Our F’d Up Natural World

Instead of coming up with a genius idea for my column, I got lost on the internet searching for answers to my most pondered questions. I never did come up with a great column idea and my time was wasted because I still don’t know if I should get a pair of booties for the fall or if they’ll make my legs look short and squat.

I decided to dust off my love of our natural world and give you some strange animal facts. I’m still paying off my student loans and I wouldn’t want those four years to be for naught. Who knows, if you read this entire article, maybe you’ll even learn something.

For every person there are roughly 200 million insects.

We don’t notice them too much because we’re usually too wrapped up in our own existence. I guess some people think paying taxes and getting a bikini wax is more interesting than the roughly 400,000 known species of beetles found in the world. Just like most of us don’t care about them, they probably think we’re just a bunch of dumb, hairless apes that are good for a meal.

One of my 200 million insects decided to take a romp in my salad the other day. What I thought was a cube of green pepper really was a green stink bug that almost met its demise via my molars. Yes, after I flung it out with my knife, I ate the rest of the salad.

Hey, insect community, if you actually cared and weren’t so callous, I saved one of your brethren from a horrible death. You’re welcome.

To escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs. It will let you go instantly.

That’s a strange way to get a crocodile from chomping on your limbs. Personally, I find it soothing when someone jabs me in the eyes with their thumbs. Nothing quite lets you know how much someone cares like a good poke in the eye. I guess this is more proof that animals are stupid and humans are superior.

Ancient Egyptians used crocodile dung as a contraceptive.

Who would want to do it with a vag filled with poop? Chances of getting pregnant were virtually 0% but there’s always some freak who’s into weird crap.

And no, please do not pardon that pun. It was 100% intentional. English teachers, feel free to use this in your next lesson, but I would recommend blacking-out the bad words.

Spotted hyena females have a pseudo-penis (read: extra-large clitoris) that is used for copulation, urination and birth.

Hopefully, they don’t do all three at the same time, but if they do, I’m sure you can find it on Youtube.

I actually learned this fun factoid in my Animal Behavior class in college. The class was absolutely fascinating, but the textbook had a photo of a female hyena and her pseudo-penis. Needless to say, I’ve had that picture burned into my brain and I see it before I go to sleep every night. No matter how curious you are, don’t look it up because you’ll never be right again if you do.

Male platypuses are venomous. They have spurs on the ankles of their back legs that inject venom to aid in defense.

I didn’t realize that people don’t know obscure animal facts, until I brought platypus poison up casually in a conversation with my husband. He didn’t know what I was talking about, or how it pertained to imperialism, but I had to let my biological elitism subside. You have to do that on occasion when you’re married.

Obviously, his head was spinning when I dropped this bomb and I could tell he was trying to figure out how an already strange creature could get stranger. Personally, I’m a bit jealous. I think human beings are quite pedestrian when it comes to our defense mechanisms. Who wants to spend money on weapons when we could have poison pockets on our ankles?

Skunks can spray up to 10 to 15 feet.

This isn’t earth shattering news and if you didn’t know the exact distance, you would still see the validity with this statement. Just in case you’re inquisitive, I don’t recommend pouring water on them from a second story window. They will spray the hell out of the back of your house. Since skunks don’t respect the art of being a good neighbor, they’ll also spray your neighbor’s house just to make you look like a prick.

If you lived in Dover, New Jersey around 2006 and this happened to you, I have no idea what kind of person would do such a thing, especially knowing what the skunk would do when startled. You have to be a real jerk to dump water on a skunk just to experience nature first hand. Also, Rob made me do it.

Kristen Tornoe doesn’t hate you, but if you were on fire, and she had a glass of water, she’d drink it.