10 Animals with Real Superpowers

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Added by November 23, 2017

From Mexican Axolotl which regenerate its injured limbs, but much more complex organs like eyes, lungs, hearts, even their brains to parasitoid wasp which lays its eggs on top or inside of its host – here is our list of 10 incredible animals with real superpowers.

#1. The Mexican Axolotl. Regenerate Limbs
It’s not unusual for salamanders or amphibians to be able to regenerate, but, Mexican axolotl take it to the next level. On top of being able to regenerate limbs, the animal can also rebuild their jaws, spines, and even brains without any scarring. If they lose or damage a limb after being attacked by a predator, they will slowly grow the damaged area back. Some salamander species also have a defense mechanism when under attack, that sees their tail fall off and continue wriggling in order to give themselves a chance of escape. The tail that is left also grows back over time. You can cut the spinal cord, crush it, remove a segment, and it will regenerate. You can cut the limbs at any level – the wrist, the elbow, the upper arm – and it will regenerate perfectly. There would be nothing missing and there’s would be no scar on the skin at the site of amputation, every tissue is replaced. They can regenerate the same limb 50 60 to 100 times. And every time: perfect! These incredible animals can not only replace injured limbs, but much more complex organs, like eyes, lungs, hearts… even their brains! They can also perform head transplants with other axolotls, which seems like a very handy superpower. Scientists are studying the axolot’s regenerative abilities because it could offer insight into treating spinal cord and brain injuries in humans. Furthermore, the knowledge might lead to new treatments for heart and liver diseases or recovery from surgery by preventing harmful scarring.

#2. The Basilisk Lizard. Walk on Water
It may be a common phrase used for hundreds of years, but, unfortunately, no human has yet discovered how to ‘walk on water.’ Basilisks have the unique ability to “run” on water, and because of this, they have been dubbed as “The Jesus Christ lizard,” in reference to the biblical passage of Matthew 14 verses 22-34. They can achieve this impressive trick thanks to their long toes, which have fringes of skin in between, they rapidly slap that against the water, creating air pockets and keeping them afloat. However, it only works when the lizard runs fast, as it slows down, it starts to go through the surface and then has to swim. It can run up to one hundred feet across any body of water. For a human to do what the basilisk lizard does, they would have to run 65 miles an hour and expend 15 times more energy that a human is able to expend. The basilisk lizard will always stay near water as they use their water-walking skills to escape predators.

#3. The Mimic Octopus. The Shapeshifter
The mimic octopus almost has to be seen to be believed, and really, it is like something from a horror film. The fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia on the bottom of a muddy river mouth. The octopus is able to change shape in a matter of seconds, and can mimic the shape of a number of different ocean species – a strategy used to avoid predators. Although, mimicry is a common survival strategy in nature, certain flies assume the black and yellow stripes of bees as a warning to potential predators, the mimic octopus is the first known species to take on the characteristics of multiple species. The creatures they mimic include: Sole fish, Lion fish and Sea snakes. To imitate the sole fish, the mimic octopus builds up speed through jet propulsion as it draws all of its arms together into a leaf-shaped wedge as it undulates in the manner of a swimming flat fish, which is a very poisonous fish. To mimic the lion fish, the octopus hovers above the ocean floor with its arms spread wide, trailing from its body to take on the appearance of the lion fish’s poisonous fins. And to mimic the sea snake, the mimic octopus changes color taking on the yellow and black bands of the toxic sea snake as it waves 2 arms in opposite directions in the motion of two sea snakes. Scientists believe this creature may also impersonate sand anemones, stingrays, mantis shrimp and even jellyfish. This animal is so intelligent that it is able to discern which dangerous sea creature to impersonate that will present the greatest threat to its current possible predator. Whatever the reasons behind the mimic octopus’ shape-shifting ways, there is no doubt that it is one of the most incredible creatures on earth.

