27 Incredible Animals With Real Superpowers

Humans have got nothing on these.

1. Chitons can make their own magnetic teeth.

Kirt L. Onthank / en.wikipedia.org

These molluscs might not have a face, but they do have the ability to make their own teeth out of one of the hardest materials made by a living organism: magnetite.

2. Hairy frogs break their bones and push them out through their toes to make claws.

Gustavocarra / en.wikipedia.org

Yup, like Wolverine.

3. Pit vipers can see in infrared.

Mark Mannetti / en.wikipedia.org

So there’s nowhere you can hide (except maybe a freezer).

4. Salmon sense the Earth’s magnetic field to guide them home.

Flickr: usfws_alaska / Creative Commons

5. Bees can sense the electric field of a flower and use it to find pollen.

Flickr: anastasyar / Creative Commons

And yes, apparently flowers have an electric field.

6. Alpine ibex mountain goats can walk up walls.

Here are some scaling the Cingino Dam in Italy to lick the walls for mineral salts.

7. Mantis shrimp swing their arm out at 80kph when they punch, with about the same acceleration as a .22-caliber bullet.

Flickr: silkebaron / Creative Commons

They can also see ALL of the colors, including ultraviolet, with their 16-color receptive cones.

Roy L. Caldwell, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley / Via en.wikipedia.org

Humans have just three. Which might explain why mantis shrimp look so magnificent compared to us.

8. Pistol shrimp have a claw that snaps shut so quickly it creates a cavitation bubble almost as hot as the surface of the sun. When it collapses the bang can reach 218 decibels.

9. Dragon millipedes can shoot cyanide at their predators.


10. Sea cucumbers can shapeshift by essentially liquifying their bodies to squeeze through small gaps.

Flickr: laszlo-photo / Creative Commons

11. Elephants can lift almost 300 kilograms with their trunk.

13. Fleas can jump 200 times their body length in a single bound.

14. Bombardier beetles can trigger an internal chemical reaction that creates a boiling jet to expel toward their attacker.

Patrick Coin / en.wikipedia.org

15. Geckos can walk up windows thanks to electrostatic forces between thousands of tiny hairs on their feet and the surface.

Bjørn Christian Tørrissen / en.wikipedia.org


16. Geckos and lizards can regrow lost tails.

19. Lyrebirds can imitate any sound they hear, including camera shutters, chainsaws, and car alarms.

Hear one here.

20. Swifts have been known to fly nonstop for nearly 200 days.

Flickr: paussus / Creative Commons

21. Platypuses have a sixth sense – electrolocation – that means they can sense the electrical signals in their prey’s muscles.

So the more they try to swim away, the more visible they become to the platypus.

22. Electric eels can generate electric shocks up to 600 volts.

You don’t need a sixth sense to detect that.

23. The horned lizard can shoot blood from its eye.

National Geographic / youtube.com

24. Cuttlefish are masters of camouflage.


Now you see it, now you don’t.

25. As are mimic octopuses.

26. Turritopsis jellyfish are not quite immortal, but they can makes themselves young again and begin their life cycle over and over.

27. And tardigrades are pretty much indestructible.

Bob Goldstein and Vicky Madden, UNC Chapel Hill / en.wikipedia.org

They can go without food for a decade, and survive in environments as diverse as hot springs, Antarctic glaciers, the top of Himalayan mountains, and the sea floor. Oh, and a trip to space.

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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