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20 Animals With Special Abilities That Are Almost Super Powers

Photo: National Geographic

Ever since the dawn of time, we as humans have been inspired by the animals that surround us, craving to have the abilities they do. Flying like a bird, swimming and diving like a fish, etc. 

Some animals, however, have abilities so crazy that you’d think they have superpowers. Let’s take a look at 20 animals that defy the laws of nature.

#20. Ring-Tailed Cats

Photo: Youtube

While not exactly a cat, as it’s actually related to raccoons, the Ring-Tailed cat is an excellent climber and can often be found doing crazy acrobatics to reach its preferred places: treetops.

They have special joints and bones in their legs that enable them to rotate their ankles up to 180 degrees, which explains why they are able to pull off the crazy stunts that would make any stunt double jealous!

#19. Common Ants

Photo: Lawn Love

A rather well-known fact, but always impressive nonetheless, is that ants are some of the strongest creatures in relation to size, as they are able to carry things that are up to 50 times heavier than themselves.

And as if that wasn’t enough, these little guys can also live up to 15 years. Of course, it entirely depends on the species.

#18. Honey Badger

Photo: Wikipedia

Honey Badgers may seem cute, but they’re quite ruthless. When it´s time to eat, everything is fair game. 

What makes them so different is that they won’t be intimidated by other animals, regardless of their size, strength, venom, or any other advantages they have against them. They won’t stop until they eat or die.

#17. Hummingbirds

Photo: Youtube

Everything about hummingbirds is fast, not just the flap of their wings. Their heart rate is a staggering 1,260 beats per minute, and their metabolism is the fastest in the world if we don’t count insects.

They can also hover in mid-air, fly backward and upside down, bat their wings over 80 times a second, and even lay the smallest bird eggs in the world.

#16. Chameleons

Photo: BBC

There are many types of chameleons, and while the average is able to change into more natural hues, many others have the ability to take even the most vibrant colors they wish to. Some species can change their entire body colors in a mere 20 seconds!

The explanation behind this ability is simple: their brains send impulses to the skin’s melanin to mix into different colors until they blend with their environment.

#15. Pit Viper

Photo: Youtube

Pit vipers have “pit organs”, which give them an ability better described as “heat vision,” located near the nostrils.

This organ allows them to find and track prey even when it’s pitch back. They can “see” the thermal energy the prey emanates, which forms a picture akin to what we humans would see when looking through infrared cameras.

#14. Dolphins

Photo: Youtube

Dolphins use echolocation to get around, which means they emit ultrasound waves that bounce off objects and reveal their location.

As it happens, ultrasound can also catch faint fetal heartbeats, which lets dolphins know someone is pregnant. This actually gets them excited, overly playful, and even aggressive! This is why many aquariums don’t allow pregnant women. 

#13. Naked Mole Rats

Photo: Youtube

Naked mole rats are virtually invincible. Most rodents their size, like rats, only get to live about 4 years, while these guys can live up to 30.

This sturdy animal seems unable to feel most types of pain, and it’s also able to survive for nearly 20 minutes without breathing. Additionally, thanks to a special sugar in their system, naked mole rats are completely immune to cancer.

#12. Axolotls

Photo: Ein Herz für Tiere

Axolotls have the amazing ability to regenerate themselves when it comes to bones, nerves, muscles, and even internal organs! And it all starts immediately after they get injured.

Scientists are still looking for an explanation as to how they regenerate so quickly, but so far, nobody knows why.

#11. Platypus

Photo: UNSW Newsroom

With a beaver-like body and tail, a duck’s bill, sharp claws with poison, and the ability to lay eggs despite being a mammal, the Platypus is one of the strangest-looking creatures on Earth.

The platypus has a “sixth sense” called electroreception, and it allows the platypus to locate prey and objects underwater. 

#10. Peregrine Falcon

Photo: TMJ4

Holding the record as not only the fastest bird but also the fastest animal on Earth, the peregrine falcon can reach a maximum speed of 240 miles an hour.

They are not only excellent hunters but also their eyesight is so advanced that what we see as fast or fluid, for them feels more like stop motion.

#9. Alpine Ibex

Photo: Youtube

Thanks to their muscular structure and split hooves, these mountain dwellers are absolute experts at climbing almost completely vertical walls and structures, even from a very early age. 

In fact, it’s said that mothers and their kids tend to be the best at climbing and even enjoy frolicking as if they weren’t one misstep away from falling all the way down.

#8. Lyrebirds

Photo: Youtube

This bird from Australia puts even the trickiest of parrots to shame: The Lyrebird. Lyrebirds are songbirds, and, as the name implies, they often sing. In fact, during the breeding season, they sing for up to four hours per day. But here comes the crazy part.

They can accurately duplicate ANY noise and sound they hear: Not only voices and sounds made by other animals but also mechanical noises like chainsaws and even phone ringtones and gunshots! 

#7. Horned Lizards

Photo: Wing and Song

Living in the desert is very complicated for small animals as there are no good hideouts, and it’s full of enemies. For the Horned Lizard, its spiky attributes sadly weren’t enough, so it had to develop a better way to warn its predators to stay away.

Because of this, the Horned Lizard can shoot a vile-tasting spray of blood from its eyes. They usually don’t tend to attack humans, though.

#6. Archerfish

Photo: New Scientist

As the name implies, this fish is very good at archery, its go-to method for hunting its prey. 

Once the fish spots an insect resting on a lilypad, it gathers water in its mouth, packing it tightly and then shooting the jet of water right at the insect to knock it down. Then, it simply swims to it and eats it.

#5. Dragon Millipede

Photo: Youtube

This is the Dragon Millipede, and it has special glands that produce cyanide to protect itself from predators. It’s even said that the insects smell like cyanide, a smell that can be easily compared to almonds.

Luckily, you won’t find this creature in your garden, nor anywhere near the US, for that matter. Their home is found in southeast Asia.

#4. Electric Eels

Photo: Smithsonian Magazine

Electric eels are not like in movies and can’t actually electrocute a human. This, however, doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous.

They generate shocks of 860 volts, which are strong enough to easily kill their own prey, such as small fish, shrimp, crabs, and small animals like rats. 

#3. Horror Frog

Photo: AZ Animals

You might think the name “Horror Frog” is an exaggeration, but this creature earned it for a reason: this frog can break its bones at will.

Once it does, it pushes the sharp ends out of its skin to use them as spikes to protect itself from predators. Upon research, scientists found that there is a bone nodule in its body that, when pressed, forces the bone shards in and out.

#2. The Water Bear

Photo: Macleans.ca

These extremely small animals, which are neither bears nor made of water, are practically indestructible. They are microscopic and can survive any type of calamity!

They can endure exposure to extreme temperatures and pressures, radiation, dehydration, air deprivation, and starvation. They have even survived exposure to outer space!

#1. The Mantis Shrimp

Photo: Research Tweet

The mantis shrimp can and will kill every other creature that comes its way, and it is so strong that it will even shatter the glass walls of a tank, which is why it’s almost never kept on display.

These guys can reach up to 30 cm in length, and their attacks are not only strong but also fast. They are so fast, in fact, that they produce sound and light and make the water around them boil due to the speed of their hits.