6 Vampires Terrorizing The Animal Kingdom Right Now
Remember a few years back when everyone loved vampires, and then Twilight came out and ruined an entire subgenre of horror fiction that had been going strong for over 100 years? Thanks, Stephenie Meyer! Yep, vampires had a good run, from Dracula to Nosferatu to Bunnicula. They were so popular that there are literally people out there today who think they are vampires. Isn't that adorable? It is. It is verifiably adorbs, in fact. But don't ever tell them that, because they have liberal arts degrees and will use their extensive vocabularies to try to overcompensate for their delusional state of being, and how they were probably friendless as children and now use this fantasy to keep themselves feeling like they belong to an exclusive and better group of people who are actually "beyond" human, and that means they are NOT adorable. Even though they so are! Squee!
But like I said, vampires have gone the way of the dodo and the Swamp Monster. (And no one gives a shit about Swamp Monster. Remember in Monster Squad, how all he did was stand there and look like a menacing fish while Wolfman got dialog and a full-on kick in the balls?) Zombies are now the monster du jour, though they're really on the razor's edge at this point, too. Soon enough, they'll grow tiresome and we'll all become enamored of Sasquatch or demonic mattresses. But the vampire will never truly go away, thanks to the fact we have the little bastards roaming the countryside for real! Real vampires! Isn't that crazy? "Real" in the sense that they're animals which people refer to as vampires because they'll suck you dry of your precious, life-sustaining fluids as soon as cuddle with you. But you get my meaning.
The Vampire Squirrel
You probably hate it when I set up an article topic and then immediately 180 on it, but hey, I'm the writer and can do what I like. I could even tell you how hot you look when you read my sentences and that I want us to go live on a houseboat together. What would you say to that? Please say yes. Please. But also, on to my 180 twist! You see, the vampire squirrel is a real animal, but it also is maybe (probably definitely) kind of a load of shit.
This little guy is adorable, and is generally known as the Tufted Ground squirrel when it's not disemboweling deer. What the hell, you say? Yes, tufted. But also, there are rumors that the squirrel will climb into low branches and, when an animal like a deer passes below, will drop on it, gut it, and eat its internal organs. Just the organs, mind you; not the meat or anything.
Gotta leave something for his moose buddies, after all.
The stories of this angry, bloodthirsty squirrel generally come from locals in Borneo, possibly from the town Fuckwithatouristan, but maybe from all over. Science has yet to record the savagery of the squirrel, and so far has mostly captured it sitting, with its bushy tail making it look less like a vampire and more like Donald Trump's hair -- which is still evil and bloodthirsty, but in subtly different ways.
Big deal. Vampire bats exist. Every jackass knows that, right? Well aren't you just a smarty pants? Do you know why they call vampire bats vampires? I mean, aside from the obvious, since they drink blood? Well, that's the only reason. But it's still cool to appreciate the fact that the vampire bat is literally the only mammal on Earth that sustains itself on the blood of its victims. Not even Real Housewives do that.
"Lawyers don't count as mammals."
A colony of 100 bats can bleed about 25 cows dry over the course of a year, making them slightly less efficient at killing cows than the fast food industry, but still pretty horrible in a general sense if you happen to be bovine in any way. Not that either choice is good, but would you rather be killed by a clown who travels around with Grimace, or in the middle of the night by the soft flutter of leather wings and a weird, warm sensation in your ass, as a bat sinks its fangs into you?
You'd be undercooked and poorly seasoned either way, so pick whatever, really.
In case you think they're all bad, it's worth noting that vampire bats rarely feed on humans (though it does happen from time to time), and that female bats in a roost will help care for orphaned babies if something happens to their biological mothers. Isn't that sweet? They also share food communally, which I assume means spitting on each other -- something other bats haven't been observed doing. Aww, they're precious little monsters!
The Vampire Squid
Generally speaking, most animals have super-lame Latin names. Do you know the Latin name of the beaver? Castor Canadensis. That sounds like Canadian oil for the dimwitted. The vampire squid, which already sounds awesome, has the Latin name Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which is a million times cooler. Goth kids wish their parents had named them that. That name has built-in street cred.
"The ocean is my tears."
Our creepy friend the vampire squid loses a bit of its creep factor when you realize that it's smaller than a Chihuahua. In fact, they only grow to be about one foot long. Which is super lame, unless movies like Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark or Ghoulies freak you out and you have an aversion to tiny monsters. In that case, never go swimming again, because these freaky little shits have the largest eyes relative to their body size of any animal on Earth. Which is awful, when you think about it. Giant eyes? Ever seen a person with eyes that were too big? It's literally the most off-putting feature a human can have. Big feet? You're considered cool. Big hands? Must be good at sports. Big boobs? We love you! But big eyes? Yeech, no thanks.
If the local Walgreens ever runs out of waterproof guyliner, blame this asshole.
Unfortunately for gore enthusiasts, the vampire squid doesn't suck the blood from porpoises or anything. It got its name thanks to the fact that it has red eyes and a creepy, cape-like webbing that connects its tentacles. So basically, whichever Jacques Cousteau was out on the water the day they discovered this thing had a flair for the dramatic.
The Vampire Finch
Few words sound as confusing as "vampire finch" when you put them together, as vampires (pre-Twilight) were respectable blood-sucking creatures of the night, and finches are the Jared from Subway of the bird world. (Not that they used to be fat. It's just that who cares? Who cares that these are things? No one is impressed, you little twat.)
