“I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.”
Thus wrote Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Or maybe Roy Croft — who knows? Certainly not the internet. Whoever wrote these wedding-ubiquitous words, they forgot to include an addendum specifically for the case of the male anglerfish:
“…when I am fused to you by the mouth for eternity”.
That’s right: The male anglerfish spends its entire life floating around in a dark abyss searching for a female to mate with, and when he finds her…boy, does it get steamy!
The fish shoots its shot by becoming permanently attached by its mouth to the bottom of the lucky female anglerfish, who, it should be noted, is 60 times larger than her mate and one of the ugliest creatures to ever live.
The male’s sole purpose in life is to produce sperm for his giant host, so that it may give birth to more ugly fish. As time passes, the male becomes completely parasitic to the female: Its organs eventually disappear and the female’s blood circulates through its tiny cuck body to keep it alive and producing more fish spunk.
Actual footage of this most sacred ritual has been non-existent until March this year, when two researchers from the Rebikoff Foundation captured a skinemax version while filming in a submersible.
Naturally, when it came to weird, gross animal boning, we couldn’t just stop at anglerfish. Here’s what we dug up, presented without comment because we couldn’t stop vomiting long enough to say anything useful.
Bed Bugs: “When bedbugs mate, they do so by ‘traumatic insemination.’ As the female lacks a genital opening, the male pierces her abdomen with his hypodermic genitalia to leave his sperm in her abdominal cavity.” — Mother Nature Network
Ducks: “Once positioned properly, the drake’s penis explodes outward, into the oviduct — or vagina — of the female, a process that takes approximately one-third of a second.” — Sciencing
Cats: “Cat sex is excruciatingly painful. The cat penis is essentially a horrifying engine of pain covered in a dozen tiny fishhooks.” — Knowledge Nuts
Garter Snakes: “When a female garter snake emerges from hibernation, she releases a pheromone that attracts hundreds of male snakes in the vicinity to rush her and create a large squirming ‘mating ball.’” — Neatorama
Giraffes: “First, he nudges her rump to induce urination. He then takes a mouthful of urine. If it tastes good to him, then he begins to court her.” — Neatorama
Snails: “Before two snails mate, they shoot ‘love darts’ made of calcium at each other. People used to think that these sharp darts are nutritional gifts, like you give someone you love a box of chocolate.” — Neatorama
North American Porcupine: “The lucky male that finds her — and manages to chase away any rivals — stimulates ovulation by drenching her in an explosive jet of urine described as ‘a high speed projectile.’” — Live Science
Honey Bee: “Whenever a male drone ejaculates into the queen his testicles quite literally explode, propelling both his semen and his (now broken off) penis into the queen’s vagina. This act paralyses the male, leaving him to die.” — What Culture
Hippos: “For a hippo, mating begins with the romantic act of marking your territory by urinating and defecating (at the same time, no less!), then twirling your tail like a propeller to spread the olfactory mess in every direction.” — CNN
Suddenly that last Tinder date doesn’t seem so bad, huh?
Sam Dworkin is MEL’s senior designer. He last wrote about: The Subreddit Where wikiHow’s Illustrations Are Even Better Out of ContextMore bullshit: