As a reporter of animals, I took it upon myself to create a list of animals that I find spooky and rank them from one to ten. I would like it to be understood that this list has no scientific reasoning backing the placement. If any of these entries offends you in any way, I apologize!
As Halloween draws closer I want to draw the attention away from bats and spiders and to the real spooky animals in our world. Here are my top ten spookiest animals.
NUMBER TEN: CAT
Do you love cats but hate cleaning out the litter box? Well, my friends, there is a good reason you should be avoiding that kitty poo and that reason is a little parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. These little buggers start their life cycles in the intestines of cats and mature in rodents, then finish them in cats. The parasite has to convince rodents to get close to cats to let this happen, though so it turns them into little rat puppets that just stroll up to predator cats with no fear! In humans, these parasites have been linked to schizophrenia, loss of concentration, slower reaction time, and even a tendency to obsess over cats. So I guess that this entry should go to Tosoplasma gondii and not cat—but cats are still the vehicle for the parasite, so—there lies the spooky.
NUMBER NINE: PIGEON
What I find most unsettling about pigeons is that if feels like everywhere you go, there they are. Watching. Eyes unblinking. Toxic poop just waiting to drop. Never trust a pigeon.
NUMBER EIGHT: ELK
Deer are cute and gentle and they can’t do any harm. Now make that deer enormous and give it swords for antlers and make its butt look like a big acorn. That’s an elk. Well, besides the swords thing. That’s just me being dramatic. Elk are lovely to look at when you’re looking at them from the side of the road 30 feet away and may not seem very scary, but when you’re out hiking and one just appears, it’s like the world stops. Perhaps the spookiness of an elk comes in the way that it effects your soul. Approaching an elk is like approaching a real life forest god. Do so with reverence, or you will regret it.
NUMBER SEVEN: SCORPION
Okay so what is a scorpion? Let’s break this down. First, you have pinch-pinches (The pedipalps), then the tinker tappers (Those are the legs), then the death stick (the tail). Every single one of those parts are terrifying. Why do these exist oh my god.
NUMBER SIX: LAMPREY
So you know what is weird? Fish with no jaws. The whole phylum Agnatha, which means “no jaws” is a whole world of weird, slippery round spookies, the spookiest of which is the lamprey. The lamprey has rows of teeth that it uses to clamp onto its prey and suck out blood and other bodily fluids. And yes, sometimes lamprey will mistakenly latch onto a human.
If you thought these animals were spooky well then you are in for a surprise because next week is going to be a scare-fest. The spookiest animals are yet to come, so watch out, Lawrence University! The spookiest animal may even be one that you know and love…