15+ Times Mother Nature Surprised Us Just A Tad

No matter where we live, there's going to be a time when nature surprises us. Even dense urban enivronments tend to have some kind of an ecosystem, even if animals exist more in the margins of it than elsewhere.

And whether this surprise takes the form of a bat in the attic, tree roots intruding into our houses, or just a weird bug flying in front of us while we're trying to work, nature will find a way to get our attention.

And while some of the surprises we're about to see are more welcome than others, all aren't what we expected to see today.

1. I probably don't have to tell you that the Jaguarundi isn't a very social animal.

Reddit | Theon_Graystark

It's pretty clear that it doesn't want to be bothered.

And that's confirmed by Texas Parks and Widlife, who explained that these creatures tend to be solitary and only engage with others during its mating season in November and December.

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2. There's obviously a lot going on in this photo, but there's even more happening than you mgiht think.

Reddit | BinyanC

To break it down, the crab spider is obviously eating this honey bee, but so too are the flies gathering on it.

As for the smaller crab spider, that's the larger one's mate and he's defending her from another spider whose legs you can just barely make out between those flower petals on the right.

Phew, I think that's all of them.

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3. A lot of people aren't fans of moths at the best of times, but it'd be interesting to see how they react to this one.

Reddit | QueenLizzy22

On one hand, a moth that's about the size of your hand would seem like the opposite of what anyone would want.

On the other one, the details in its wing patterns are easier to appreciate at this size and almost makes it appear like a butterfly, which people tend to be much happier to see.

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4. If you hear a story about an alligator wandering into someone's pool and wonder how it got there, there's something you should know about them.

Reddit | unnaturalorder

As this one is helpfully demonstrating, it turns out that alligators are actually pretty good at scaling fences.

One wouldn't expect that from a creature with such stubby legs, but they somehow manage.

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5. We know that Australia can be home to some unnerving creatures, but it would still be hard to prepare ourselves for a sight like this.

Reddit | ThurnisHailey

This is an eel goby and its sharp teeth and apparent lack of eyes draw some quick comparisons to the thing that burst out of John Hurt's chest in Alien.

That doesn't exactly inspire much comfort.

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6. It may be hard to imagine how starlings can be an invasive species when you see just one, but this massive flock makes their potential for damage a lot clearer.

Reddit | rockystl

According to Smithsonian Magazine, there are least 200 million of them in North America alone and that's not really a number you want for a bird that's known to kick other birds out of their nests and eat away entire wheat fields.

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7. This water isn't full of blood, but it's dangerous enough for animals that its eerie look serves as an appropriate warning.

Reddit | lo261

This is Lake Natron in Tanzania and according to NASA, it's salty and caustic enough to quickly prove deadly to any creature that wanders into it.

That is, other than the alkaline tilapia, the Spirulina algae, and the microorganisms that love salt and give it its trademark red hue.

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8. As its name would suggest, the Dead Vlei marsh in Namibia is home to a lot of dead trees, but they died out longer ago than you might expect.

Reddit | mahlerific

According to Atlas Obscura, the trees died out when the river feeding them dried out over 900 years ago and they've been standing like this ever since.

As for how this is possible, the answer is apparently that this area is too dry for them to even decompose. So with nothing around to break them down, they just stand here.

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9. We can all recall a time when we've been in a storm like this, but most of us didn't get a picture of it before it happened.

Reddit | arissa-cleaver

And if you're wondering what it looks like inside that extreme downpour, the answer involves more rain than it's possible to safely see through.

My family once crossed a bridge between nations in one of these and we definitely felt lucky to be alive once it was finally over.

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10. This is the eye of a whale shark and you might notice that it doesn't have an eyelid.

Reddit | FillsYourNiche

As Japanese researchers observed, the shark instead has a layer of tooth-like scales called denticles covering the eye's surface that help protect it as if its eye wasn't constantly exposed.

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11. It seems obvious that an owl would have legs since it has feet, but there's a difference between knowing that in the abstract and actually seeing them.

Reddit | Fr1sk3r

Considering how stout and powerful an owl appears to be, it certainly comes as a surprise to see how skinny its legs actually are.

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12. Here we see a particularly special smoky quartz crystal that the uploader found in the Himalayas.

Reddit | leakytoquito

Smoky quartz specimens tend to be a little cloudier than this, but this one has the surreal characteristics of appearing dark, but still being very easy to see through.

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13. It likely wouldn't surprise you to learn that these spiny crabs are predators, but the spines don't play as much of a role in that as you may think.

Reddit | areddituser0816

According to Memorial University, the crab instead grinds its prey down with its mouth after it grasps it in its claws.

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14. It's fairly easy to understand why this is known as a "mad hatter" caterpillar, but finding out why it looks like this was a little trickier.


As the BBC reported, the caterpillar is known to stack its head's old casing on top of it after it moults.

As far as Petah Low of the University of Sydney could tell, this is a means of confusing predators into attacking the wrong head. This seems to particularly apply to the stinkbug, which injects the caterpillar with a needle-like mouth to suck its insides.

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15. It's hard to tell whether the Philiipine eagle owl is surprised to see us or whether it just looks like this.

Reddit | okletmethink420

However, if it were to fly at us like this, our panicked flailing would definitely make it clear as to how startling we find its presence.

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16. The defining feature of fall concerns the way the leaves change color, but this process can still surprise us long after we expect it.

Reddit | buildback

Even though it's easy to see that this leaf is simply in the process of changing, I wouldn't have expected it to look more vibrant here than it will be once it turns red.

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17. Although the entire existence of scavengers is built off the deaths of other animals, they aren't the only way that animals contribute to their ecosystems after they pass on.

Reddit | zapisv1

It's unclear exactly what this animal was before it met its end, but we can see that its ribcage makes a sturdy place for a family of birds to nest.

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18. While we might normally expect this frog to be eaten by the snake, it's apparently clever enough to make a potential predator work for it.

Reddit | PessimisticSnake

Clearly, it's hard to eat something on your back while you're trying to swim, so this frog can hitch a ride on the serpent undisturbed.

At least, for now.

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19. "Beautiful Elephant Hawk Moth found in my garden, UK."

Reddit | danit23

While these colorful insects are supposed to be common in that nation, others who also lived there expressed their disbelief that this thing even exists.

I suppose it must be a regional thing.

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20. It's hardly unheard of for a tree to grow over a sign, but this one seems to have found a different way to disturb one.

Reddit | toka_smoka

Apparently, it's growing in such a way that it's able to force itself between the sign and the vinyl adhesive that contains the information on it.

As a result, that adhesive is now warping and bending, which makes it harder to tell what the sign is trying to say.

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