6 Insanely Colored Versions of Normally Boring Animals
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:
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).
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.
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 ...
"Mmmmm, crunchy lemon, vanilla, carrot, and Smurf!"
And hey, what happens when they raise their rings and yell "Go Planet"?
They get spotted and eaten even more quickly?
Captain Katydid appears, of course. OK, that one actually looks kind of awesome.
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.
The Purple Squirrel Is Exactly What It Sounds Like
In business, a "purple squirrel" is the mythical perfect candidate for a job who only comes along once in a blue moon. In nature, it's nothing, because it doesn't exist. Or isn't supposed to. But in 2012, a couple in Pennsylvania found a purple squirrel in their backyard, looking like a plush animal brought to life by some kid's magical Christmas wish and then promptly abandoned.
The easily distracted kid had moved on to something else. Maybe another squirrel.
After taking enough photographic evidence of the unusual specimen to turn it into an Internet meme, the couple released the squirrel back into the wild. Experts offered a ton of scientific theories to explain the animal's coloration, from "It fell into a cartridge of ink" to "Maybe it ate something, I dunno."
"But Cracked," you're probably saying, "that's ignoring the most plausible scenario, which is that this is probably just some stupid prank! So why give these squirrel-painting attention-seekers any publicity?" Well, if it's a prank, it's fairly widespread -- there was another sighting in Minnesota in 1997, and yet another in the U.K. in 2008. The latter was dubbed "Pete the Purple Squirrel," because "Pete" starts with a "P," we guess. Really? How could you not name it "Prince"?
They're even about the same height.
This time, pretty much the same rigorous explanations were offered, along with others like "We guess it could be a prank" and "Hey, maybe it fell into a Porta Potty." Look, if multiple people are trapping squirrels just to paint them so they make headlines, that's actually weirder. And would that also account for this frog?
Good lord. It's a frog with a nose!
That's a creature that scientists unimaginatively named "purple frog." These ancient little guys (as in, they were kicking it with the dinosaurs literal ages ago) were only discovered in 2003, because they spend most of their life underground and before that people always just mistook them for prunes.
The Pink-Necked Green Pigeon Is Wearing a Fabulous Vest
You know those ugly-ass pigeons that shit on you while you're walking to work? Meet their fabulous cousin they don't talk about during Thanksgiving anymore: the pink-necked green pigeon. This dapper fellow is native to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, all countries where it is about as common as the dull gray version is in the U.S. Walking to work sounds like it's a lot more pleasant in those places, because getting crapped on by one of these things must feel like being kissed by a rainbow.
To cure depression, rub the crap deeply over your chest and belly.
Aside from its coloring and the fact that it can name the track listing to every Madonna album by heart, another thing that makes the pink-neck more super is its lovely singing voice, which has been described as "rapidly repeated bubbling whistles, chuckles, and gurgles in a variety of songs." Check it out, starting at around 44 seconds:
Also, instead of dwelling on street corners, harassing old people on park benches, and generally being assholes, the pink-neck is more in tune with nature and prefers frolicking between the foliage of fruiting trees (where it feeds). In fact, their colorful attire actually has a purpose: allowing them to blend in between the vegetation.
Sometimes, confused, it pecks itself instead of the fruit. It's delicious.
Only the male pink-necked green pigeons look this divine -- the females aren't pink-necked at all, and in general are just considerably less glamorous than their far more photogenic husbands.
The Pink Slug Looks Like Satan's Dick
We're sorry, that just looks like Satan's dick, and there's nothing we can do about it. It's actually the pink slug, a species recently discovered on Mt. Kaputar in Australia (of course). Due to pure luck, a volcanic eruption 17 million years ago kept a small 4-square-mile area lush and wet, while the rest of Australia slowly turned into the thunderdome known as the Outback. This effectively cut off the area, making it a unique environment for various species to develop in strange ways. For instance, in the form of the Devil's dong.
Yes, Satan has little horns down there. We've studied theology.
While their coloring makes them look like Lucifer's big, swinging tallywacker, or perhaps a piece of chili that mutated and gained sentience after being left at the back of the fridge for too long, scientists believe it may actually serve a purpose. Since they live in the beds of red eucalyptus leaves, it is hypothesized that the slug's coloring is a type of camouflage.
Not pictured: red eucalyptus or camouflage.
As seen above, that theory may not hold up so well, because they also spend a lot of time high on tree trunks. Another possible explanation is that, precisely because they've been isolated for so long, evolution said, "Screw it, I don't give a shit how they look," and they ended up like this. So, basically, when evolution forgets you, the default shape is Beelzebub cock.
More proof that religion and science can coexist.
As for why the researchers who found this thing named it "pink" slug, despite it being redder than Che Guevara's heart, that's a mystery for the ages.
Nick is a law student who hopes that his writing career will save him from the courtroom.
Related Reading: It may be near Christmas, but these animals are already dressed up for Halloween. Although this one caterpillar's Voodoo mask is timeless. For a look at some Animal Rights campaigns who managed to screw over the animals, click here. Dolphin-safe tuna kills everything BUT dolphins. Not done with animals being adorable? Watch how they use our garbage.
Some adorable animals launch horrifying attacks on human beings, let this Cracked video reveal the terrible truth.