Thursday, October 18, 2018

I’d Love To Read About: Real-Life Monsters



Have you ever learned a strange fact or seen an unusual thing and thought, I wish there were more books about that? It happens to me all the time. Authors, if you’re listening, here are eight scary animals that I wish somebody would write about. (Or take inspiration from. I’m not picky!)








I'd Love To Read About . . .




Two-Headed Shark



What’s scarier than a shark? Two sharks. You can thank Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight for making me Google “Parasitic Head Twins.” Now I can have nightmares about double-headed sharks.


Photo source & more info.


Some scientists believe that two-headed sharks are becoming more common, but nobody is sure why. It could be because of genetic disorders, infections, pollution, or overfishing, which leads to smaller gene pools and inbreeding. (Weird things happen when sharks have sexy times with their close relatives.) Luckily for my nightmares, two-headed sharks usually don’t survive to human-munching age.












Titanoboa



Photo source & more info.


Technically, these snakes have been extinct for millions of years, but that doesn’t stop them from being freakin’ terrifying! Guys, I think this is the real-life version of the snake from Harry Potter. Native to South America, Titanoboas could grow to 42 feet (12.8 m) long and 2500 pounds (1135 kg). It’s the largest species of snake ever discovered. Titanoboas lived in swampy coastal forests and probably ate large turtles and crocodile-type animals.












Box Jellyfish



Photo source & more info.


Most species of box jellyfish are fairly harmless, but there are a few jellies that you don’t want to mess with. Even though they don’t have teeth or claws (or even a brain), they can kill you in minutes. A sting from a box jellyfish causes extreme pain and muscle cramping. It raises the victim’s blood pressure and makes their heart beat erratically. Victims of jellyfish stings die from heart attacks or from drowning because they are unable to swim to the surface. A tiny jellyfish is one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean.












Quetzalcoatlus



Art source & more info.


As a child, I had several memorable nightmares about giant birds. Good thing I didn’t know about Quetzalcoatlus. Now extinct, it’s the largest known flying animal of all time. They stood about 9.8 feet (3 m) tall and had a 33-36 foot (10-11 m) wingspan. What did they eat? Good question. They lived in North America but not near any large bodies of water. Most likely, they were terrestrial stalkers, like modern storks. Really, really horrifying storks.












Saltwater Crocodile



Photo source & more info.


Saltwater crocodiles are the largest living reptile and extremely capable of eating a human (and most other animals). On average, they’re around 17 feet (5 m) long and weigh 1000 pounds (450 kg). They hunt by ambushing their prey, dragging it into the water, and drowning it. Then they often swallow it whole. Pleasant, right?












Liopleurodon



Photo source & more info.


This extinct carnivorous ocean reptile appears to be at least 50% teeth. In addition to teeth, they had four powerful paddle-like flippers that made them fast swimmers. With a mouth like that, they were definitely an apex predator that ruled their environment. No complete skeletons have been found, so it’s hard to know exactly how big they were, but scientists estimate that they were around 21 feet (6.39 m) long.












Redback Spider



Photo source & more info.


The redback spider is native to Australia and is highly venomous. A bite will initially cause pain, swelling, and redness. After that, a victim can experience vomiting, chest pain, agitation, headaches, and sweating. The bite isn’t the only thing that’s unfortunate about the redback. Everything about this spider is gross. It’s one of the species that practices sexual cannibalism. Yep. The female eats the male while they’re in the process of banging! If the male doesn’t die during sex, he crawls away afterward and dies from his injuries. That’s girl power . . . I guess. Yuck. Why do these exist?












Mosquito



Photo source & more info.


I can hear you right now: “Aj, mosquitoes aren’t scary. They’re just itchy. What is wrong with you?” Well, I’m here to tell you that mosquitoes are scary. They’re probably the scariest animal on Earth today. Their bites cause itchy lumps, but that’s not the problem. Mosquitoes are excellent at spreading deadly infections. These little bugs are responsible for malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika, and a few other diseases. Mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal. If one critter can cause the apocalypse, it’s the mosquito.






Is there an animal that you’d like to see in fiction?










47 comments:

  1. Oh my god, those giant birds are terrifying. As is that snake. I already don't like snakes. LOL And yes, mosquitoes are terrifying- they can do so much damage. Interesting post, and I learned some new facts!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. They are terrifying! I’m glad you learned some (probably useless) new information!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I'm okay with any of those monsters except the Titanoboa! I hate snakes!!

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    1. We have tons of snakes around here, so I’m not bothered by them, but a massive snake would probably scare the crap out of me.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. Oh my, I have the shivers. Spiders really creep me out. I love all monsters, so bring 'em on. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I’m scared of all spiders, even the tiny ones. When a spider gets into the house, I need someone to rescue me.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. you know what? the little feminist tenant that lives in me I kinda like that spider :) (is it different from a black widow? It looks very similar) love this post! I didn't know of that TITANOBOA!!!

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    1. It does look a lot like a black widow. I wonder how they’re related? Black widows live in North America and Redbacks live in Australia. I’m not sure about the other differences.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. I always love these posts. These are truly terrifying. I HATE spiders. And you are so right about mosquitos. They are not only annoying but super dangerous the way they spread stuff.

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    1. All bugs are gross. If they insist on existing, why do they have to be so scary?

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. These are some terrifying real-life monsters. I wouldn't like to face saltwater crocodile... And mosquitoes are a lot more terrifying than people made them be. They bite, they have diseased and they don't let me sleep with their annoying noise!!!

    Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

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    1. Luckily, we don’t have a ton of mosquitoes around here because it’s too dry. I get eaten alive when I go to the mountains.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. Ohhh these are so terrifying!!! I wouldn't want to face any of these ever! Lovely post Hun :)

    Grace Louise || www.gracelouiseofficial.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. It's really scary to think about all the weird/terrifying animals that are out there in the world!

