacefully with wild animals.
At this point we're assuming they'll need to get even larger monkeys to get rid of the problem they've created until one day there's nothing but monkeys of various sizes roaming the streets, and all the people have to move down the road a few miles.
Every so often, for whatever reason, a whale ends up on a beach. Since whales are one of the creatures mankind likes, often this gets media attention and people come together to keep the animal moist and comfortable. Unfortunately the whales don't always survive this, which is unfortunate for both the whale and the poor bastard who has jurisdiction over cleaning up the beach.
In 1970, a whale ended up on the beach in Florence, Oregon. That's a small town, and one not equipped with a whale removal kit or anything that can really move the eight-ton carcass of a sperm whale.
We're going to guess that this is one of those problems that seemed unsolvable until the team in charge got a few beers in them. We like to imagine a few guys hanging out in a bar after hours, pondering the situation, when one of them looks up from the pool table and says, "Dude, I've got it! Where can we get some dynamite?"
So 1,000 pounds of TNT later, the beach and the surrounding area was showered with a rain of rotting whale. The gathered crowd got a nice coating of molten whale blubber, and a giant slab flew over a quarter of a mile and crushed a man's car. Most of the whale, however, stayed right where it was on the beach.
Whale removal experts all over the world watched the situation closely, and apparently decided it was the most awesome fucking thing they had ever seen. Today, disposing of a whale via explosion is common practice (though if possible, the whale will be dragged out to sea first).
The reason is that if you don't explode the whale, it'll explode on its own. When whales die and rot, they become big gassy balloons of horror. Ask the people of Tainan, Taiwan. In 2004 they had a 50-ton whale that they were transporting down the street on the back of a truck. It exploded its guts all over bystanders, cars and shop fronts, like a pinata at Satan's birthday party.
Sexual Harassment Monkeys
As if Indian monkey gangs weren't bad enough, in Kenya the monkeys are basically unrestrained, drunken frat boy villains from a bad '80s movie.
In the small Kenyan village of Nachu, about 300 asshole monkeys make a habit of stealing the village's crops on a daily basis. And sure, that's a pain in the ass but hey, they're hungry. Where the people of Nachu draw the line is when the monkeys started sexually harassing the village women.
The monkeys are typically afraid of males, but have taken to mocking the women who try to save the grain out in the fields. According to one woman, the monkeys gesture at them while "pointing at their private parts" like tiny, hairy construction workers on their lunch break.
The female workers attempted to trick the monkeys by wearing men's clothing, at which point the monkeys would reportedly point at the breasts and then continue to steal potatoes. Seriously.
The villagers have begged for help from the Kenyan Wildlife Service, who we're assuming wrote the whole thing off as an elaborate prank (they admit they had never seen that kind of monkey behavior before). They did eventually send in a team to observe the monkeys and, since it's illegal to just shoot the little bastards, to "relocate" them somehow.
We're going to say right now that whatever plan they come up with to try to deceive and round up the horny monkeys will go down in history as the wackiest thing to ever actually happen. It will probably involve a man in a monkey costume wearing a dress, and at one point all of the wild monkeys will wind up running amuck in a snooty restaurant.
Moscow Dog Packs
Moscow, Russia has a population of 10.3 million people. According to official figures, you're more likely to be attacked by a dog than be mugged there ... and that's not because nobody gets mugged. In 2007, there were 20,000 dog attacks in the city--8,000 of them bad enough to require police intervention or hospitalization.
Many of the dogs live in the subways, because if CHUDs knew nothing else, it was that the underground is a kick-ass place to attack humans. The dogs are so commonplace in the subway tunnels, they actually wait on platforms and will board trains with passengers to go for rides. Some commuters have told horror stories of running to catch a train, only to have an entire pack set upon them, which while awful, also gives us a kick-ass idea for an excuse the next time we're late for the office.
Back in the Soviet days, they dealt with the stray dog problem the same way they dealt with all of their problems: by rounding the culprits and shooting them in the head. But it's a different time over there, sort of, and they decided to go the more modern and humane route of sterilization.
Unfortunately for Moscow animal control, dogs are pretty good at not getting caught when they realize their balls are on the line. They've only been able to round up about 20 percent of the strays they'd need to if they want to make a dent, so the result is there is still a pantload of dogs roaming free.
These days many Moscowvites actually leave the house strapped with pepper spray or, even better, with sausages. Seriously, joggers will take sausages with them so they can toss the links to the dogs when they attack. So while it doesn't appear Moscow has solved its pooch problem, the dogs of Moscow have solved their human problem beautifully.
Aussie Bunny Infestation
Ever since Europeans decided to turn Australia into a Vegemite- and Crocodile Dundee-producing wonderland, the continent has been plagued by rabbits. The rabbit population in Australia numbers in the hundreds of millions, causing anywhere from $100 million to $600 million in crop damage every year. It's led to the extinction of many native plant and animal species and, like a giant semi-arid Elmer Fudd, the continent pretty much has no clue how to get rid of them and often looks stupid when it tries.
The Australians have never been shy about shooting the rabbits, but when you're faced with a few hundred million of the things, you probably need them to line up in front of you about 1,000 deep with every shot to make a difference. Records indicate few if any rabbits actually did this.
From 1901 to 1907, some innovator thought building a rabbit fence would teach the little bastards a lesson. It's unclear if this person had ever seen a rabbit or was aware that they both jump and dig, which we're pretty sure are the two biggest problems any fence has to face when trying to keep something out.
Anyway, the fence took a total of six years to build and stretches for over 2,000 miles, which is pretty impressive. Also impressive is that they found rabbits on the other side of the fence as early as 1902, but still went ahead building the thing on the theory that there are no fence-related problems that additional fencing cannot solve.
In the '50s a little biological warfare came into play. A disease called myxomatosis was released on the rabbit population and estimates believe it dropped the number from 600 million to 100 million. Unfortunately that 100 million were the ones with a genetic resistance to the disease and by the early '90s, their population grew back up to around 300 million disease-proof super-rabbits.
Rising to the challenge, Australian rabbit control teams released Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease, which can make the rabbits convulse, shoot blood out of their noses and die. This is the point when the rest of the world stood in awkward silence and said, "Dude ... we knew you were serious about the rabbit thing but ... dude."
Flying Shit Factories
Most people probably recognize pigeons as a pain-in-the-ass bird that seems to want to coat the entire earth with a slick layer of shit. And while that's disgusting and all, the problem is actually much worse than it seems: The acid in pigeon shit destroys concrete faster than weather and time ever could. This costs millions as buildings have to renovate rooftops and balconies.
As an added bonus, pigeon crap is host to a number of diseases that can be contracted by humans, a few of which can even kill you.
Once again civilized society demands we don't go with the obvious and direct solution (poison or, even better, automated flamethrowers on rooftops). No, we must go with a much more humane and incredibly convoluted method.
The solution has been building tiny bird condos in the middle of cities, knowing the pigeons will nest there. Then workers steal the eggs and replace them with fake ones. Pigeons, which are not particularly smart even for birds, don't seem to notice or care. Somehow, it works: the pigeon population in Britain has dropped 50 percent in four years, and now some cities in the US are trying the same tactic which we're almost certain came from a cartoon.
You can read more of Ian's stuff at ScenicAnemia.com.
Read about some creatures that are genuinely terrifying even when they're not ganging up on you in our rundown of The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World, and then read about some that are only terrifying once it's too late in The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You.