6 Endangered Animals We Should Let Go Extinct
We won the evolutionary race so hard that many people now refuse to believe we even ran. We're not just the champion; we're the referee and the shitty crowd throwing crap on the track to trip all the other contestants. Of course, some noble souls are working to save other species, but we have to be picky. When you run into a burning building, you don't save the turds floating in the toilet, even though they're filled with countless millions of living cells, because they're disgusting, and they're only still there because you didn't flush them away properly the first time.
Some people will indignantly ask, "What gives somebody the right to decide what to save?" The obvious answer being "The fact they're saving anything instead of annoying strangers with stupid questions." Behold six species we should send to the bottom of the queue, even below the pandas.
Giant Water Bug
The giant water bug is off to an awful start in terms of "bad names to have if you DON'T want to be crushed through sheer reflex action by the species that comes up with said names." Everything else in its multimillion-year evolution is just another reason to justify its immediate squishing by anyone wearing utterly airtight shoes. Huge ones. Like clown shoes.
Shoes injecting some sort of "anti-nightmare" serum between your toes.
Giant bug? Check!
Actual giantest bug there even is, the largest of the order Hemiptera? Check!
Giant claws and bitey bits? Check!
Actively venomous? FUCK!
Doesn't just bite or poison, but injects digestive juices that liquefy its prey from the inside through a beak that is really more of a piercing syringe? THIS WASN'T EVEN ON THE ORIGINAL CHECKLIST, BUT WE'RE DAUBING IT IN OUR MELTING BLOOD!
This picture is still better than reality because at least it's happening outside your body.
We know we have an "arachnid response" for things that are horrifying because of their fundamental alien-ness. We don't have a "giant water bug" response because everyone who's seen one is too busy looking for a heavy object and regretting not writing a will. And don't relax thinking that the giant water bugs restrict themselves to smaller prey, either. They've been seen eating things as large as snakes or even turtles, using their horror-monster face to inject flesh-dissolving horrorgoo. They've also attacked humans, and while they don't succeed in their plan to dissolve us like the Blob and slurp up the remains, the fact is that THAT IS THEIR PLAN. But instead of phase-changing us into supper, their uniquely awful poisons "only" cause hours of burning pain as bits of your body turn into flesh-smoothie.
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment lists it as endangered and is concerned about its survival. Come on, Japan, you murder whales as a snack and bulk-eat entire genii of fish, and THIS is the species you decide to keep around? Finish it off before the next nuclear accident gives it the gift of Godzillification!
How We Finish Them Off:
Pacific Rim. Jaegers. Giant hundred-meter-tall multi-weapon-enabled megabots to stamp them back into an organic slurry before they can infest our cities.
But if we have to fight them after they've been irradiated, build a Death Star.
Aww, not the saiga antelope! We can't lose the saiga antelope! I mean sure, 99 percent of the people reading this didn't even know the word "saiga" six minutes ago, but look at it! Its curly horns, its dopey face, and a wibbly nose capable of crinkling 900 percent more adorably than any other animal as it sniffs! That thing probably even frolics!
It looks like it's trying to remember a song for a Disney princess.
You bet your ass it frolics. The saiga antelope is a sexually overloaded frolicking fuck-machine. The saiga is the evolutionary anti-panda, a species that quite literally screws itself over. The males don't just fight for hump-rights; the winners then hump a whole harem so hard, they often forget to even eat. Male saiga commonly copulate themselves into a post-coital corpse. They're actual, factual deadbeat dads.
After mating season, the survivors then let their hard-won harems disperse, presumably because they just don't want to get tied down, man. So for the privilege of spending a shitty winter alone, the dudes then have to go through the whole horrific round of antler-combat all over again.
"Sword fighting each other in the head with your own bones is a great idea." -- Evolution
But saiga aren't built like bee drones with expendable idiot males. They can't afford to throw away healthy adults every mating season. This is an entire species of guys deciding that balls-exploding alpha maleness is so important, they're killing themselves and their species. Even wolves don't subscribe to the alpha male idiocy, and wolves are where scientists first invented that idea. And later retracted it as -- and we paraphrase -- "pretty fucking stupid."