#4. The Turritopsis Nutricula. The Immortal Jellyfish.
What makes this animal so amazing is the fact that it possesses the greatest superpower of all: – Immortality! They are barely visible to the human eye, with an adult jelly reaching an average of 4.5mm, about the size of your pinky nail (0.18 inches). This incredible jelly fish has the ability to revert back to its immature polyp state after it reaches full sexual maturity. The process involves the jellyfish absorbing its own tentacles and bell and reverting back to the polyp colony state as a baby. The jellyfish literally sinks down to the ocean floor in this polyp state and begins the process of growing to sexual maturity again. If they sense some kind of crisis like starvation or physical injury, “instead of sure death,” the immortal jellyfish can transform all of its existing cells into a younger state. Because of their ability to change their cellular structure, scientists have been studying the tiny jellyfish in hopes of helping people who suffer from a cellular disease. As the process can be performed time and time again, the jellyfish is basically immortal. However, there is one thing standing in the way of the jellyfish and true immortality though: They have to avoid being eaten while in the polyp stage. As the jellyfish cannot actually move during this process, that can often prove a little tricky!

#5. The Hairy Frog. Breaks Its Own bones.
The Hairy Frog, which lives in Central Africa, also known as the “horrow frog” is a frog that breaks its own bones to create claws for fighting. The hairy frog possesses, as its name implies, features on its body that resemble hair. Its actually not really hair, but, it is thought to essentially function like gills. What makes this frog really amazing is that it possesses retractable “claws” made of bone which can be projected through the skin, “apparently by intentionally breaking the bones of the toe.” There is a small bony nodule nestled in the tissue just beyond the frog’s fingertip. When sheathed, each claw is anchored to the nodule with tough strands of collagen, but, when the frog is grabbed or attacked, the frog breaks the nodule connection and forces its sharpened bones through the skin, which is most likely a defense behavior. That’s certainly a frog very fitting of being labeled “the horror frog.” Can you imagine if every time people got in fights they did that… Another frog with similar superpowers was also discovered recently in Japan. The frog, known as the “Otton frog” possesses a retractable “spike” hidden within a false thumb. With regards to the hairy frog, there is some disagreement amongst researchers about whether or not the frogs use it for fighting and competition, or whether it has other purposes. The Otton frog, though without a doubt, uses its retractable “spike and claw” for fighting. It is not currently known exactly how they are retracted, but it seems to be a passive process. The damaged tissue then regenerates over it after it has completely retracted.

#6. The Platypus
The platypus is known as one of the world’s strangest and cutest animals. The platypus is a three-foot-long mammal found in Australia. They have a tail like a beaver – a bill like a duck – and a body like an otter. They are only one of two mammals that lay eggs and live without a stomach. The Platypus has special folds of skin that when they’re underwater, fold over and cover the animals eyes and ears. But even without the use of its eyes and the ears, the platypus is still able to catch and locate its prey. It does this through a process called electroreception. The electroreception is common in fish, most notably, sharks. The platypus is the only mammal with this sixth sense. There are large pores on the Platypus bill that detect electrical fields. Because all living things have an electrical field, the platypus is able to use this electroreception to its advantage. The Platypus can detect different levels and movements of electrical field and differentiate between them. If the Platypus bill is stimulated by the small shock of shrimp, it will follow that field to get to its prey. But if the Platypus detect something larger and more dangerous, it can swim away before being spotted. Despite being super cute, the platypus is known to be aggressive, and males can be extra deadly. Thanks to poisonous Spurs located on its hind legs.

#7. The Mantis Shrimp
It might be tiny, but this little shrimp packs a massive punch. Even though they are only 4 inches long, they are one of the strongest animals in the world. The Mantis shrimp have clubs they use to punch and destroy their prey. The shrimp has developed a complex muscular structure that actually winds up the shrimp’s punching arm like a spring. When the shrimp is ready to attack, it releases the spring-loaded club with the force of a bullet shot from a 22 caliber gun. The punch accelerates over 50 miles per hour with a force of over 330 pounds. That’s up to 2,500 times the shrimp’s own weight. Scientists have to keep these shrimp in thick plastic tanks because their punch can easily smash the glass. If a person could hit that hard, they could break steel. Besides the actual clubs, the force and speed the shrimp uses to attack create bubbles that are so strong that they act like a shockwave, stunning the prey first, then knocking it down. In essence, a Mantis shrimp punch acts and feels like multiple hits, even though it’s just one stroke. In order to punch that hard without breaking their clubs, mantis shrimp have a special shock-absorbent core called a “bouligand structure.” This keeps small cracks from breaking completely, and researchers are trying to imitate this structure to design thin, light materials strong enough to stop explosives.

