5 Diabolical Animals That Out-Witted Humans
Whether or not humans are the smartest species on the planet really depends on which animals and which humans you base it on. After all, sometimes when people match wits with members of the animal kingdom, it doesn't turn out well for the humans.
Mud Creek Grizzly vs. Scientists
What's the most badass job in science? Yeah, we guessed Mr. Wizard too, but that was before we knew there was such a thing as "grizzly bear trapper." Back in the late 90s, a team of these badass biologists were doing their thing in the Glacier National Park, managing to capture and release grizzly bears without getting their soft, academic bodies torn to shreds in the process. And then they ran into the Mud Creek Grizzly (MCG).
Like the other notable smart bear Yogi, the MCG found maiming to be pedestrian, and preferred the more subtle route of professional sabotage. Unlike Yogi, this grizzly was not content with being smarter than your average bear or park ranger. He wanted to outsmart some fucking scientists.
The researchers set up their bear catchi- um, bear research station, complete with traps, bait and cameras. Waiting until the researchers had completed their work and left the fully equipped we're-gonna-catch-us-some-bear site, MCG quietly slipped out of his hiding place and began his work.
First, he tore down the markers left to show the path to the site--we assume this is because he didn't wish to be disturbed while he wreaked his revenge on his tormentors. He then gathered an arsenal of stick and stone weaponry and used it to set off each of the food-laden traps, collecting the bait and thus earning himself a free dinner in the process.
Once his work was done, MCG stopped and scanned the crime scene. "Fuck," we like to think he said to himself. "Forgot about CCTV."
That's right; our grizzly hero, despite being from a part of the world where surveillance cameras are relatively uncommon, spotted and pulled down the camera and beat the shit out of it. He did this until the back of the unit sprang open, so he could remove and fuck up the film roll.
A bear? Holy shit, we know people who wouldn't have figured out how to do this.
And if you're thinking this is something he did in a random, mindless rage, well that's what the researchers probably thought, too. The team continued to set up their stations, but every single time, the bear returned and performed the systematic destruction of the entire site.
We like to think that somewhere, a team of grizzly bears in lab coats and glasses nodded and took notes.
Crows vs. Japan
Wherever you find humans, you find food and where there is lots of both, you find crows. Their tendency to hang around populated areas has created a generations-long struggle in places like Kagoshima in Japan, where the man vs. crow battle has reached a fever pitch.
Deciding that stealing food from humans was no longer a challenge, the crows began helping themselves to stretches of fiber optic cables, bulking up their nest building material with pieces of wire and building their nests snuggled tightly amongst the cables supplying electricity to the city.
And they walk among us!
As you can probably imagine, this wreaks absolute havoc with the city's power grid. The crows have caused a spate of blackouts around Japan. On one occasion in 2007, a crow-manufactured blackout led to the high speed bullet train being shut down.
Something needed to be done, and the Kyushu Electric Power company decided to form an organization dedicated to outsmarting the pesky birds. Thus, the Crow Patrol was born. Its mission: to seek and destroy any crows' nests built in an electricity-laden location.
In the first three years of its existence, the Crow Patrol undertook twice-weekly rounds in an attempt to rid Kagoshima of its bird plague. They removed some 600 crow homes from the cables.
But the crows had wised up to the Patrol's mission, and deciding the territory was well worth defending, formed their own cunning plan. Operating on the "needle in a haystack" premise, the crows started spamming the area with dummy nests, to the point that the fake nests outnumbered the real ones.
It was an ingenious plan. First, it meant that while the Patrol went about their work of clearing the city, there was only a small chance that the nest they removed was going to have been lived in by a crow family. Second, if the Crow Busters did strike it lucky and destroy an actual home, there were a multitude of empty nests ready and available to move into. And finally, more nests meant more blackouts, leaving the crows added time to build new homes while the humans scrambled to get power back up.
"Oh no, please don't knock THAT one down. Nah, I'm fucking with you, you're way off."
So with it looking like the crows are there to stay, at least we can look on the positive side and say that Japanese crows are much smaller and less aggressive than the American cro... oh, no that's not right. They have a wing span of up to a meter, scary fucking beaks and sharp claws, and there have been a number of occasions where children have been attacked by Japanese crows for the candy held in their innocent little hands.
Holy shit. It might be time to just move out of the city and let them fucking have it.
Karta the Orangutan vs. Adelaide Zoo
Karta is a 27-year-old orangutan, who spends her days swinging around her enclosure and entertaining visitors of Adelaide Zoo. Known for being an intelligent and rather difficult ape to manage, in May 2009 she actually managed to pull off a stunt so spectacular the whole zoo had to be shut down for the day.
Suddenly contemplating a problem she had not previously recognized, Karta realized that, holy shit, she was trapped in an enclosure in a zoo. She apparently decided that wouldn't do and that she wanted to travel the world. Or see the rest of the zoo. Either way, this ape wanted out.
Carefully watching the zoo staff operate, it soon became apparent to Karta that she wasn't going to be able to plan a surprise attack, knocking her keepers senseless and making a dash for the door. Neither were the keepers careless with leaving their keys lying around which would have allowed her to make a more subtle escape.
