Super powers aren’t just confined to the world of comic books – some animals are born with an incredible set of skills that we as human can only dream of or invent. Sharpshooters, red hot glue guns, unbreakable spines and even the ability to turn back time – if you need help, it may be quicker for you to get these guys on side than wait for Clark Kent to show up.
MR. UNCRUSHABLE – THE HERO SHREW
When you’ve got the word ‘hero’ in your name, you’ve got some living up to do – and this tiny, seemingly unassuming rodent goes above and beyond the call of duty. It has the strongest spine in the animal kingdom and its intricate interlocking nature gives the hero shrew’s skeleton a protective mechanism so strong – a grown man can stand on it and it will not be crushed! While not completely indestructible, some tribes have previously worn dead shrews about themselves to promote invincibility!
THE DUPLICATOR – THE PLANARIAN FLATWORM
While not exactly immortal, the flatworm is probably as close as you’ll get to finding an animal that can fraction itself off into miniature versions of itself. While regenerating super-animals like cats and octopuses can regrow parts of themselves, this weird worm can be split in two and survive as two completely new creatures! It can then be split again, and again, and again – though this process can’t last forever due to inevitable cell decay, it’s able to seamlessly regenerate thanks to an incredibly basic organ system.
MR. EXPLOSIVE – BOMBARDIER BEETLE
The bombardier beetle may be small but it is host to one of the natural world’s most effective and dangerous weapons – a hot and corrosive mix of chemicals that it brews in its stomach before firing into the face of its enemies. Unless you are made of steel you will find yourself on the painful receiving end of a scalding, burning squirt of glue should you be considered a foe of this miniature cannon!
THE FLASH – THE HUMMINGBIRD
It’s said that, relatively speaking, the tiny hummingbird is the fastest known animal on the planet – and at a flight speed of up to 60 miles per hour, it’s a wonder it doesn’t tire itself out. This may not sound fast compared to a peregrine falcon but in terms of body lengths covered per minute, this tiny bird which could fit easily into your hand, is in a class of its own. Indeed it can cover over 9,000 body lengths per minute which is comparable, if not faster relatively speaking, than most jet planes. Perhaps even more astounding is that i has been estimated it can cover 500 miles before needing to refuel!
THE PSYCHIC – THE PLATYPUS
While you might think of the dopey-looking platypus as something of an oddity and nothing more, it actually possesses a brilliant type of internal radar! As it needs to shut down all of its main senses as it dives for food, its bizarre bill takes on an amazing power all of its own – an electro-sensory power that picks up on tiny electric movements. This sixth-sense allows the Platypus to hunt with its eyes shut, and instead be led by its psychic beak!
THE HARVESTER – THE OCTOPUS
The octopus really is a marvel of nature – it’s remarkably intelligent and self-aware, and some are unbelievably poisonous – but one skill that’s common to the animal is perhaps its most brilliant. If we were to lose an arm or a leg, we’d probably panic. Not so the octopus as it can grow one straight back again! Not only does it have plenty with eight to begin with, its tentacles can split off and regrow without its owner batting any eyelid.
MIRACLE WALKER – THE PLUMED BASILISK
The keen green plumed basilisk gets its nickname – the ‘Jesus Christ Lizard’ – not from its ability to turn water into wine, but from its ability to run across water. The lizard will apply its feet to water with enough pressure and speed to create pockets of air between itself and the wet stuff – allowing it to speedily traverse across ponds and lakes, as demonstrated in this short video clip.
THE MARKSMAN – THE ARCHER FISH
Another ‘super’ animal that truly earns its name is the formidably accurate archer fish – which can shoot down unsuspecting insects from leaves in under a second. It does this by using its tongue and mouth to form a natural water pistol. In the blink of an eye, it can fire a jet of water about 150 cm – which would be like us trying to spit across a football (soccer) pitch.Share
THE REGENERATOR – THE CAT
Cats are surprisingly resilient animals – and as the saying goes, they always land on their feet. What you may not know is that a cat’s purr actually gives off a frequency of up to 150 hertz – jargon aside, this vibration has been proven to promote both healing and growth of bone matter! It’s also said that purring can release endorphins, making a cat calm and content – though as a built-in self repair kit it’s amazing enough!
THE CONCEALERS – BOBTAIL SQUID AND BACTERIA
The watery dream team of the Hawaiian bobtail squid and the bacteria vibrio fischeri is an amazing partnership that gives the tentacled titan its very own moveable torches! The bacteria are luminescent – meaning that they are constantly glowing – and they use the squid as a makeshift mobile home. Meanwhile, the squid manoeuvres the bacteria and their light to prevent its own shadow from being cast above it – keeping out of the way of predators!
MR. FREEZE – THE WOOD FROG
The wood frog’s super abilities kick in without it even trying – and it still has scientists baffled to this day. This minute Alaskan amphibian is able to withstand being frozen completely solid – and then thaw out again as if nothing had happened! This unique ability sees the frog’s heart stop beating entirely – and to see it spring back to life from the deep freeze is nothing short of miraculous. While other animals take time and effort to hibernate, this frog can sit back and let nature take its course.
THE X RAY MACHINE – THE MANTIS SHRIMP
Short of being able to see sounds, the aquatic mantis shrimp has an extraordinary wealth of vision that allows it to see pretty much everything that we can’t. It can see up to twelve primary colours (we have three), and can see both infa-red and ultraviolet light – types of light we as humans are only ever told about. Even crazier, however, is the discovery that the shrimp can see light spirals that no other animal can – which may or may not give it a secret communicative device!
THE IMMORTAL – TURRITOPSIS NUTRICULA
While there are some animals on this list that can heal, regenerate and split off, it takes something spectacular to match up to this jellyfish – which can actually turn back its own biological clock! Providing it is sexually mature it can simply choose to regress it cells back to an earlier period – meaning it can do so infinitely providing it’s not eaten in the meantime!