Super powers are not only found in comic books and sci-fi movies. As surprising as it sounds, they can be also observed in real life. However, you have to turn your eyes to the animal kingdom where there are many incredible creatures with extreme abilities compared to us humans. To show you some of the most amazing things animals can do, we compiled this post with 25 Mind-Blowing Animal Superpowers That Are Actually Real.
Also known as the steinbock, the Alpine Ibex is a wild mountain goat native to the European Alps. To protect themselves from predators, the goats typically live in very steep and rocky places at altitudes of up to 4,600 m (over 15,000 ft). The gravity-defying Ibexes are often observed wandering across faces of the near-vertical rocks, dam walls, etc.
Also nicknamed the horror frog or the Wolverine frog, the Hairy Frog is a bizarre creature living in Central Africa. It is known for its unique ability break its own bones to produce talons that puncture their way out of the frog’s toe pads. The gruesome behavior is believed to be a defense mechanism. The frog’s flesh has been found to heal itself after being punctured.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Weighing in as much as up to over 275 kg (600 lb), the Aldabra Giant Tortoise is one of the largest and heaviest tortoises to exist. Yet, this amazing animal is famous for another extraordinary ability – it can live for about 200 years. Zookeepers in India believe their tortoise, who died in 2006, was actually 255 years old.
The Pit Viper is a subfamily of venomous vipers found in Eurasia and the Americas. Located between the eye and the nostril, these snakes have a pit organ which contains a membrane that can detect infrared radiation from warm bodies. At night, it allows the snakes to see an image of their predator or prey — as an infrared camera does — giving them a true animal superpower.
Found in most tropical waters, the Mantis Shrimp is a fascinating marine creature known for several unique animal abilities. They have one of the most complex systems of color vision, which enables them to see colors that humans don’t even know exist. The crustacean is also known to kill its prey with a lightning-fast strike of its claw. The strike is so powerful that the Mantis Shrimp can easily break aquarium glass when kept in captivity.
It may be less than 13 mm (0.5 in) long and have questionable personal hygiene, but the Dung Beetle has won the title of world’s strongest insect. In scientific tests, male Horned Dung Beetles were able to pull as much as 1,141 times their own body weight – the equivalent of a person dragging 6 fully-loaded double-decker buses.
Little lizards found in warm climates worldwide, Geckos are famous for their ability to scale vertical walls and even hang upside down. Scientists have found that they can pull off these gravity-defying feats thanks to electromagnetic attraction that is created when electrons from the gecko’s toe-hair molecules and electrons from the wall molecules interact with each other.
We could probably create another list of extraordinary animal powers just with lizards as many of them are capable of truly outstanding feats, including the salamander. This amphibian is known for its ability to re-grow not just its tale but also entire limbs and parts of major organs. This fascinating ability is a part of the animal’s unique immune system.
An Australian ground-dwelling bird, the Lyrebird has the most impressive sound-mimicking ability on Earth. As a part of their courtship behavior, these songbirds perform incredible sound shows. However, they don’t stop at just mimicking other bird species. Man-made noises such as chainsaws, car alarms, rifle shots, and camera shutters can also become part of their remix.
Native to Eastern Australia, the Platypus is an awkward duck-billed mammal that may seem an unlikely animal super hero, but don’t be fooled here. The web-footed creature has an amazing sixth sense known as electoreception. This power allows the platypus – which has poor vision – to detect prey by sensing electric fields generated by its muscle movement.
A bizarre marine mollusk, the Cuttlefish is a special type of hunter that has evolved a very strange superpower which allows it to put on a spectacular light show that its prey, typically small fish and crustaceans, cannot help but be drawn to. What enables this hypnotic display of lights are chromatophore cells under the Cuttlefish skin, made of iridophores and leucophores that reflect and scatter light.
A strongly migratory bird, the Alpine Swift is one of the fastest birds in the world, but it has another unique ability to boast. Between September 2011 and April 2012, three birds of the species flew non-stop for almost 200 days from Southwest Africa to the Mediterranean. During this epic showcase of endurance, the birds landed just occasionally and never for more than a few minutes at a time.
Native to deserts of Southern Africa, the Meerkat is one of few animals that can look at the sky when the sun is shining because the black circles around its eyes act as built-in sunglasses, blocking out the glare of the sun. This helps the sentry, a lone Meerkat who watches out for predators, to see potential danger and alert the rest of the group by a specific peeping sound.
