These 11 Real-Life Superpowers Will Change How You Think About Nature
If we could just get them right, #9 and #10 could save lives.
Spotted Hyena Eats (Mostly) Anything
Some animals feign death or illness to convince predators to leave them be. Spotted hyenas are unique in that they don't care: their bodies can handle all sorts of microbes that would otherwise kill or make them ill. That's why they eat rotten meat without issue.
The Iron Jaw of Chitons
These molluscs have lived for hundreds of millions of years. Somewhere down this long road they developed natural metal teeth. Specifically the teeth are comprised of magnetite, the toughest material an organism is known to make.
Ostracod Escape Plan
This tiny crustacean (1 mm) is prey to many fish. When consumed the ostracod escapes by releasing a chemical that causes the predator to shine a bright florescent blue color, causing it to spit out the ostracod and the chemical, creating the illusion of a blue flame.
Frozen Wood Frog
Wood frogs are able to survive freezing. A third of their body's water freezes and their blood stops flowing. They find a place to hide before this occurs and can survive that way for half a year before thawing out and going about their business like nothing had happened.
Mantis Shrimp's Mighty Punch
This small but aggressive shrimp has a literal one-two punch. First they strike with their claws at twenty-three meters-per-second. The speed forms cavitation bubbles between the claw and the target, which can stun or kill the target when they burst, even if the strike misses. The mantis shrimp is so strong that it's known to break aquarium walls.
The Invincible Tardigrade
This micro-animal, sometimes called the water bear, can survive scenarios that would kill most anything else: decades without food, thirty years at -20 Celsius, the vacuum of space for ten days, ten years while dehydrated, and many other extremes.