Many of our favorite stories are about people who have special powers. From invisibility to flying to super strength, we love tales of unique abilities. In the animal kingdom, some real-life creatures have abilities so amazing you could almost call them superpowers. You’re about to meet some of these animals. Prepare yourself to be jealous of their unbelievable abilities!
The ‘Pistol Shrimp’ Is A Real Stunner
Reinhard Dirscherl/ullsteinbild via Getty Images
Don’t call these guys “shrimp” unless you’re prepared to fight. With the snap of a claw, the pistol shrimp produces “bubble bullets” that can move as fast as a car! These bubbles will stun or even kill enemies, and the snapping sound that goes along with the claw movement can be louder than a gunshot.
Why are pregnant women told not to swim with dolphins? Read on to find out.
This Creature Is Called The ‘Horror Frog’ For A Reason
This animal is called a “hairy frog” but is also known as a “horror frog” or “wolverine frog.” The frog has thick hair over its gills which allows it to take in more oxygen. But the craziest ability of these creatures is that they can break their bones at will, push the sharpened ends through their skin, and use them as claws against predators. How terrifying!
A Platypus Has A Sixth Sense
Scientists used to think that the platypus was a hoax – the idea that a mammal laid eggs and had webbed feet and a duck-like bill was too much to believe. We can add another special trait to that list: a platypus uses a super-sense called electroreception to locate prey and objects underwater. They have receptors in their bills that allow them to pick up electrical currents coming from other animals, which makes them excellent hunters even in the dark.
Hunger Makes A Honey Badger Totally Fearless
If “hunger” can be considered a special power, then a honey badger is a superhero. Nothing can come between a hungry honey badger and the food it wants. The Guinness Book of World Records even listed it as the “most fearless animal in the world” because a honey badger is completely unintimidated by other animals when it’s hungry. It doesn’t care about the animal’s size, strength, venom, or anything else. Honey badgers will not stop until they’re fed or dead.
Why Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Swim With Dolphins
Dolphin encounters are a favorite tourist activity. But even though many people love to swim with dolphins, they might not know how the creatures get around: with echolocation, or picking up ultrasound waves that have bounced off of objects. Since fetal heartbeats can also be heard with ultrasound, dolphins can tell when a human is pregnant, and it tends to make them excited and overly playful — even aggressive! Many facilities that offer dolphin encounters do not allow pregnant women to participate for this reason.
Archerfish Use Their Powerful Spit Streams To Hunt
Yes, you read that right. An archerfish, native to India and Asia, hunts its prey by spitting. When an insect lands on a lily pad or other plant near a hungry archerfish, the fish can shoot a focused stream of water that packs six times the power that its own body could create. The jet of water is enough to knock the insect into the water where the archerfish can scoop it up and eat!
Note To Coyotes: Stay Away From Horned Lizards If You Don’t Want To Get Bloody
Horned lizards, despite their unsavory appearance, are prey to many animals in the desert environments where they live. With so many enemies, these reptiles need some superpower skills to avoid becoming dinner. The horned lizard can shoot a vile-tasting stream of blood from its eyes to protect itself. Lucky for us, it’s rare for them to attack humans in this way.
Lyrebirds Can Mimic Anything
Lyrebirds, native to Australia, are songbirds known for excelling at mimicry. Lyrebirds can accurately duplicate any sound they overhear, from chainsaws to cell phones to gunshots to dogs barking. During breeding season they sing for up to four hours a day, calling out both original tunes and copied sounds they’ve heard before.
The Alpine Ibex Can Defy Gravity
Most goat breeds are adept at climbing up precarious surfaces, but the Alpine Ibex wins the gold medal for its climbing prowess. The mountain-dwelling goats are known to walk on steep walls that are nearly vertical, thanks to their muscular structure and split hooves. Mothers and their kids tend to be the best at climbing and are often spotted frolicking at death-defying angles.
A Peregrine Falcon Could Fly From New York City To Rochester In An Hour
Faster than a speeding plane? Perhaps not, but peregrine falcons are the fastest birds in existence. They’ve been clocked at speeds up to 240 miles per hour. The distance from Rochester to New York City is about 250 miles, so a peregrine falcon could make the journey in just over an hour. That’s fast!
The Water Bear Is Indestructible
Water bears, or tardigrades, are micro-animals that can survive nearly any calamity. If you want to see one, you’ll need to use a microscope. But although they’re tiny – only about 0.1 to 1.5 mm – they’re hardy. Water bears are resilient to starvation, extreme temperatures, air deprivation, and more.
Pit Vipers Can See Heat
These snakes have several “pit organs” on their faces which allow them to sense heat from several feet away. This superability lets them see potential prey even when it’s dark. Pit vipers can “see” this thermal energy almost like they have built-in infrared cameras.
Naked Mole Rats Don’t Get Cancer
The naked mole rat has a funny appearance and an amusing name to match. But you can’t laugh at this small rodent’s superpowers! They do not feel most types of pain and can survive for nearly 20 minutes without breathing. Also, most amazingly, naked mole rats can’t get cancer due to a special sugar called a high-molecular-mass. They tend to live for 30+ years although the average rat’s life expectancy is just four years.
Spines And Poison Make The Dragon Millipede Off-Limits
The bright pink color of these animals should be warning enough to steer clear. But should you dare to touch one, you’re in for a world of pain. The dragon millipede has special glands that produce the poison cyanide to protect themselves from predators. The insects are even said to smell like almonds like cyanide does.
Axolotls Are Masters Of Regeneration
Axolotls, also known as Mexican salamanders, have the amazing ability to regenerate themselves. While some lizards can regrow tails, axolotls can regenerate any part of their bodies, from bones to nerves to muscles to internal organs. This process occurs immediately after an injury. Scientists are studying these creatures carefully to learn how they regenerate so quickly.
Electric Eels Generate 860-Volt Shocks
The electric eel can use its organs to create a shock up to 860 volts. This might not sound dangerous for a human, but it is strong enough to easily kill the prey eels eat: small fish, shrimp, crabs, and even small animals like rats.
The eel pictured above is powering a turntable at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Hummingbirds Are Like Living Drones
Not only are hummingbirds beautiful to watch, but they also have superpowers. Which other animal can hover in mid-air, fly backward and upside down, and beat its wings faster than the human eye can see? With a heart rate of up to 1,260 beats per minute, a hummingbird has the fastest metabolism on earth, other than insects.
Chameleons Are Quick-Change Artists
Chameleons are known for their ability to change color. Some convert back and forth between green and brown, but others can transform themselves into just about any color you can think of. And some chameleons can make the change in less than 20 seconds! Impulses from a chameleon’s brain cause their skin’s melanin to mix into different colors, almost the way paint is blended.
All Ants Should Be Named Hercules
They might be tiny, but that doesn’t mean they’re weaklings. Ants are some of the strongest creatures on earth relative to their size, with the ability to carry 10-50 times their own body weight. They are also the longest-living insect with lifespans of up to 30 years.
Ring-Tailed Cats Are Natural Gymnasts
Ring-tailed cats are related to raccoons. They’re excellent climbers and can frequently be found doing gymnastic-like moves in the treetops. Specialized bones in their legs enable a ring-tailed cat’s ankle to rotate 180 degrees, which is why they’re naturally acrobatic. They can also easily climb up narrow vertical passageways by ricocheting off the walls.