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Nature’s Most Terrifying Butts

Get ready for some more hard-hitting journalism, people.


As with so many things in life, butts come in a variety of types (so nearly wrote “flavors” there, which would have just been terrible). Some butts are cute. Some butts are funny. Some butts are wibbly. And some butts? Some butts are downright terrifying. These…are those butts.


The Sea Cucumber

Photo by Istockphoto

What would you picture if we told you to imagine a spineless sack of sludge with no true brain and the ability to breathe through its anus? If you’re now thinking about Chris Brown, well, yes, you are technically correct. But no! We’re talking about the sea cucumber, a frankly repulsive creature named by someone who presumably had a vested interested in tarnishing the good name of actual cucumbers everywhere. Of particular horrifying note is – as you would expect from this article – its butt. As a self defense mechanism, some species of sea cucumber are able to violently squirt their own internal organs out of their anus at high velocity, distracting potential predators long enough for them to escape and regrow their guts, Wolverine-style. Now, it’s not our place to question the many various wonders of nature, but we will say that you should never trust an animal that’s able to shit itself inside out and live.



Camponotus Saundersi

Photo by Istockphoto

This animal is not, as the name would suggest, the Roman Centurion forebear of Colonel Sanders, but is in fact an ant commonly found in Malaysia. While many ant species have unpleasant defensive capabilities, ol’ Campy here has an especially troubling method of self-defense: The scientific term is autothysis, but in more everyday language, it’s essentially a suicide bomber. In times of dire emergency, it will defend its nest by rupturing its gaster (that’s entomologist for “ant butt”), bursting two poison-filled glands that then spray a toxic, adhesive mess over anything nearby. This sticky ass-juice both immobilizes other creatures and slowly melts them, which makes the time you saw that dude projectile-pooping on the bus seem tame by comparison.



The Hoopoe

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“Aww,” you think, as you first spy the Hoopoe, bobbing along through the scrubby ground at the base of a Madagascan cliff face. “Look at that little fella! He’s got a little feathery hat-crown! He thinks he’s king-people! I’m going to bend down and pet his adorable little wings. And then I’m going to go to his house and take pictures of his children!” Big mistake. Before trying to visit the family, it’s worth noting that, once they reach six days old, baby hoopoes are able to fire streams of liquid feces directly into the faces of anyone foolish enough to try and pose for a photo with them. Of course, you should have been warned off before getting that far, as the female Hoopoe will have already coated the surrounding area with a rancid, rotten meat-smelling liquid from a special gland near its butthole. So adorable!



The Pygmy Sperm Whale

Photo by Thomas Haider

“The whale makes very inconspicuous movements,” reads the Wikipedia entry for this creature. “It rises to the surface slowly, with little splash or blow, and will remain there motionless for some time.” Frankly, we had to double check and make sure this was actually referring to the pygmy sperm whale, and not to our editor’s habit of trying to sneak out of the office bathroom without anyone noticing the horrors he’s perpetrated therein. Appropriately, this whale is also capable of wreaking havoc with its asshole, specifically by releasing a dark, red, gloopy fluid from a sac in its intestines and then flailing it about with its tail – sort of like the Batmobile releasing a smoke cloud to cover its retreat, only, y’know…disgusting.



The Bombardier Beetle

Let’s take stock of what we’ve seen so far: animals who can projectile poop stuff from their asses; animals who can produce toxic substances from their asses; animals who carry most of the ingredients for biological warfare in their asses; hey, Nature, is there any way you can mix all that stuff up together, maybe with some kind of alarming popping sound? You can? Ace! Yes, here is the bombardier beetle, a beetle so-named because of its ability to fire boiling acid at its victim (and because the “fucking dick beetle” was already taken). It performs this brutal act by mixing hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide together inside its own body, heating it up to a temperature around 100°C – still inside its own body – and then using the gas produced by this reaction to propel this ghastly, burning elixir of death over a wide area. It’s not a nice beetle, is what we’re saying here.


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