Ogopogo

Ogopogo

“Live by the sword, die by the lake in the cabin you loved as a child that is now a great comfort in your old age.”

It’s as true today as it ever was. What the quote fails to mention is the mysterious animal inside the lake. If you plan to die in Kelowna, British Columbia, on the shores of Okanagan Lake, that animal is the ogopogo.

the handsome ogopogo

Lookin’ good, buddy!

The reclusive ogopogo does not often make itself known. For years at a time, all anyone will see from it is a couple logs it floats to the lake surface for funsies and the DVDs it’s returning to Redbox. It’s hard to know much of anything about this shy… sea serpent? Dinosaur? Gyarados?

Special powers

Whatever it is, the ogopogo is pretty great at hiding. And online chess.

Weaknesses

The ogopogo is much like other enigmatic lake creatures, in that it hates having its picture taken. It went to a party with a photobooth once and had a panic attack.

Those Redbox DVDs are late.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The ogopogo shares a birthday with

  • Randy Haysbert[1]

  • George Railroad Martin, author of the Game of Thrones novelizations

  • The moon

What if it fought a bear?

The ogopogo would never show up to the weigh-in, with all those press photographers.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

It’s not easy to rate the ogopogo, given how little we know about it. We can make guesses about it based on the fact that it’s Canadian, like that it cares too much about hockey and uses colorful bills with loons and Geddy Lee or whoever on them as currency. None of these foibles are sufficient to drag this gentle sea beast down the ratings by much.

 

8/10

 

 

 

[1]For every Dennis, there is an equal and opposing Randy. The Quaids are the coin for which we know both sides, but there is also Randy Hopper, Randy Rodman and Macho Man Dennis Savage, for example.

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Giant huntsman spider

Giant huntsman spider

The giant huntsman spider is the largest spider in the world by leg-span (although there is another that is larger by mass). Its leg-span is twelve inches, which you may know as “a foot.” Like fellow oversized creatures Marmaduke and Beethoven, the giant huntsman spider is a scamp who’s constantly getting into adorable hijinks that fluster Charles Grodin.

what a darling

Aww, he thinks he’s people!

For example, the giant huntsman spider will come running with all eight legs pounding against the floor to tackle its adoptive family members when they arrive home. It’s just so happy to see them! And the feeling is mutual, though they’d prefer if the giant huntsman spider wouldn’t track in so much mud.

Special powers

The end of the workday isn’t the only time the giant huntsman spider shows its loyalty in a way that’s both endearing and exasperating. Consider also it sitting at the foot of your bed as you sleep, staring with its many eyes – waiting patiently for you to begin the morning. Such a good boy, but let me sleep in, buddy!

Weaknesses

Sometimes the giant huntsman spider’s cute antics can cost those around it, like when it got so excited on Thanksgiving and spilled the turkey on the floor or the time it dumped out Grandma’s urn to make its pentagram on the floor for The Ritual or when it ran between everyone’s legs and caused the constable to lose balance.

silly billy

Oh, giant huntsman spider, when will you learn you’re not a wee spiderling any more?

The giant huntsman spider can get so ornery when it wants treats.

Number of legs

Eight.

Political connections

The giant huntsman spider’s brother once ran for president.

What if it fought a bear?

The giant huntsman spider gave the bear a friendly hug as it’s so well-equipped to do. The next morning, the bear found a black spot on its paw. Three days later, it committed suicide. It’s a tragic story, but at least it got a little comfort from the giant huntsman spider before it went.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Oh, giant huntsman spider! I can’t stay mad at that face!

goochie goochie goo

Come down from up there, you mischief-maker!

 

9/10

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Saiga antelope

Saiga antelope

Africa seems to have a monopoly on all the most popular antelopes. But there’s a hip “underground”[1] antelope you may not have heard of over in Eurasia and it’s called the saiga antelope. It doesn’t have the mainstream appeal or name recognition of many other antelopes, but it’s no less worthy of our attention.

Special powers

The male saiga has horns. The female saiga carries a baseball bat with nails in it.

Weaknesses

The saiga antelope was cursed by a wizard to have its voice replaced by the wizard’s mocking impression. That is why its mating call is “Duuuhhh I’m a lonely idiot duurrrr!”

One imagines the wizard was inspired in part by the saiga’s dopey-looking nose.

saiga antelope got a big ol' nose

Oh buddy.