The saigas' "extinction by bro-culture" is made worse by the high mortality of male saiga calves. They simply stink so much of maleness that predators can find and eat them. This is a branch of the evolutionary tree being cut down by the Axe Effect.
How We Finish Them Off:
The saiga are self-exterminating through desperation to prove themselves manly men by jack-hammering their genitals into mulch. If we invent Saiga-Viagra, not only will they wipe themselves out, but no nature documentary could make any sad films about them without an R-rating.
The big-headed turtle looks like it's trying to commit suicide by Mario. It's named after an attribute we consider negative even in humans. Even in Latin it's Platysternon megacephalum, and that's the closest this dumbass design comes to sounding intelligent. But the turtle doesn't even know that, because it's a cranial cargo cult. It's accidentally copying our super-sized skull system in shape alone. It's not any smarter than other turtles. In fact, because its head is too large to retract into its shell, it's definitively dumber than every other turtle.
"I KNOW, OK? I can't even shrug about this bullshit."
You know you've screwed up pretty bad when your body would fail a Darwinian IQ test. Then again, if Darwin had seen this thing, he'd have torn up his notes and said, "There must be some God out there doing this for a laugh, and he's an asshole." Like many big-headed beings, this total fuckup is incapable of comprehending that its only defining feature is a magnificent mistake. The whole point of turtles is putting all their survival eggs in one basket, which they grow out of bone and hide their entire body inside. Turtles have one survival strategy, and this ignored it. This isn't evolution; it's a fable, a morality tale to teach children to be humble.
How We Finish Them Off:
Headshots! This turtle is the living equivalent of a zombie: slow, stupid, and a great big head weak point it hasn't the smarts to protect. This isn't a species; this is an end-of-level boss for natural selection, which is already removing it from the gene pool. Sure, humanity is helping a bit too much, but we're just another species exploiting a mistake it already made.
The scrotum frog doesn't deserve death just for looking like a living ballbag. If that were the case, we'd lose every rock star over 50. It's also known as the Titicaca water frog, and that's the real problem. Not just because that means your choice is between calling it "ballbag" or "breasts and excrement." No, it's only found in Lake Titicaca, which means it's evolved itself into a big hole. Restricting yourself to a single body of water works if you're bacteria, but a big-ass frog can't confine itself to a single shore and expect survival to be a beach holiday.
You might not like it, but this is what an ideal Titicaca water frog body looks like.
A worse problem is that the scrotum frog proves we don't give a shit about things that aren't cute. In fact, it reverses the idea, being exterminated extra-hard because of its horrific appearance. But not out of fear. The poor Titicacan testicle pouch isn't so much a species as an organic satire of human stupidity, physically embodying the absolute worst things that should instead be extinct. Because it's being killed for hard-ons.
The scrotum frog is used in a "frog juice" potion alleged to improve erections. We're not talking about using some rare venom from a scent gland under the expanded folds of its armpit. The ancient, herbal, traditional, and other words that mean "bullshit" recipe involves a few herbs and an entire liquidized frog. What's worse, research indicates that one of the entirely non-endangered plants included in the mix is the thing most likely responsible for any tenuous boner benefits.
"Yes, I look like a Hutt after a diet."
Which doesn't stop limp-dicked dudes from chugging frog-shots to get their dicks hard. In the year 2016. And you know many of those involved are still at the stupid/sympathetic/magic stage of "It's called/looks like a scrotum, it's gotta work, and I am prepared to pay to eradicate another species for even the chance of one more erection."
How We Finish Them Off:
Obviously, the best way to defeat a scrotum is by kicking it. And just to be sure, let's field-goal the balls of every asshole dude who drank one as well, so no atoms survive with a hope of reproduction. It's not like we'll break anything.