#8. The Electric Eels
Despite their serpentine appearance, electric eels are not actually eels. Their scientific classification is closer to carp and catfish. These famous freshwater predators get their name from the enormous electrical charge they can generate to stun prey and keep predators at bay. Their bodies contain electric organs with about 6,000 specialized cells called “electrocytes” that store power like tiny batteries. When threatened or attacking prey, these cells will discharge simultaneously, emitting a burst of at least 600 volts, five times the power of a standard U.S. wall socket. They also have poor eyesight, but can emit a low-level charge, less than 10 volts, which they use like radar to navigate and locate prey. Human deaths from electric eels are extremely rare. However, multiple shocks can cause respiratory or heart failure, and people have been known to drown in shallow water after a stunning jolt. The shock of an electric eel has been known to knock a horse off its feet. They live in the murky streams and ponds of the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, feeding mainly on fish, but also amphibians, and even birds and small mammals. As air-breathers, they must come to the surface frequently. Electric eels can reach huge proportions, exceeding 2.5 meters in length and 20 kilograms in weight. They have long-cylindrical bodies and flattened heads, and are generally dark green or grayish on top with yellowish coloring underneath.

#9. The Parasitoid Wasp
Over a hundred thousand different species of wasps, there are a special type of parasite that helps to control pests from getting out of control – The Parasitoid Wasps. What makes these wasps so successful is their ability to paralyse their host. Their venom blocks the chemical octopamine that controls the insects motor functions. Once the host is paralysed, the wasp can do whatever it wants with the newly made zombie. The wasps lays its eggs on top or inside of its host. The larvae feed inside the host until ready to pupate, by then, the host is generally either dead or moribund. As in the case of this juvenile cereal leaf beetle. After being parasitized by a parasitoid wasp which lays its eggs inside it, the larvae emerge within the larva and begin to feed while it is still alive, before they burst out and kill it. Each species of wasps choose a different type of hosts like these caterpillars and ladybugs, flies, cockroaches, and even spiders. Other species of wasps lay eggs inside their hosts but do not paralyse them. In these wasps, it is the eggs that control the host. When they hatch, the larvae will stay inside the body. Instead of building a cocoon, they continue to control their host as they develop using it as a bodyguard for the cocoons. Then when the larvae is fully developed it bursts out of the host body just like alien.

#10. The Tardigrade
The tardigrade, aka “the water bear” is considered nature’s toughest animal and is impossible to kill. The larger fish species can reach a millimeter in size and in the right light, can be seen with the naked eye. Tardigrade are small aquatic creatures that can be found almost everywhere in the world, and are considered the cutest invertebrates. Inside these tiny beast, we find anatomy and physiology similar to that of larger animals including a full elementary canal and digestive system. Their superpower is their ability to survive super extreme conditions. scientists have experimentally subjected these creatures to minus 270 2.95 degrees Celsius, otherwise known as “absolute zero” for 20 months, and then to a hundred and fifty degrees Celsius. They have been subjected to more than 40,000 kilopascals of pressure and dangerous concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and still they returned to active life. In 2007 they went aboard the U.S. shuttlecraft (The endeavor) where the animals even survived the burning ultraviolet radiation of space when faced with extreme conditions. Tardigrades can dry out completely replacing almost all of the water in their bodies with a sugar. As a result, they’re able to survive environments that would otherwise kill them. Once the tardigrade senses it is in a safe place to live, it will plump back up by absorbing the water around it. It’s through this reabsorption process that the tardigrade grabs genetic material from its surroundings. 17 and-a-half percent of its genome comes from other species.

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