Number of legs

Four.

Fierceness factor

Quite low. A little higher with good horns.

unconventional, but solid

Not bad.

Is it a victim of ethnic cleansing?

Not exactly, but it is critically endangered due to poaching. Please, before you poach something, ask yourself: Am I making breakfast and is the thing I’m poaching an egg? If not, please don’t poach it.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear’s gonna immediately punch that nose.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The saiga is not as glamorous as most antelopes, with its inaccessible goofy schnoz. But it is exceedingly underrated. Fortunately, this is not Underrate Every Animal, the worst website of all time.

 

 

8.5/10

 

 

[1]Not literally.

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Hornet

Hornet

There are many wasps in this world. The hornet does not seem at first blush to be a remarkable one. But that’s because the first time you’re blushing at it, you don’t yet know about its successful restaurant business.

Special powers

The hornet is a very successful restauranteur. Below are just a few of the signature menu items at the hornet’s restaurant, sqüeeze.

 

APPETIZERS

 

Clams A l’Orange

Octopus Hearts A Cappella

Braised Duckling Feet in Bernaise Madoff

Chicken Finger and Pork Wing Platter

Chowder of the Day

Deep-fried Pork Belly Sliders

Honey-smoked Nacho Zingers

Pan-seared Orlando Salmon Flip-floppers

Beer-soaked Tequila Balls

 

MAIN

 

Sierra Nevada Battered Tilapia Cones

Re-pickled Goose Butt in Udon Alfredo

Goat’s Nodes a la Larry King

Barbecue Onion Nublets in a Cider Glaze

The Rabbit‘s Gambit

Chef’s Trio (pigeon, robin, and gerbil hog-tied to the railroad by a fiendish rogue with a list of demands)

Chicken-Fired Travel Cup Gravy Guzzler

Desultory Land Mussels In An Air Salt, Rock Salt, and Fire Salt Embalming

Sun-Dried Filet of Stork Leather On A Bed of Bone Marrow Salsa

Surf ‘n’ Turf (Angus steak and a skewer of Collin shrimp, with Steve potatoes prepared your way)

Turf ‘n’ Surf (our classic Surf ‘n’ Turf, in reverse)

East Virginia Brisket Splinters Drizzled With Hyper-Butter

Crisis on Infinite Turfs

Tarragon-Dashed Brussels Sprout Pockets Parmaggiano

Fair Trade Techno-Organic Cyber-Salad

Decanted Reducted Infused Disembodied Thai Peanut Un-Vapor

Slip-off-the-bone Rybz: An Authentic Simulacrum Sprinkled With Bacon-Inspired Protein Krunches®

Genuine World-Famous Sink Chunks

 

DESSERTS

 

Wasabi Rice Sorbet With One Fist-Sized Almond On Top

Barrel-aged Vanilla Mint Session

Vanilla-crusted Cedar Plank Barrel (serves 20)

Crème Braise Frisson Brulet Fraîche

Fudge-Sized Personal Pan Cereal-Style Marshmallow

LA KISS Presents Terminal Cancer By Chocolate

 

WINE

 

2012 Mad Australian Cabernet: A patois of plum and reveille, with notes of fetid armories.

2005 Bitches’ Gumbo Red: The wine of an illiterate, served in the commemorative Yoda cup of an imbecile.

2011 Chateau du Monde: A generous flim-flam, reconstituted and coronated for a new generation.

2009 Latverian Riesling: Supple with the piquant brine of a beloved janitor’s lanyard. A revelation for the trained mustache palate.

2008 Art Brut White: Connoisseurs of Grandmother’s dustiest cupboard will detect a hypothesis of marsh jewels.

2011 Grandeur Merlot: A tickle from a consumption-stricken youth born into wealth, followed by an afterthought of shame.

2008 Pellegrino: Heightens the senses, unseats the powerful, walks on the ceiling.

2001 Fellini White: The cast of J*A*G spits in your mouth.

2004 Greble Chardonnay: A resplendent slurry of false memories of vegetables that never were. Finish of Game of Thrones spoilers.

2002 Really Nice Wine: A really nice wine.

Weaknesses

The hornet is vulnerable to gasoline, napalm, dynamite, and missiles. This is not a comprehensive list.

