Favorite Five: Real-Life Animals Made For Horror Fans (Round 2)

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When FDR uttered the immortal line: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” he clearly had not tangled with a crocodile, stumbled upon a King Cobra, or swam with a Great White shark. Many horror films, if not all of them, take cues from the real world, from science, from nature, from the terror that exists on this planet that Mother Nature has created. What can we conclude? Mother Nature clearly hates the human race. How else can you explain vampire bats and piranhas? The world is full of deadly, horrifying creatures.

Many people are terrified of spiders, others of snakes (Indiana Jones is perhaps the most famous snake hater), and some can’t dip a toe into a pool because of Steven Spielberg’s JAWS. There are those that are scared of everything, and lastly, there are the foolish few who say they fear nothing, but we all know their full of it. Me? I find the dead eyes of goats and sheep creepy as hell, I think that Ostriches and Emus are out to get me, and (like Indy) am not a big fan of snakes.

The animals and sea creatures that I have mentioned are the obvious ones, the ones we find almost every Friday night on the SyFy channel in giant B-movie fashion. Bears, sharks, spiders, snakes, alligators, piranhas… these are so prevalent in horror that the sight of an irradiated monstrous one (slightly) loses its impact. I’m here to freak you out about OTHER real-life animals that Mother Nature must have made just for fans of horror and monsters. Animals that shouldn’t exist, but do, whether they troll under the depths of the sea, soar across the open skies, or hunt in the dense jungle.

The first round of Favorite Five: Real-Life Animals Made For Horror Fans included such beasts as the Frill Shark, Candiru, and Tarantula Hawk. What awaits in Round 2? You’re about to find out…

FLYING SNAKE

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You thought you knew everything horrifying about snakes. But no, snakes have no upper limit to their terror, like a game of Balderdash with in-laws.

Meet the Chrysopelea, or the flying snake. Science (psh) will tell you the “flying” is a misnomer, as they simply glide and ride the wind and undulate their body to maneuver the current. But COME ON. The paradise tree snake, one of the smallest, can “glide” up to 330 feet. To me, that’s 330 feet too many, and close enough to freaking flying. Plus, the more of an updraft, the more deadly a range these suckers have. Even without a strong current, the vision of a Tarzan-like snake, swinging from tree to tree, makes me want to cry.

These 2-4 foot monstrosities are also geniuses of physics and masters of their body, as they literally prepare for take off: they slide their way to the end of a branch, “dangle” in a J-shape and then push off with their back, er, body segment. Then, they loop into an S-shape and flatten to twice their normal width… and start undulating. By the way, THEY CAN MAKE TURNS and adjust their altitude. These ridged-scaled NASCAR-wannabe bastards are better gliders than flying squirrels, who get all the publicity, and are far more adorable.

They hunt during the day for bats, lizards, frogs, birds, and the like. But don’t worry, the Chrysopelea are only mildly venomous (that’s like saying Detroit is only mildly dangerous or Crispin Glover is only mildly crazy), and thankfully their toxicity isn’t dangerous to humans. Phew. Even still, I don’t think my fears are squashed.

Say I find myself in the jungles of southeast Asia, as I find myself from time to time, taking a walk. Now I can’t shake the image of a flying snake “undulating” from a tree top and wrapping its body around my neck while repeatedly biting me. I don’t care if they supposedly normally “fly” to run away from predators, there’s no way they have that kind of power and don’t use it to hunt, and there’s no way I won’t piss myself and potentially die of a heart attack if that aforementioned scenario occurs.

Don’t lie: some animals you wish were endangered or extinct. This is one of them. Unfortunately, according to National Geographic, most species are in “abundance.”

Oh, and this is how snakes take over the world:

Words don’t describe it. That 13 second video, in which the owner praises the snake for OPENING a CLOSED door, is practically begging to be the opener for a PLANET OF THE APES style movie with snakes. I hope you’re listening Roger Corman.

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