Yesterday, Valentine’s Day. This month, Love Month. Gaaawd, it’s mating season once again.
My supposedly 1.5-hour travel time from Makati to Lemery, Batangas became 4.5 hours last night! I was stuck in traffic in Tagaytay for more than three fuckin’ hours! And when I say fuckin’ hours, I mean fuckin’ hours. There are too many people celebrating the Love Day in Tagaytay last night. Damn you lustful people, damn you.
So let’s talk about sex. Aah, sex. Sex — everybody loves sex. Ask your parents, your grandparents or even random strangers on the streets (especially the streets of Tagaytay last night) and they’ll be lying if they tell you they don’t enjoy sex. Admit it, even you enjoy sex as much as everyone does. There’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone does it. Birds do it. Bees do it. Even worms do it. But do you have any idea how exactly animals do it?
You’ll be surprised by how strange the mating rituals of some animals can get. If you think your foot fetish or fascination to bondage and leather is weird enough, take a good look at how our friendly neighborhood animals fulfill their duty to reproduce. Prepare yourself to be blown away by some of the most bizarre mating rituals in the animal kingdom.
10. Tasmanian Devils
Of course, sex is not just about orgasms and all the other heavenly feelings that come with it. Pain is almost always a part of the entire sexual experience. And if there is one animal that knows this fact of life very well, it has to be the Tasmanian devil. If you want to move to Tasmania, expect hearing shrieks from the devils from late February to mid-March, their breeding season. Their mating ritual can be described as a very violent affair. These sadomasochist marsupials engage in ritualized combats. Female devils solicit the males and choose their mates according to physical strength and experience. In other words, they beat up each other, which often results in injuries to the head, rump and neck. Tough love, huh?
If you think only human beings can appreciate porn, think again. To some pandas, porn is not a stranger. More interestingly, they are not forbidden to watch porn. In fact, they are encouraged to view taped hot, steamy panda-to-panda action by researchers. This is because for quite a while, zookeepers had a hard time getting pandas to breed. They showed very little interest in sex until someone from Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base in China decided to show them panda porn!
Although this habit is somewhat forced to them by humans, you cannot deny that their increased interest in making love is enough to make our heads spin. Porn-watching is encouraged today in order to enhance their sexual ability, increase their reproductive capacity and make their population bigger. Thank God for porn!
βFinding Nemoβ? may have taught you a number of facts about the ocean and marine life but there’s something the filmmakers forgot to tell you — Nemo can switch genders. It doesn’t mean that Nemo is gay (But who knows? Haha). It’s just that clownfish, in general, can really switch genders. These lovely bright orange-colored wonders of the sea live in a group which consist of a breeding couple of male and female together with some non-breeding males. The hierarchy is strictly based on size: the biggest is the female, the next biggest is the male. But in the event that the female gets fished or dies for any reason, the breeding male will change his sex and become the female. Then, the largest of the non-breeding clownfish will be promoted to become the breeding male.
7. Honey Bees
The reproductive cycle of honey bees is very complex. Like ants, honey bees have a complicated hierarchy that every single bee in the hive follows. You will need an encyclopedia to understand how their social structure works.
But to make the story short, remember that there is always a queen bee. The queen is selectively bred in a special cell in the hive. Worker bees feed her royal jelly to induce her into becoming sexually mature. Needless to say, there is a tough competition inside the queen cell. A virgin queen that survives being an adult without being killed by her rivals will take a flight with a dozen or so bachelor drones, out of tens of thousands of drones in the colony. Lucky guys, eh? Not really. During mating, their genitals explode inside the queen. Yes, explode. Their genitals snap off inside the body of the queen bee. What happens to the drone? Don’t worry, he’ll be in, well, heaven.
6. Banana Slugs
Humans care so much about size. Men even have contests within their circles of who’s the most gifted among them. If they were banana slugs, they would never wish they had the longest. Banana slugs have an enormous penis. In fact, their species name βdolichyphallusβ? is Latin for βgiant penis.β?
To give you an idea of how huge it is, picture this: the average banana slug penis stretches from six to eight inches. That’s really long for a creature the body length of which is… well… six to eight inches.