The mortal hornet

The hornet can be physically destroyed.

Number of legs

Six.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

No.

What if it fought a bear?

As there are no honey-based disagreements between the hornet and bear, they have no quarrel.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I know people like the hornet’s restaurant, but I just don’t get it. Sorry.

 

 

7/10

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Octopus

Octopus

“Octopussy! She is Octopussy!
Beware her ink
You’re sure to sink
Into her sea of lies
Her advanced eyes
Will see you meet your doom
At the eight strong hands of Octopussy!”

 – Theme from Octopussy

Those lyrics are as true today as they were the day they were written. The octopus is not just a fanciful foe of James Bond. It is all too real, my friend.

octopus

This could be just an inch below your feet any time you’re in the ocean. Have fun!

Special powers

We mammals all have a heart inside us. Most others are the same way. The octopus, clearly just showing off, has three.[1]

Beyond this blood-pumping triple threat, the octopus has many special powers: poison, considerable intelligence – including tool use, ink squirting, the ability to change color at will, excellent vision, a salivary papilla which is a tooth-covered organ that shoots out from its sharp beak, etcetera.

There are even specializations on top of all that. The mimic octopus does impressions and is a wizard. Paul the Octopus was a psychic who predicted World Cup winners, but could not foresee his own untimely death in a car accident.

Weaknesses

We mammals all have a spooky skeleton inside us. Most others are the same way, or wear their skeletons on the outside, as bugs do. The octopus, however, has no skeleton at all.

Contrary to popular belief, the octopus hates gardening. The Beatles, in their famous song about the subject, were using irony. You like them now, right, kids?

Number of legs

Eight, two rows of suckers each.

Courtship

The male octopus has a special sperm-filled arm dedicated to this purpose, which it breaks off its own body and gifts to a female in a tasteful but creative ceremony. For a spell, flash mobs and jumbotrons were popular ways to make the offering, but are now looked on as cliché.

What if it fought a bear?

That bear you think you see is just the octopus doing a pretend. The real bear was defeated thirty-five minutes ago.

Is it noble?

The octopus’s motives are known only to itself.

Final rating

This inscrutable creature is very powerful indeed. Honestly, I’d say it’s OP and ready for a nerf. And no, I’m not just saying that because I am being repeatedly owned. I don’t need to learn 2 play, octopus! I know how 2 play just fine!

 

6.5/10

 

 

[1]Eat your super-sized singular heart out, Grinch.

 

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Seagull

Seagull

The biggest name in coastal birds is the seagull. Much like the biggest name in hamburgers is McDonald’s. The seagull is the McDonald’s of beach creatures. That’s not a compliment.

Special powers

Flight, of course. Though it’s also true that it is a great runner.

It worships the Ancient Ones, and may be spared or kept alive longer than the rest of us.

om nom nom

However…

Weaknesses

However, it is a very sloppy eater. It is such a sloppy eater that it extends all the way through the digestion process, right down to its reckless pooping.[1] Like many birds, it’s an idiot. It is also classless. It showed up to the raven‘s wedding in cargo shorts so it could hold more beers.

Number of legs

Two.

Wikipedia’s talk page asks

“Wouldn’t a nice photo of two gulls fighting over the entrails of a herring be a better shot to have uppermost in the giull wikipedia page?”

Other ratings of the seagull

“The herring gull is one of the most successful of birds.” – The Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals

“An unfortunate misstep that will undoubtedly damage the bird brand.” – Alan Sepinwall

“Promising in concept, flawed in execution. Shipping was fast.” – Amazon user Caitlyn P.

“Terrible. 9.6/10” – IGN

Related sports teams

There are not many teams named for the seagull, but those that are know the pride and fulfillment of achieving victory as a Seagull. Two Australian rugby teams have worn the uniform of the Seagull, but one abandoned it to become the Chargers. You know, like the thing that plugs your phone into the wall. They have brought shame and dishonor upon themselves by choosing this coward’s way out. Once a Seagull, always a Seagull.

Go Sammy Go!

You let down Sammy the Sea Gull of Salisbury University, Gold Coast.

What if it fought a bear?

It would lose.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

You know the saying, “You are what you eat.” The seagull eats garbage.


2.5/10



[1]Just like McDonald’s.

