Tag Archives: magic

Terror bird

Terror bird

It is more properly known as the phorusrhacid, but those who met it[1] knew it by another name: terror bird.

artist's interpretation

Its mom called it Elroy (she always preferred its middle name).

Special powers

The terror bird walked South America millions of years ago on big ol’ talons. It stood two or three meters tall, making it a very big boy. It would grab prey in its huge beak and smash it against the ground until it would stop moving. This technique is practiced today by the roadrunner[2] and Rob Lowe.

This is the terror bird's skull next to some keys. Have fun thinking about how big this thing was!

This is the terror bird’s skull next to some keys. Have fun thinking about how big this thing was!

Oh, and also it instilled terror in its foes with its demonic powers it learned from a correspondence course.

Weaknesses

It couldn’t fly.

It also couldn’t look in a mirror without accidentally terrifying itself, so its wigs were frequently askew.

Number of legs

Two.

Who terrifies the terror bird?

I don’t know, God I guess.

Fierceness factor

100%.

Reason for extinction

Stunted too hard on a crotch rocket.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has not often known fear, but the terror bird could fix that.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The terror bird lives up to its name just on pure physicality, before you factor in the dark arts. It just had terrible decision-making.

 

8.5/10

 

 

 

[1]And those who don’t have a trophy room dedicated to commemorating their spelling bee triumphs.

[2]“Meep meep” translates roughly to “My thirst for blood shall soon be slaked.”

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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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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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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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Flycatcher

Flycatcher

The flycatcher is not just one bird. It comprises numerous birds, which can be divided roughly into two warring factions – those who follow the monarch flycatcher and those who follow the tyrant flycatcher – as well as the third party silky-flycatchers and legendary fairy flycatchers.

Special powers

It can catch the fly.

The fairy flycatchers are said to grant wishes to the pure of heart, given sufficient audience applause and “fairy dust.”[1]

Weaknesses

PCP, mostly.

fairy flycatcher - rare, magical, druggie

So high.

Number of legs

Two, plus wings.

Notable followers of the Monarch

The disciples of the monarch flycatcher mostly have names which seem to have been made up on the spot shortly before a hard deadline. They include:

African Blue Flycatcher

White-tailed Monarch

Little Yellow Flycatcher

Black-winged Monarch

Black-backed Monarch

Black-chinned Monarch

Black-and-white Monarch

Black-faced Monarch[2]

Cerulean Paradise Flycatcher

Buff-bellied Monarch[3]

Shrikebill

Hooded Monarch[4]

Restless Flycatcher[5]

Notable followers of the Tyrant

The adherents of the tyrant flycatcher’s ideology have generally more fearsome titles. They include:

Great Shrike-Tyrant

Great Kiskadee

Cinnamon Flycatcher[6]

Sulphury Flycatcher[7]

Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant

Piratic Flycatcher[8]

Flammulated Flycatcher[9]

Drab Water Tyrant

Cattle Tyrant

Many-colored Rush Tyrant

Streamer-tailed Tyrant[10]

Scissor-tailed Tyrant[11]

Fork-tailed Tyrant[12]

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet

Eastern Wood Pewee

Agile Tit-Tyrant

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has no respect for the flycatcher’s hierarchy.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Agile Tit-Tyrant.

#AgileTitTyrant

 
 

9/10

 
 
 

[1]PCP.

[2]The most offensive flycatcher of all.

[3]The first bird to appear shirtless on the cover of Flex Magazine.

[4]This mysterious stranger never removes its mask. Can it be trusted?

[5]If you thought the fairy flycatchers loved PCP, wait until you see this one.

[6]The most delicious flycatcher.

[7]The least delicious flycatcher.

[8]This flycatcher isn’t in it for your war.

[9]You think it’s all hype? You think this flycatcher isn’t flammulated? Think again, bub.

[10]Its streamer tail makes it the most festive of all flycatchers.

[11]Its scissor tail is a powerful weapon against all but the rock-tailed flycatcher.

[12]Its spoon-shaped tail is a persistent source of disappointment for its parents.

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Electric eel

Electric eel

The electric eel is yet another animal with a misleading name. It is not a true eel; they are all Amish in fact. The electric eel is more closely related to the knifefish (which is itself most closely related to cutlery). So what kind of creature are we dealing with that is just two degrees from silverware and calls itself an eel without raising the requisite barns? As it turns out, a surprisingly powerful, not so surprisingly shady wizard.

Special powers

This one should be obvious. It generates and directs electricity. Of course, this raises an important question: what is electricity?

lightning

Is it a monster?

Well, allow me to explain. Electricity is a savage, unspecific kind of magic. Other kinds can perform complex tasks such as time travel or turning regular hats into top hats.* Electricity is only good for a few things:

  • The harm of humans & animals
  • The operation of machines
  • The pleasure of Nicola Tesla
  • Dalek food
  • Rarely, the bestowal of superpowers

Many know that Benjamin Franklin was the first wizard to accidentally harness electricity. Though he is now remembered for the other positions he held, he was at the time focused on being the greatest kite fighter in the colonies. A key battle of the Revolution was decided by two representatives engaging in a kite duel, with Franklin standing for America against the Kite Baron Reginald Faulkner. Franklin was so traumatized after killing Faulkner that he retired from kite fighting and devoted himself full-time to sleeping with French women.