But more incredible that that, a banana slug should choose a mate that is roughly its own size. If it miscalculates, it will find its penis stuck during copulation. If that happens with people, that’s pretty embarrassing. But banana slugs have a brutal way of resolving the problem — the other slug bites it off. Ouch!
The argonaut is a species of octopus. But they are very different from other types of octopus. First, they exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism in size. Sexual dimorphism refers to the difference between males and females. While female argonauts can grow up to 10 cm, the male ones hardly reach 2 cm. But that’s not what makes argonauts weird.
Male argonauts can produce a ball of spermatozoa in a special, modified tentacle called βhectocotylus.β? When a male argonaut spots a potential mate, it detaches its βpenisβ? and lets it swim to the female all by itself. Imagine if that were possible with human males. Hey dude, you’re being followed by a dick!
4. Red-sided Garter Snakes
And then come orgies! ORGIES! Imagine an orgy of hundreds! Yes, yes? Well, if you like huge orgies, you must have been a garter snake in your previous life.
If you want to see countless snakes swarming as if they were having a massive public orgy, visit Manitoba, Canada during the mating season. In fact, it has become a tourist attraction. When a female garter snake completes its hibernation, she releases a pheromone, attracting hundreds of male garter snakes and creating a large mating ball. Like many other species of snakes, the male garter snake has two hemipenes (snake penises) on each side of the body.
As if it’s not odd enough, there are also she-male garter snakes. These are male snakes who fool other males by releasing the same pheromones that the females do. Scientists believe that these she-males do so so they could have warmth and protection.
Ever heard of βtraumatic insemination?β? It is the practice wherein the male bedbug pierces the abdomen of the female with his genitals to inject its sperm into her abdominal cavity through the wound. That sounds scary and painful, eh? Yes, this is how bedbugs βmake love.β? Through this, the male bedbug doesn’t even have to bother with the sexual organ of its mate. All it needs to do is stab the female and deposit its sperms into her abdomen. Scientists believe that this is a result of evolution, overcoming female mating resistance. Imagine men being capable of this. Now that’s traumatic.
If one of your cynical friends tells you that there is no such thing as βtogether forever,β? then he/she hasn’t seen one amazing marine organism. Imagine living under the sea. Of course, it can be extremely difficult to find a mate. Thus, evolution solved this problem in a beautiful way. Meet the anglerfish, a deep sea fish that is notorious for its hopeless romantic nature. At first, scientists wondered why they all they could catch wer female anglerfish with a lump on the body that looks like a parasite. They were puzzled by their failure to catch any male. This was until they realized that the lump on the female’s body was actually a male fish.
Male anglerfish are born with no digestive system. Once they hatch, the need to find a female anglerfish quickly. Once it spots one, the male would bite the female’s body and releases an enzyme that would digest his skin and her body, causing them to fuse in an eternal embrace. Then, the male fish wastes away into nothing but a lump on the female’s body. When the she is ready to spawn, the make appendage releases sperms for her eggs. Sweeet.
1. Redback Spiders
Would you risk your life just to get laid? Your answer is most likely a huge βNO.β? Redback spiders would, though. In fact, they actually die just to mate.
If honey bees exploding their reproductive organs and dying in the process isn’t brutal enough for you, you should see redback spiders in action. They add a cannibalistic twist to the often deadly process of reproduction. Male redbacks need to mate and deposit his sperms into a female. On the other hand, female redbacks love to mate, too. It’s just that she likes eating while mating — eating her mate. Yes, in order for a male redback to successfully mate with a female, he stands on his head and offers her his abdomen. She, then, squirts digestive juices and inserts palps into his abdomen while he does his work. The sad part is, most male redbacks do not survive this process. Ah, the price you pay for sex.
While humans have sex just for pleasure most of the time, many animals mate because it is their natural obligation. It may be hard to believe but it seems like it is programmed into them. Their mating rituals may be funny, ridiculous or fatal, it’s nice to know that each organism tries hard to make sure that they continue the βbloodlineβ? so their species could remain existing in the years to come.
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