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Halibut

Halibut

San Diego Comic-Con was this past weekend, a time when our favorite corporate overlords release information about new entertainments to which we can look forward. This year, there were some juicy scoops, and I’ve got the best ones right here…

  • In the ongoing saga of Batman v. Superman, Superman filed the paperwork to countersue the Gotham vigilante.

  • We got our first look at the Dexter movie, continuing the adventures of the Showtime serial serial killer killer. In the exclusive footage, we witness the following dialogue…

CIA OPERATIVE: Dexter, we need you back – now more than ever!

DEXTER: I’m out of the game. I kill trees now, not men.

CIA OPERATIVE: This isn’t a man we’re talking about. It’s a monster.

DEXTER: Just when I thought I was a lumberjack, they pull me back in.

  • The dark, gritty live-action Grape Ape reboot is moving forward, finally handling the source material with the gravity it deserves. Michael Bay is attached to produce.

  • LEGO Entourage: The Video Game will get a downloadable expansion pack called Turtle’s Big Day.

  • In the proud tradition of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Blues Brothers 2000, Psycho II, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and The Rage: Carrie 2 (each everyone’s favorite in their respective series), the long-awaited sequel to Saving Private Ryan, titled Ryan: Shadow’s Legend, will at last hit the silver screen and doubtlessly be even greater than the first!

  • A man in glasses announced just some real nerdy business I didn’t understand.

  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson carefully and patiently explained over and over again that his show is non-fiction and that he didn’t need to come up with what “feels” his “character” would be experiencing. George Takei was on hand to repeat any science facts with added bacon references and Internet memes.

  • Fans rallied to demand a sixteenth season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in hopes of getting one step closer to the promise of “twenty-nine seasons and a movie, and the Tarantino episode doesn’t count!”

  • The new writer of the Green Lantern comic assured fans that the titular hero will be a “strong male character, as deadly as he is handsome.”

  • Mrs. Doubtfire: Origins will explore over five to nine television seasons the period before the marital problems or the Doubtfire disguise.

  • Doctor Who’s title will be corrected to its original intention, Doctor When. “It’s embarrassing that we’ve gone this long without fixing that,” admitted one producer.

  • Just in time for its fortieth anniversary, The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty will return, exclusively on Zune.

  • After a long period being non-canon, the halibut is returning to continuity.

Let’s focus in on the last one.

Special powers

It might seem like the halibut was never gone, but that’s because its reintegration into our reality is being done as a retcon, or “retroactive con.” The story and our memories now are that it was always around, but the truth is it was tied up in rights issues for years.

The halibut will be mostly unchanged from the old version. It is still the black and white cookie of the sea, thanks to its dark top and white bottom. It can still time travel. It can still make bubbles. It is still bigger than you probably think – weighing up to hundreds of pounds.

Halibut: The black and white cookie of the sea.

Halibut: The black and white cookie of the sea.

Weaknesses

Not everything is the same, though. Some of the halibut’s more ridiculous special powers have been stripped away, in an effort to streamline the fish and make it more relatable. Itno longer has super-hypnosis, phasing, the penance stare, or the ability to pull physical items out of its own thought balloons.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The halibut shares a birthday with

  • Theedge, guitarist for U2

  • Gordon Darkhand, who many assume to be a twisted copy of Gordon Lightfoot, but it’s actually the other way around.

  • Colin Powell

What if it fought a bear?

Original Halibut could destroy the bear in a heartbeat. Rebooted Halibut would need eight to ten rounds to win.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Welcome back, halibut. It’s like you never left.

 

7.5/10

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Coral snake

Coral snake

As I’m sure you all know, I am on the forefront of hot trends in facial hair. The latest, buzziest style is coral snakes on your doggone face.

This is so in right now.

This is so in right now.

You can personalize your coral snake to express your individuality.

You can personalize your coral snake to express your individuality.

Special powers

Unlike most things fashion has told us to put on our head, the coral snake poses a risk of venomous bite. To know whether you’re in danger, just look at the pattern of the colored stripes on its body and repeat the classic rhyme. “Red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow. Red touches black, you’re dead, Jack. Red touches blue, you’re dead, too. Red touches brown, you’re dead in the ground. Red touches green, this place is now a crime scene. Red touches gray, HEY! Guess what, you’re dead.”

