5 Mating Rituals That Prove Nature's Freaky AF
In nature, sex tends to be more business than pleasure, a few seconds of excited l once or twice a year to keep oblivion at bay -- just like your grandparents. But the breadth of the wild allows for all kinds of deviations, and 'deviant' is exactly how to describe some creatures, great and small, that are such nasty freaks even a David Attenborough voiceover couldn't class up their procreation proclivities.
Peregrine Falcons Defy Extinction By Having Sex With A Hat
Has there ever been a more noble pastime than the fine art of falconry? Throughout history, the bluest of bloods and sophisticated of hunters have kept these birds of prey as their companions, relying on their great speed, perception and cunning to catch their quarry. And no falcon is more impressive than the peregrine, whose swooping speed of 200 miles per hour makes it the fastest creature in existence. And it's that quickness that their handlers value most of all when it's time for these noble birds to come down and jizz onto their masters' heads.
By the 1950s, the lightning-fast peregrine falcon was no longer able to outrun extinction. Like many others, the proliferation of DDT pesticides had poisoned the species, making their eggshells so fragile that mama birds would crush their offspring. By the 1960s, falconers realized that the only chance of keeping the birds alive was to keep them in captivity, where careful breeders could make falcons without breaking some eggs. But kept in cages, falcons became finicky lovers on par with pandas, so to breed them efficiently, a falconer named Lester Boyd came up with the ultimate falcon aphrodisiac: a sex hat.
Peregrine falcons are fast at everything, and that includes imprinting. When born, they'll assume kinship with whatever they see at the drop of a hat, whether that's another falcon, a human, or ... a hat. Some careful conditioning can trick young peregrines into accepting special "copulation hats" as members of their own species, sexy, sexy members. The honeycombed bowlers are specially designed to efficiently catch every drop of falcon spunk, allowing it to be soaked up via syringe to be inseminated in a nearby female peregrine falcon -- which is also conditioned to see big, featherless humans as the hottest birds on the block.
But often, the sight of the rubber hat alone isn't enough to get the falcons fired up. So a human handler is forced to act like the Cyrano de Bergerac of sexing birds, donning the hat and making the appropriate mating calls to romance the peregrine into some intense lovemaking. Fortunately, this sexhatravaganza strategy has borne falcon fruit and over 6,000 peregrines have been reintroduced into the American wild, almost every single one of them owing their existence to their dad going to pound town on some dude's skull.
Leopard Slugs Use Their Head-Penises To Engage In Upside Down Bang Ballets
You wouldn't expect slugs, nature's sentient used condom, to be amazing lovers. Not only are they slow (downright sluggish, even), they're also hermaphrodites, content to go love themselves if no one else is interested. Even if two slimy bachelor/ettes meet in the night, some species of slugs are so bad at foreplay they'd prefer to just love-stab each other than to engage in consensual sensuality.
But not leopard slugs, oh no. Leopard slugs are the tantric sex machines of the gastropod world, unleashing the kind of head-spinning foreplay that'll make you think the room is upside down. When two of these superfreaks meet, they'll rush at a snail's pace (which is slightly faster than a slug's pace) up the nearest tree branch. There, the acrobatic dance of lust commences, as the two surprisingly nimble mollusks start lowering themselves on a mucusy rope, twirling and spinning in a lover's embrace.
Getting Cirque-du-So-Laid isn't just for show, though, but an essential element of leopard slug procreation. A leopard slug's penis is massive, blue and comes out the right side of their head. To coax out these blue head hogs and fertilize all 200 or so eggs, these tiny creatures need a little help from their wingman Newton, using gravity to coax these babymakers out of their noggins. Once the blue beasts have been unleashed, they too intertwine to form what has been referred to as a "chandelier configuration" (fancy), pumping each respective partner full of semen as the bang ballet continues. Satisfied, the leopard slugs will either fall to the ground in exhaustion or climb back up the string of slime, gobbling it up as they go in a desperate attempt to replenish some electrolytes after such a vigorous sexathon.
The Squirting Cucumber Bust Its Nuts At 60 Mph
Before we start thinking that fauna has a monopoly on perverted procreation, our fabulous flora is no slouch when it comes to dirty (as in, planted in dirt) kinks -- espcially when it comes to ejaculation. Walk through a lovely English garden on a warm spring day and you're walking through the moneyshots of dozens heaving green sacks itching to burst. And of all the prolific seed ejectors in the plant kingdom, the King of the Mountain has to be the squirting cucumber.