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  9. I am so happy right now, you have no idea! Parasitic head twins FTW! (Did you actually see them? They are so horribly fascinating.) Those sharks are bananas though! Don't think I don't have that link open in a new tab as I type! Dude. I once saw a guy almost die (I have no idea if he made it) from jellyfish! I was doing an ocean swim in Florida (not because I wanted to, but because my swim coach made me, may he rest in peace but also that was evil) and the salt and the waves made me so sick that I couldn't stop puking and had to be taken in on a boat. ANYWAY, while we were heading to shore, they got a Code Oh Crap call and we had to turn around- this dude was COVERED with jellyfish. The lifeguards didn't know if he was going to make it, they doused him in vinegar, and some even got on the lifeguard! It was seriously insane!

    And is it just me or does the Quetzalcoatlus look like they're wearing yellow sunglasses and berets? And HELL NO to the damn spiders, ickkkk. (AGREE about mosquitoes by the way- you are spot on!)

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    1. Yes! I saw way too many parasitic head twins. Humans AND animals. Now I can’t un-see them. I hope the guy didn’t die from jellyfish. That would be a scary way to go.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. The nightmares are already starting! :D

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  11. To be honest, I don't want to read books about these things lol. But yes, a two-headed shark does seem like it'd be scarier than a regular shark. Maybe that will be the next sharknado movie. Oh man, you wanna talk about jellyfish being scary---my parents have a boat, and once as a kid or teen we were out in the middle of the ocean and I jumped into the water to snorkel and there were literally thousands of jellyfish under me in every direction and I swear I defied gravity and jumped out of the water to get back in the boat. Also I think I was stung by a jellyfish once lol, but I was young and the memory is hazy.

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    1. OMG, that’s terrifying. I also would have defied gravity to get back in the boat. Jellyfish are so scary.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. I love my sharks! I enjoyed the film Three Headed Shark Attack a lot and I have wondered why I haven't seen horror books with that in it. I've read one Titanoboa book but there is a second book out that I'm going to look for. I'm also all for various dinosaurs popping up in rainforests and jungles!

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    1. I wonder if there have been any 3-headed sharks discovered. I’d love to see a photo of that. I saw lots of 2-headed sharks while I was Googling for weird critters.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. That's a giant No Thank You from me. I did rescue a team of teachers from a surprisingly large spider the other day. Have you ever read The Land I Lost? We used to teach it in the late 1990s. It's a memoir of a man who grew up in pre-war Vietnam, and it includes a man-eating crocodile, giant snakes, and wild hogs.

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    1. I haven’t heard of that book. I’m heading to Goodreads now . . .

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  14. That two-headed shark is one of the freakiest things I’ve seen. And I really, really want to un-see it.
    And those giant bird creatures? Holy crap, those are bizarre.
    I can safely say I do not want to read about ANY of these monsters. LOL

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    1. The birds are so scary! No bird should ever be that big!

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. Oh no, now you just made me google Parasitic head twins (how did I miss that on Shannon's blog?). I think I was better off before I did. I will never be the same.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  16. Seek! These all terrify me! I think that although that gigantic snake is quite scary, the spider scares me the most. ;)

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    1. lol it is supposed to say Eeek- autocorrect gets me every time

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    2. The spiders scare me, too! I can’t handle spiders. They’re too gross.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. I feel like I really didn't need to know a 42 foot snake used to exist. I think I'd most like to read about a giant sloth! There was a display about them in the science museum that I used to go to as a kid and I was FASCINATED by them! Great post!

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    1. There’s all sorts of stuff in this post that I didn’t need to know. Actually, this whole blog is full of stuff I didn’t need to know :). Giant sloths are interesting. I kind of wish they still existed.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. Oh my. Two- headed sharks? That seems like a bad SyFy movie. In fact I'm pretty sure that it's been done, but they're REAL? Eek.

    This reminds me too that they found a crocodile in Lake Michigan a couple weeks ago. Actually, a caiman whatever those are. Now we pride ourselves around here haha on not having sharks and crocs and whatnot in the great Lakes, but if people are gonna start dumping that stuff in there *shakes head*. :)

    Spiders are just effing wrong.

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    1. A crocodile in Lake Michigan! No! Don’t put those in there, people! I like living in Colorado because it has an excellent shark-and-crocodile buffer around it.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  19. No lie - I did exclaim, 'What the hell is that?!' a few times through this post.

    Mosquitos have every right to be on this list. I used to live in a country where dengue fever was a huge issue so you had to be so careful about getting bitten. Plus I'm allergic to mosquito bites so that's a thing in itself.

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    1. “What the hell” is a good way to sum up this post. I’m glad that there aren’t many mosquito illnesses where I live. It’s so dry that there aren’t many mosquitoes.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  20. When I saw that mosquito my mind went right to disease. Great minds...Another truly terrifying monster post.

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    1. Thanks! I couldn’t make a scary animals post without putting mosquitoes on it. They’re the scariest animal.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  21. These are fantastic! I did, however, skip the section on the spider as I have a completely irrational fear of them in general. Even the tiny slow ones.

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    1. I don’t blame you for skipping the spider. I’m scared of them, too.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  22. I might have to use some of those monsters in my book!

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  23. I've always thought Quetzalcoatlus was kind of cool, but most of the rest would give me nightmares. That giant snake! [shudder]

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  24. I love these posts. 👍✨

    When I was around nine, I saw a 24 foot crocodile at the state fair. At that age I didn't really understand what a horrible existence it must have been for it. 🐊

    I would love to see woolly mammoths more in literature. Ha ha. I love them. 💜✨

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