And fun fact about that venom: the FDA-approved antivenom hasn’t been produced in the U.S. since 2003, because it’s not profitable to make more. Sleep tight!

Weaknesses

The coral snake was signed to Cash Money Records in 2010 and we still ain’t seen that album. What’s up, coral snake? Where’s the album at?

Number of legs

None at all.

Drink of choice

Stout.

Celebrity birthdays

The coral snake shares a birthday with

  • George Washington Carver, inventor of the peanut

  • Kevin Pollack, the famous painter

  • and Zack Morris, master of time itself!

What if it fought a bear?

It would never fight the bear. It looks too good wrapped around its ears and brow.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The coral snake looks great. On the other hand, it might bite you in the face and sink its venom into the snakebite that’s on your face now. Looking good comes at a price.

 

8/10

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Caiman

Caiman

Sometimes you want an alligator, but you don’t want, like, a WHOLE alligator, you know what I mean? For times like that, there’s a smaller, sportier model: the caiman.

dwarf caiman

There’s more of it under the water. Not too much though.

Special powers

It has been described by a RapGenius editor as “dripping Swagu (an attempt to tie swag to high-end aspirational brand Ragu).”

Weaknesses

The caiman has a poor fashion sense, especially compared to its otherwise nerdy cousin the gharial.

This slayed at Paris.

A hat made of your own young? Now that’s sartorial creativity!
(Photo by Udayan Rao Pawar)

Number of legs

Four.

Favorite video game

Glover.

What if it fought a bear?

The caiman claims to be a pacifist, but is actually a coward.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I know up there I framed being a smaller substitute for the alligator as a good thing. But the caiman just doesn’t satisfy. You’re just gonna need another in a couple hours; you know what I mean? Plus, it usually hates the capybara, and an enemy of the capybara is an enemy of this blog.

 

 

3/10

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Tortoise beetle

Tortoise beetle

The tortoise beetle knows your secrets.

When intelligence operatives talk about sweeping a room for bugs, it’s bugs like the tortoise beetle that they’re talking about. Many bugs are nosy, but the tortoise beetle takes snooping to another level.

Special powers

The tortoise beetle is so good at spying, it even has information on the CIA, and we here at Rate Every Animal have the exclusive scoop on what it has found.[1] Specifically, it has discovered an internal document that details CIA plans for its future tweets, such as:

  • “Don’t tell anyone but sometimes we hide our most sensitive secrets in Pharrell’s big hat.”

  • “Trust us, we listened in to all of that foreign national Borat’s calls. We learned a lot about… HIS WIIIIFE!”

  • “Our unofficial motto is: And you shall know the truth and the truth shall get in one little fight and my mom got scared. She said you’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in Bel Air.” (note: more than 140 characters. Can we apply for an exemption? Look into it.)

  • Could we get “drone’d” trending as a synonym/replacement for “pwned?”

  • “bae: come over

    me: I can’t

    bae: Osama bin Laden is here.

    me: *leaves roadrunner style dust cloud*”

  • “Kill list? Nah, all we’ve got is a trill list! ;)”

  • Intelligence suggests Grumpy Cat could be paid to pose for photographs. Maybe do something with that?

  • “I can haz South American #coup?”

  • “Waaaaaassssuuuuup! Remember? Like in the commercial? I can only feel anything any more by torturing a human being.”

Rarely, a golden tortoise beetle will be born. The golden tortoise beetle is said to grant wishes to those precious few lucky enough to discover it. This has never been confirmed by science, but a living bug made of metal would certainly seem to be magic of some kind.

Weaknesses

The tortoise beetle is still using MS-DOS at home. It pretends it’s making a statement and that it’s better somehow, but everyone knows it’s just scared to try to learn a new system.

Number of legs

Six.

Did I find something mentally scarring in a University of Florida article about the tortoise beetle?

Yes, and here it is.

tortoise beetle larva's anal fork

Guess what it’s for. Nope, just as gross though.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear can smush the tortoise beetle in normal circumstances. One made of gold, however. That might be enough to chip a tooth.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The tortoise beetle is quite attractive for an insect. It also violates everyone’s privacy on the reg. Fortunately, it doesn’t usually release those secrets, but then again it told me all about the CIA’s twitter. It’s probably best to stay on its good side.

 

10/10

 

 

 

[1]Eat your heart out, Julian Assange.

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