The natural world is full of breathtaking splendor and beauty, fascinating wonder and mystery, and inspiring majesty and sweep. From bleak, towering mountain ranges to the gentle moss-lined valleys, to the delicate wings of a butterfly to the glory of a seaside sunset, there is so much in nature that can make at ease the pensive mind and soften the hardest heart.
And then of course there are things in nature that are so filled with pants-pissing horror and eye-bleeding terror that one wonders why they were ever born into such a mess of a place. From the gaping craw of a Mako shark to the bird eating spider to the deadly searing heat of a lightning strike, the world can kill your candy ass a dozen times before you hit the ground. One of the most efficient ways nature has developed for killing things off is, of course, poison. And while we can forgive poison in certain animals, like Brown Recluse spiders or King Cobras, because at least we know about it, there are other members of the Animalia Kingdom out there that are like the Secret Agents of natural poison. Today, we blow the cover off five of them.
(Yes, the words “poison” and “venom” are used synonymously in this piece and yes, that is technically incorrect, but we’re going to plead the “No one actually cares” argument on this one.)