In the year 1750, however, none of that had happened. Franklin was still happily flying kites equipped with his trademark key-blades. One stormy night, lightning struck his kite – and consequently, him. This of course gave him superpowers (see also Barry Allen, Billy Batson, Albert Einstein**). Specifically, the power to commune with marine life (see also Blade the vampire-slayer). With this, he was able to learn the secrets of electricity from a loose-lipped eel.

Weaknesses

The electric eel suffers from a terminal case of loose lips.

Number of legs

Not even one.

Professions

Like Benjamin Franklin, the electric eel has held many jobs. These include disastrous runs as dishwasher, human resources representative, and pharmacy technician as well as more successful stints as insurance claims adjuster and Miami area bounty hunter. It is a restless beast; it’s only a matter of time before it switches things up again.

Cinematic connections

Because of its physical similarities, the electric eel once spent a number of weeks living among the aforementioned true eels as a way of staying safe in the wake of a murder it witnessed. It sold a screenplay of its experience in Hollywood, and it eventually became the Harrison Ford vehicle called – you guessed it – K-19: The Widowmaker.

Electric eel

Pictured: Harrison Ford

What if it fought a bear?

The electric eel has a good chance of electrocuting it to death. Or possibly until the bear is given superpowers.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The electric eel is a shiftless, irresponsible creature who does not take seriously its great powers. However, were it not for this animal, we would not have modern conveniences like toasters and 2-XL.

2-XL

Legacy of the eel-Franklin friendship.

 

5.5/10

 

 

 

*Some very powerful magics can even go the other way!

**Hence the hair.

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Koala

Koala

It’s often said that the koala is a kind of bear. This is foolishness of the highest order.*

bear

Does this look like a koala to you? Does it really?

Cutest koala

And this? Does this look like the first picture? Do you need glasses?

The koala is more accurately classified as a teddy bear, the creature that shares a name, but only a handful of characteristics with actual bears. Notable members of the teddy bear family include the panda, Fozzie, wombat, Snorlax, Ursa Minor and Pooh. Teddy bears have shorter snouts and teeth which are far less powerful.

The koala eats only eucalyptus, in sharp contrast to its proper bear relative, the drop bear, which is a savage beast and master of aerial strikes.

Special powers

The koala is a peaceful being, with little need for offensive capabilities. Because it is so slow and weak, it has developed an affinity for mystical glamors – spells which make the koala appear either invisible or as something it is not. Favorite glamors of the koala include disguising itself as a drop bear, parking sign or another, smaller tree growing on the eucalyptus tree. If you’ve ever seen a parking sign, you may have actually had an encounter with the koala.

Weaknesses

Again, the koala is weak and slow. It also has a family history of diabetes.

Number of legs

Four.

Invulnerability to coughing

The koala, because of its eucalyptus diet, never coughs. Not even once.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear is not one to fall for cheap parlor tricks. No amount of witchcraft could protect the koala.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The koala keeps to himself. He is a good neighbor, quiet and unassuming. Doesn’t seem like the type to do anything wrong.

 

8/10

 

 

*Well, not the highest.

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Moth

Moth

When the butterfly dies and is raised from the dead through Egyptian black magics, it returns to this mortal plane as the moth. It may resemble the butterfly you once knew, but remember – he’s dead now. What you’re seeing is a monster.

Perhaps you doubt this. Perhaps you believe that the moth is in fact a living creature of its own, distinct from the butterfly. I would ask you to try killing a moth yourself. You will find that, when the demonic fire keeping the moth going is snuffed out, its body will be reduced to dust. Yes, dust just like the vampires in seminal genre television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Dusting

I REST MY CASE.

There are, believe it or not, a number of ways in which the moth is different from the vampire. While neither beast needs to eat to sustain itself, the moth does not feed on blood.* The vampire burns up in sunlight, whereas the moth only grows weak and nauseous. The vampire can be killed through a wooden stake to the heart or beheading, but the moth is vulnerable to most any traditionally mortal wound. It is, however, immune to all forms of disease.

Special powers

If you have seen the moth in person, there is little doubt that you have seen it careen toward a light source. It may appear to be a suicidal and unrequited love affair between moth and lamp, but the moth’s actions are not illogical. The moth does not die when it touches a hot light because it knows how to travel the subspace pathways that link all incandescent bulbs.** Any moth body that remains in this dimension is a mere husk, which will be easily replaced when the moth reaches its destination – which may be your home!

moth

The moth travels where it pleases.

Also, as mentioned above, the moth can not be felled by disease.

Weaknesses

Again, the moth weakens in sunlight. It is also, honestly, not that great at flying.

Number of legs

Six.

Life cycle notes

A cursed butterfly does not immediately emerge from its grave as a moth. First, it wraps itself in a cocoon made of pure silk. Within this structure of its own (or Ed Hardy’s) design, the corpse transforms into its new unholy form. After six nights, the moth breaks free, leaving behind silk which can be harvested by clothing manufacturers. This is why silk workers are no better than war profiteers.

Horrifying Wikipedia quote

Grease Moth (Aglossa cuprina), known to have fed on the rendered fat of humans[18]

What if it fought a bear?

The moth may be an abomination, but it is not terribly powerful. The bear would destroy it and become a hero.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The moth is a disgusting perversion of a good animal. A twisted funhouse mirror image. It does not have the strength to execute much in the way of evil, but its corrupting influence is enough to condemn it.

 

1/10

 

 

*Well, not usually.

**Thanks, Thomas Edison!

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