The horror genre is one of mankind's greatest accomplishments (right next to the moon landing and nacho cheese) because it proves that the human mind is the scariest place on Earth. Or so we would like to think. But no, it turns out that Mother Nature is still the undisputed queen of horror. Just look at ...
You Have No Idea How Big Wasp Nests Get
Wasps, like Beyonce fans, are tireless workers who will readily lay down their lives for their queen. And they also won't hesitate to stab you for looking at them wrong. As such, one English homeowner found herself suddenly short a pair of pants when she walked into her spare bedroom to find this writhing mess staring her in the face:
No, these aren't some scary new breed of "fast zombie" wasps. The bedroom window had been left open, and the room hadn't been entered for several months, which seems like the real story here. If you have so many bedrooms that you completely forget about one of them for the better part of a year, maybe donate a few to charity or something. Regardless, after all was said and done, 5,000 wasps were removed from the three-foot nest. That included 700 queens, because wasps have some weird ideas about royalty.
A three-foot-wide nest is pretty impressive, but wasps can do better. Much better:
That's a 22-foot-wide nest which authorities found inside an abandoned home in San Sebastian de La Gomera, the capital of the Canarian island of La Gomera. Police estimated that the house was swarming with at least a few million wasps, and somehow seemed puzzled that they couldn't find the homeowner. Don't they understand? That home obviously belongs to the wasps now.
Even Tiny Sea Fleas Are Bloodthirsty Maniacs
After a long day of soccer and trying not to get eaten by mutant kangaroos, 16-year-old Australian Sam Kanizay dipped his sore legs into the cool waters of Melbourne's Brighton Beach. It wasn't until he got out that he noticed hundreds of little punctures on his lower legs. That was cause enough for concern, but then the bleeding started. A lot of bleeding. Like, this much "a lot":
Kanizay's parents obviously took him to the hospital, where doctors stopped the bleeding but couldn't explain the injury. Sam's father returned to the beach armed with a pool net and a juicy steak, hoping to catch whatever needled his son. His rig actually managed to bring in the culprit: sea fleas. Imagine living on a continent packed with the most horrific fauna possible, and it's these little seafood appetizers that get you.
It's weird because these guys don't usually chomp on humans. The leading theory is that Kanizay strayed too close to a herd of feeding sea fleas, and like Minnesotans at a buffet, they kept right on chowing down on whatever was placed in front of them without looking or even pausing.
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Snowy Owls Build Horrifying Death Nests
The Harry Potter movies turned snowy owls into lovable pets, but in real life, Hedwig would have probably tried to devour Neville at least once. Snowy owls routinely and easily eat animals much bigger than they are, but their favorite snack is adorable, adorable lemmings. They'll eat as many as five of those honkers in a day. Back in 2013, researchers studying snowy owls in northern Quebec stumbled upon a surprisingly grisly scene: an owl nest built from 70 lemming corpses.
It seems this happens way more often than anyone would like, usually in years when the lemming population reaches critical mass. Their numbers fluctuate in four-year cycles, and reached an all-time peak in 2014, which explains why the lucky snowy owl in question was able to line up all those lemming carcasses like bodies in Hitman.
Cows Can Be Carnivorous, And It's Really Unsettling To Watch
In 2007 India, a farmer and his family lost 48 chickens in one month. That sounds like the first ten minutes of a giant monster movie, but regardless, they decided to investigate, convinced that the neighborhood dogs were to blame. What they found was something much more unsettling: The family's calf, which they had affectionately named Lal, snuck up on a chicken and ate it alive.
The local vet suggested that the cow's strange behavior was caused by a lack of nutrients in its diet, leaving it deficient in certain vital minerals. That led Lal to seek out other sources of food to get the vitamins he needed, which apparently included Vitamin Terror. Others explained that the cow, a sacred animal in Hinduism, had obviously been a tiger in his previous life. Either way, you can watch him in action if you want to do that ... for some reason.
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The episode of Cow And Chicken that didn't make the cut.
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Lal isn't the only one who suffers from a bloodthirsty "vitamin deficiency," either. During a drought in Kenya, a cowate an entire sheep after mauling it to death. Thinking that the cow was simply hungry, its owner tried giving him more of his usual food and water, but like a bovine Audrey II, it only wanted blood.
Don't feel too bad for the sheep here; they aren't innocent either. Scottish sheep have been observed biting the legs off living Arctic tern chicks, because the Circle of Life is less of a circle and more of a gaping, open maw that just screams at you.
Orcas Are Messed-Up Psychopaths
Orca whales aren't as kind and gentle as they're depicted in movies like Free Willy and Free Willy 2: Tokyo Drift. They're called "killer whales" for a reason. They're aquatic sadists who seem to enjoy toying with their prey, as witnessed by this no doubt traumatized whale watching tour off the coast of Victoria, BC.
Yup, that's an orca punting a seal 80-odd feet into the air like a Nerf ball on Christmas morning. This must somehow be necessary to the feeding process, or at least some elaborate mating ritual, right? Nope! Orcas are perfectly capable of subduing prey with their tail flukes, so it seems this is just how they get their jollies. That's not the only way orcas are the serial killers of the sea, though. They're also capable of beaching themselves and dragging their unsuspecting victims into the water.
So if you see Shamu lying "helplessly" in the tide one day, don't fall for it. Turn off "Will You Be There" and walk quickly away from the beach.
Laura H watches horror ASMR and questions her life choices. Follow her on Twitter.
The best way to conquer your newfound fear of owls is to BECOME AN OWL!
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