The squirting cucumber (or ecballium elaterium, if you're nasty), is a member of the gourd family. But you don't want to take these bad boys home for Thanksgiving. Home to the Mediterranean region, these hairy, thick-stemmed seed machines produce two-inch green fruits each containing a few dozen seeds. But it's not the size of the fruit, it's what you do with it. And in the case of the squirting cucumber, it's to fill its sacks to the brim with mucilaginous liquid until the tantric buildup is so great that a single accidental brush will cause these one bump chumps to literally explode with excitement.
Squirting cucumbers fire the mucus carrying its seeds at a force of 60 miles per hour and up to 20 feet away. They're also known as spitting cucumbers, and that's exactly what you should do if some of its high-velocity seed accidentally finds its way in your mouth from across the garden. Like the rest of the plant, its seeds contain cucurbitacins, which are lethal when ingested. As such, the squirting cucumber's only value is its ability to vigorously drain its sack like it's on shore leave, a niche only the kinkiest of gardeners will pay extra for.
Marsupials Need Forked Penises To Pleasure So Many Vaginas
With their weird pouches and eucalyptus addictions, marsupials can feel like nature's first draft of a mammal. And that reputation definitely isn't helped when you take a look at their down under, as their number of genitalia is somehow both odd and even.
A male marsupial, whether a kangaroo, wombat, koala or Tasmanian devil, is blessed and cursed with a penis that looks like they're holding the wrong end of a divining rod to find the wet spot. Marsupial penii are bifurcated or double-headed, their bases splitting into two fully functioing wangs. Logically, that would mean one is for peeing and the other one for making conditioner. But these are marsupials we're talking about. Instead, their butthole cloaca has to deal with all bodily waste since males need their double dinkums to meet the demands of their sheilas' multiple vaginas. How many vaginas? If you thought the answer is two, you haven't been paying attention to how marsupials are the IKEA furniture of animals.
Females have, in fact, three vaginas, one in the center and a pair of side vaginas. The side vaginas are for regular forking, each carrying semen to their separate uteri. The major middle vagina only comes out on special occasions, like someone's birthday. Specifically, a joey's, since this seasonal vagina appears when it's time to give birth. With such a clear division of labial labor, this allows female marsupials to stay open for baby-making business even when already pregnant. The one downside? The baby has to be pushed out prematurely because all these rows of reproductive organs don't leave enough space for it to stay in their old room until it's time for kangaroo college.
Ducks Don't Screw, They Corkscrew
Despite their reputation as adorable, waddling companions gobbling up stale bread from old ladies, ducks aren't exactly the sweetest of lovebirds. While some mallards do mate for life, most subspecies of male ducks or (appropriately) drakes are actually horrible sexual predators, engaging in violent gang rape and necrophilia of both genders.
No one knows this better than the poor female duck, which wards off these quack bros by having evolved a twisty turny vagina that's impossible to penetrate by conventional peens. Sadly, male ducks simply co-evolved the right tool for the job: an opposite direction corkscrew penis, the rotini of reproductive systems. When it's time to mate, voluntarily or otherwise, they violently shoot their still limp noodle into the vagina, only hardening once inside to perfectly conform to the byzantine innards of the hen. That the female's reproductive maze still manages to prevent pregnancy from date rape drakes 97% of the time sadly hasn't lessened the Weinstein gene, as "[f]orced copulations are pervasively common in many species of ducks," according to zoologist Richard o' Prum.
As if having the penile equivalent of a drunk trying to stab you with the least appropriate attachment on his Swiss Army knife isn't intimidating enough, drakes have found ways to also use their uncorker against male rivals. Ducks don't possess their full penises throughout the year, only 'growing' theirs to working order during the breeding season. This has given ducks the Mr. Fantastic ability to over-inflate their junk, with the ruddy duck able to grow its floppy dong to the length of its entire body. This then leads to actual duck dick-measuring contests, where the largest member of the flock will wield his largest member to literally beat off the competition, cucking these smaller ducks with their Big Duck Energy.
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Top Image: Wikimedia Commons / T. Hiddessen