Endangered Brazilian Tree Mold
Several fungal species that exclusively parasitize an endangered tree species are automatically also endangered. But here's the thing: Fuck those fungi. They're horrific. Researchers found an array of fungi that might go extinct along with their host, the Brazilian Dimorphandra wilsonii tree. We presume they're working with nanotechnologists to generate a sufficiently tiny violin.
These ill-fated fungi include some of those horrible "rust" species you see on plants. You know, where you see a lush and thriving green thing, then there's a bulging and crusty red rot eating them from the inside out, like there's a traffic light for life and love and this bastard is red incarnate. Action movies set up the worst villains by having them target innocent bystanders. Rust fungi have genetically engineered themselves over millennia to target green plants, which do nothing but create life from sunlight without bothering anyone. Even in the scientific paper on this fungus's plight, every single image looks like the alien villain in a science fiction movie.
Seeing this on the viewscreen would make Captain Kirk press the self-destruct button.
They are genuine murderous spores out to corrupt and rot their target. Feeling sorry for them would be like feeling sorry for Xenomorphs finding themselves in a galaxy of Daleks. If your only host is endangered and you keep parasitically eating it, you are karmically incapable of earning sympathy. You went up to natural selection and said, "Don't worry, I'll show myself out."
A microscopic middle finger to all life.
How We Finish Them Off:
I'm afraid we'd have to work extraordinarily hard to avoid this dying off along with the poor tree. If we absolutely have to take it out quicker, we should probably flash those images on a screen in front of Jeff Goldblum. He'll spend the next hour hacking into trees with his laptop to eliminate them. Just tell him to say "fungi are like a virus." Which is ludicrously wrong, but if his laptop can connect to alien motherships, Earth trees should be no problem.
Kakapo Parrot Tapeworm
Aww, look at the cute kakapo! Sure, it's a dumbass flightless bird, but it's also known as the "owl parrot." That's like TWO of the best birds in one! Surely we don't want to kill those off?
"Who's a good little endangered species? Who's a good little endangered species?"
Of course not. But how about the worm eating its guts out?
It looks like evolution sneezed.
Stringopotaenia psittacea is a tapeworm infesting kakapos in the wild. It even sounds like Latin spitting in disgust. As we battle to save the kakapo from extinction, we obviously keep conserved ones well-fed, healthy, and not filled with gut-munching intestinal parasites. In fact, we thought the stringybastard spittyshitea was already extinct. But the damn thing has been seen again in the wild. And now some human collaborators are saying we shouldn't finish it off.
Does this thing get into human brains? Because that's a less horrifying possibility than someone wanting to keep the bulging parrot-torturer around.
Tapeworms have supporters now. The only way things could get worse than some recent elections.
These tapeworm collaborators argue that maintaining a parasite load in your intestines boosts your immune system by exposure. Presumably just like hitting someone with a car helps strengthen their bones and boosts their peripheral vision. We have technology now. We don't live in the wild to toughen ourselves against the elements; we build houses to defend ourselves from the damn things. Likewise, if we're going to use our godlike abilities to pluck cute parrots from extinction, we shouldn't then infect them with a fair fraction of their own body mass in gut monsters.
This nightmare only has itself to blame. There are countless tapeworm species and potential hosts, but S. psittacea fussily overspecialized to just this one bird and would rather die out than eat more common food. In other words, it's a goddamn panda without even the defense of being cute.
How We Finish Them Off:
After an array of extermination horrors, we're delighted to announce the best move is now to help adopt adorable parrots, take them to the vet, and continually ask, "Who's a pretty Polly? Who's a pretty Polly? Not that nightmare hunger-tube we're killing the fuck out of, that's who!"
Find out why Physics Loves Knight Rider and enjoy the Starship Voyager's wrong turnings.
Enjoy more appalling species in 6 Endangered Species That Aren't Endangered Enough and So You've Killed The Last Member Of An Endangered Species.
Luke writes science humor at ZERO POINT COMEDY, has a mailing list, and responds to every single tweet.