As with all finches, I know nothing about vampire finches. I mean, they're birds. They have pointy beaks and chirp incessantly. You ever go by the bird section of a pet store, and they have that cage with, like, 1,000 finches in it, and every one of them has this complete asshole expression on its face which says, "This birdseed tastes like shit, stop staring at me"? Yeah. I get buying a parrot; you can teach them to swear. All finches do is judge you. Beady-eyed judgement.
With each passing Tweety joke, the murder he has planned for you just gets slower and more painful.
Anyway, what hopefully elevates a vampire finch above your average, everyday finch? I need you to sit down for this, because it's one of the best sentences I'll ever type. The vampire finch drinks the blood of the blue-footed boobie. Expect Cracked to print that on a T-shirt in the near future, and also expect it to feature prominently in some kind of religious prayer one day. Maybe the oath of the Green Lantern, if they feel like retooling it.
The one and only time a bloody boobie will ever be safe for work.
Having never tasted blue-footed boobie blood myself, I can't critique the finch's dietary choices. I can just say that I really enjoy typing "blue-footed boobie," and I respect any bird that's willing to stop eating millet long enough to go stab the shit out of another bird and drink its blood. That's some prison yard justice right there. Why so angry, finch?
Wikipedia tells me, in a hilarious nugget of semi-relevant info, that the boobies barely even resist this behavior from the finches. So you can peck at and nip at these boobies all day, and they mostly don't care. The mind boggles at the potential to make off-color jokes. Where to begin?
The Kashmir musk deer is a deer with fangs, and that is adorably hilarious. Imagine Bambi if, instead of even tolerating Thumper, he just bit his head off. That's how you sell tickets, Disney.
"Where's that asshole skunk? He's next."
Last year, the musk deer was spotted in Afghanistan for the first time in 60 years, because like Dracula himself, the deer is swift and sneaky and can maybe turn into a bat. That last one is pure speculation on my part, but I am university-educated, so there's a good chance I'm entirely right about this.
Disappointingly, a musk deer's fangs are much like the Porsche your friend's dad bought when he turned 50: just some flashy shit meant to attract women. How does a musk deer use his fangs to get ladies? They probably tweet pics of how big they are to female deer and wait for them to swoon. What do I know? I'm no botanist.
"Headlights and chill?"
Like every vampire on this list, the musk deer is tiny as shit, clocking in at two feet tall, give or take a bit. Now that I think about it, that would be pretty large for shit, so maybe I should use a better figure of speech. I mean, really, can you imagine? Two feet of fanged shit. That's some kind of monster right there.
The Vampire Moth
Do you have any idea what a regular, everyday moth eats? I'd never considered it before until I read about vampire moths, a subspecies of moth which feasts on the blood of their fallen victims. Or they just nibble unfallen victims and take a few squirts -- whatever sounds more believable to you. Apparently, the vampire moth evolved from a species of moth that normally eats fruit, so you just learned two things about moths: some eat fruit, and some eat you.
And all shall eat the bottom of our shoe.
These creepy little buggers are basically massive, furry mosquitoes, and live in parts of Asia. They're also a few hundred times bigger than a mosquito; meaning not huge, but still bigger than a Milk Dud. So you have to wonder what it's like when one bites you, if a mosquito can produce a pain-in-the-ass itchy lump with its nearly-microscopic pecker.
Luckily for victims of the moth, they aren't designed for bloodletting the way mosquitoes are. A mosquito has the biological equivalent of a hypodermic needle on its face. A vampire moth has a melon baller. They're supposed to eat fruit, and they don't solely eat blood, so their little proboscis was designed by nature to shred fruit apart and suck the juices out. Which means that when it lands on you and decides to have a taste, it's basically just ripping a hole in your skin with a tiny thug bug knife. Instead of that smooth little poke you're expecting, it's like someone's trying to mine for your precious fluids with a sharpened spoon.
Someone posed to let this photo happen.
If you'd like an upside to vampire moths over mosquitoes, it's actually the same inefficient method of blood sucking. Due to the fact that they don't solely drink blood, the odds on being bitten are relatively low. And thanks to that, the moths' ability to transmit disease the way mosquitoes do is equally low. They just suck at sucking.
As a fun aside, bug-loving nerd scientists speculate that the reason these moths drink blood at all is basically to get ass. Moths and butterflies perform a behavior called "puddling," in which they land on some murky ground and suck up nutrients, like salt, which they then give to a lady friend to convince her to hump. These bloodsucking moths decided that salty mud water was a shitty gift, so they slurp up your precious life juice, which may give them an advantage when it comes to putting their gross, mothy hump on a lady moth. So you should really be flattered if one bites you -- you're basically becoming moth Axe body spray.
You'll be as kissably sexy as the ads suggest, though not quite in the same way.
Animals: They're bloodthirsty AND they're better than us at everything. No, really! Five Of The Greatest Escape Artists Ever Were Animals, and when you're done enjoying that, please tremble before the might of 5 Animals Who Taught Themselves Eerily Human Skills.
Or maybe literal vampires are more your cup of ... well, not tea, but whatever the heck those dead folks drink in between neck-munching. Enjoy an After Hours take on Why Everyone Wants To Have Sex With Vampires! And why not subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more video magic?
Also, if you've had it up to here with Barbara clogging your Facebook feed, like the Cracked page to mix it up a little.