So she examined her enclosure. Electric fencing, and beyond that, high walls made from concrete and glass. First, the fence. She somehow figured out that she needed to stop the current flowing through it. Knowing full well the keepers weren't so stupid as to build the on/off switch within her reach, Karta came up with a cunning plan. The orangutan took a branch from her enclosure and twisted it into the hot-wires, causing them to short circuit.
With a quick shimmy, she was over the fence and into the no-man's land between the barrier and the outer walls of her enclosure.
Now for the problem of climbing the sheer walls, which were designed to stop her from doing exactly that. Once again thinking with a logical clarity that most of us can't manage on a good day, Karta started gathering vegetation from the boundary of her exhibit.
Anyone watching and wondering what she was up to soon caught on to the fact that this smart-ass ape was actually building a fucking step-ladder. Within no time, Karta was sitting on the wall which was meant to separate her from her adoring public.
Despite being confident that Karta wasn't an aggressive character and wasn't likely to attack members of the public, the zoo elected to err on the side of caution--understandable, considering this appeared to be some kind of evil orangutan genius--and closed the entire zoo on one of the busiest days of the year.
But Karta, apparently having glimpsed enough of the outside world to be unimpressed by it, nonchalantly climbed back over the wall, down the ladder and wandered back home to her enclosure.
Truman the Octopus vs. the Locked Box
At the New England Aquarium in Boston there is an octopus named Truman.
Truman's keepers liked to assert their superiority by forcing their ward to perform a series of pointless tricks before allowing him to eat his dinner. All of which is condoned in the name of the creature's "enrichment," which as far as we can see means "No food until you entertain me, bitch."
This wouldn't be the first time that octopi have proven their intelligence to mankind. In March 2009, Truman's keepers decided the enrichment activity of choice was going to be lock picking, and Truman decided he'd had just about enough.
A locked acrylic box containing live crabs was placed inside a larger box--also locked--and the whole device was lowered into the tank. Expecting the octopus to resist playing along until the aquarium was closed (we assume this was Truman's usual behavior in an attempt to maintain some dignity) the keepers went on their merry way doing whatever it is that octopus caregivers do (we assume something Hentai related).
Acting out of character on this occasion, Truman paid immediate attention to the food-puzzle he was faced with. He began to patrol the box to assess how exactly he could get his tentacles on the prize within. His reconnaissance was rewarded as the intrepid creature discovered a unexpected weakness that was ripe for exploitation.
Three years earlier, the outer box had been used in a similar test on a different octopus. On that occasion, the box wound up getting broken, and a small hole was left near the lid. Truman, steadfastly refusing to work the latch that was his "puzzle" for the evening, commenced his own unique solution of pouring his body through the two-inch hole in the outer box.
Soon this 15-inch box contained one seven-foot octopus and two very surprised crabs.
Not pictured: crabs shitting themselves.
He never got to the crabs--remember they were inside the smaller interior box--but we like to think he had a larger plan, which was to protest in the name of mistreated, puzzle-solving octopi everywhere. "You like fucking with locks for fun? Well you better get to it if you want your PRIZED AQUARIUM OCTOPUS BACK, assholes!"
Kelly the Dolphin vs. Capitalism
Meet Kelly, a dolphin who lived at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies. Her trainers, perhaps out of laziness, decided to teach her how to pick up litter from her own tank.
This was encouraged by presenting Kelly and her chums with a nice fishy meal whenever they retrieved trash from their pool and brought it to their trainer. Life was sweet for the keepers, the pool was kept clean with fuck all effort on their behalf and the dolphins were happy enough with their little game. But Kelly, like all great entrepreneurs, wondered whether there was a way of making a profit from it.
And so one day, when someone dropped a piece of paper into the pool, rather than playing along with the game, Kelly picked up the litter and swam to the bottom of the pool, wedging it in place under a rock. The next time a trainer passed, she popped on down to the rock, tore off a tiny strip of paper and took it to the keeper. Bingo--she got a fish.
Holy shit! It worked! She had found a way to multiply her fishy return many times over.
When the paper ran out, Kelly decided it was time to expand her business. In order to yield more impressive profits, she needed something more impressive than a piece of paper.
Gulls are lots bigger than paper and they like to eat dolphin food, so they could be found hanging around the tank. Kelly tested her theory by catching an unsuspecting fish-stealing gull and holding it in her mouth until a trainer arrived, her little fins twitching in anticipation. Bingo--once again she hit the mark. She got a shit-ton of fish in return.
So now it was just a matter of attracting more gulls. The next time she was fed, Kelly stored a few fish under her rock hiding place. Once the keepers had left, she brought up a fish to use as bait. She caught another gull, waited for a trainer to come back, and proudly swam over to find herself once again rewarded with another shit ton of fish.
She then taught her kids to do it, turning "gulls for fish" it into a family business.
You have to impressed; not only was Kelly turning a profit here, she had done it by adapting her behavior to elicit the desired response from her keepers. She could get them to give her fish on demand.
That's right; Kelly the dolphin trained her trainers.
We've been warning you for years: The animals are rising against us. You best educate yourself with their wickedness, in 8 Animals With Real Superpowers and The 6 Deadliest Creatures (That Can Fit In Your Shoe).
And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to see our highly detailed plan of attack coded in the form of more dick jokes (animals can't stand dick jokes).