Man has been searching in vain for the elixir to eternal life for centuries. Now it looks like the answer might be in the sea. When an adult Scarlet Jellyfish (also known as the eternal jellyfish) is injured, it goes to the bottom of the ocean floor where it morphs back into its infant state, known as a polyp. Then, the polyp becomes a new jellyfish, allowing it to move between an adult and infant state in about 2 months. One jellyfish has been witnessed to perform the cycle 12 times.
The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, the Opossum is known to be immune to some snake venoms. In lab experiments with mice, a team discovered the exact molecule, called a peptide, in the Opossum’s blood that can neutralize snake venom. The peptide worked against several venomous snake species, including the western diamond back rattlesnake and the Russell viper. The Opossum is also immune to ricin and botulinum toxin.
The Pistol Shrimp is a family of small shrimps characterized by having asymmetrical claws, the larger of which is typically capable of producing an extremely fast and loud snap. This tiny marine animal’s claws can be cocked like a gun and fire a cavitation bubble nearly as hot as the surface of the sun, while emitting a sound louder than a gunshot (218 decibels).
An external parasite feeding on blood of mammals and birds, the flea is usually just about 3 mm (0.12 in) long as an adult, but these small flightless insects can actually jump over a distance of up to 200 times its own body length, which makes it one of the best (if not the very best) jumpers of all animals. Scientists believe the flea can perform this impressive feat thanks to a spring-like structure in its body.
Besides its unique ability to change its skin coloration, the Chameleon has another “super power” to use. Boasting the most distinctive eyes of any reptile, chameleons have large eyes with a 360-degree arc of vision and can see two directions at once. These bizarre animals also have a very unusual spit. Their saliva is actually 400 times stickier than that of humans.
An ocean-floor dwelling creature, Sea Cucumbers have two admirable abilities. First, they can literally spill their guts when threatened. Their insides are sticky and are meant to trap the attacker. Second, Sea Cucumbers have a compound in their tissue called collagen, which can change from liquid form to solid form and back again. This ability allows them to liquefy their bodies and pour themselves into a crack in a rock where they then solidify again.
Found in moderate, subtropical and tropical climates in most parts of the world, the Firefly is a family of winged insects made up of some 2,000 species. All of them share an ability known as bioluminescence that has fascinated humans for millennia. Yet, it was not until recently when scientists finally figured out the actual chemical reactions that produce this insect’s yellow, green, orange, and even blue glow.
Commonly found in brackish waters of estuaries and mangroves of Southeast Asia, Australia and Polynesia, the Archerfish is a small fish known for its unique hunting technique. The fish feeds on insects that it knocks down with water droplets shot from their specialized mouths. Scientists were surprised to find out how powerful and accurate these blasts of water actually are.
The Toxoplasma Gondii is a tiny, single-celled parasitic organism known for its terrifying ability to control its host’s mind. As it can only reproduce in cats’ intestines, the parasite infects mice and makes them more adventurous and less fearful of cats — in fact, infected mice even seem to become drawn to cats. This sinister effect increases the rodent’s likelihood of being eaten and providing a chance for the parasite to get into a cat’s intestine and reproduce.
Native to Africa, Southwest Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, the Honey Badger has the impressive reputation of being the most fearless animal in the world. It has an extremely tough, rubbery skin which is almost impenetrable. It also masters several highly effective, ferocious defensive techniques. Moreover, the Honey Badger is not affected by many stings and venoms. No wonder this bold meat-eating mammal has very few natural predators.
Despite the name, the Electric Eel is not an eel at all —it is the only species in the genus Electrophorus, a member of the knifefishes. This slender fish can reach over 2 m (7 ft) in length and weigh almost 23 kg (50 lb). Their name comes from the current-producing cells that coat most of their body, which can collectively discharge more than 5 times the voltage of a US power socket. The Electric Eel inhabits muddy waters in South America where it is the predator at the top of its food chain.
Found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers discharging into it, the Sockeye Salmon is known for its ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field to guide it home. Scientists have discovered that the fish can imprint on the magnetic field that exists where they first enter the sea as juveniles, and, when they reach maturity, they seek the coastal location with the same magnetic field. This allows them to navigate more than 4,000 km (2,500 mi) to spawn in the same stream in which they hatched.
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