What is the dirtiest animal in the world?
The internet delivers videos of adorable kittens, hero dogs, and other amazing animals right into our hands, giving us total adoration for the animal kingdom. And while we love our pets, there are some animals you need to avoid because of their filthy habits, nasty antics, and utter grossness.
What’s the dirtiest animal in the world? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not a pig! Pigs get a bad reputation for being filthy and gross, but you better keep reading because we’re going to talk about the 27 dirtiest, most nasty animals in the world that you need to avoid.
When I jumped into raising goats, I simply was not prepared for the disgustingness of a buck in rut. Sure, female goats can be sweet, and castrated males are often nice pasture-mates, but intact male goats are another story.
Goats will think nothing of farting at you or burping right into your face with their disgusting goat breath. But when a male goat has an interest in a female, they’ll let you know it by making faces, making funny noises, and doing the grossest thing. Yes, male goats will create their own cologne by urinating on their own faces and, worse, sticking their heads in the urine of other goats.
This reason alone is enough to make me say sayonara to my whole herd, but don’t forget that male goats can be downright dangerous, too.
Hedgehogs may look all cute and innocent even when they’re curled up in a spiky little ball. But lookout because they have a filthy habit or two.
First, hedgehogs love to run around all night long, and as they run, they poop. And they poop a lot; more than you could even imagine. But this isn’t the worst part because these busy little bodies will run through their own feces, getting all kinds of poopy caked on those cute little toes.
However, hedgehogs also like to anoint themselves with their own spit. Yes, whenever they discover a new or fascinating food, they chew it up and then spit it all over their backs. As gross as it sounds, this may be a protective mechanism to disguise their scent from would-be predators. If you handle a hedgie after it has self-anointed, it could leave you a prickly little rash on your skin.
Be aware if you have a lonely male hedgie, he might engage in some unseemly acts that are pretty embarrassing if you have small children!
You might think cats are sweet and adorable creatures, but they’re really quite gross when they walk through the litter box and then hop up on your kitchen table, where you’re eating your dinner.
We could talk about how, instead of taking a bath, they lick their unmentionables and then give you kitty kisses on the nose.
And not only do they catch and kill all kinds of tiny critters, but they’ll also roll around on their prey and then snuggle you on your bed. Can it get much grosser than that?
Yes, your fluffy bunny is awfully darling and charming. But they can be gross, too, especially if they aren’t spayed. For example, an intact male rabbit loves to mark his territory by spraying urine on your walls, your floor, and even on you! This special urine used for marking is incredibly pungent and hard to remove.
Did you know bunnies also eat their own poop? They make two kinds of poo – hard little pellets, which they leave behind, and softer feces, which they eat to digest a second time.
Yes, sloths are super cute with little bear-like faces and their super-slow moving bodies. But they’re also a filthy and disgusting habitat. Sloths are covered in algae, to the point they can actually turn green.
Moths lay eggs in their fur and feces and new moths emerge from the sloth.
Worse yet, scientists discovered that sloths, if allowed access, will scoop and devour human feces right out of a latrine. You can find more details on the grossest gorging right here.
Surely you’ve heard about dung beetles rolling balls of poo. And while this is true, they use it for other purposes, too.
In the heat of the day, a dung beetle will climb atop its poo ball to cool off its little feet. Then again, they’ll roll their balls of poop into their nest to feed their offspring.
Not only do they live off of poop, sometimes, but they’ll also even live inside of it. What a filthy way to live your life! Find out more here.
Bats are great for insect control, but they are also quite disgusting. In fact, you should never touch a bat because they could carry serious diseases. And while they can carry the disease to unsuspecting humans, they don’t usually get sick from the pathogens themselves. So if you don’t like rabies, ebola, coronaviruses, or SARS and MERS, you should avoid bats.
Guano, or bat poop, is also hazardous and disgusting. It can release pathogens that cause histoplasmosis, which can be severe in people with weakened immune systems.
The African Hoopoe Bird
The African Hoopoe is a brightly colored bird found throughout Africa. It is known for its fancy colors and crown of feathers that sit on top of its head. But the Hoopoe has a dirty little secret – it royally stinks!
The African Hoopoe has a gland on its rear end which creates a very foul-smelling substance. This fowl’s scent is similar to the smell of rotten flesh. The hoopoe covers itself in the liquid to repel parasites and act as a sort of antibacterial soap.
Baby Hoopoes, however, protect themselves by squirting their feces at predators and making quite a stink!
Turkey Vultures sport strikingly bald heads. No, this isn’t a fashion statement, but a way to prevent their dinner – dead meat or carrion, from sticking to their feathers. Of course, these scavengers can’t actually kill anything, but their sense of smell is so strong that they can smell a dead animal from a mile away!
Although it doesn’t have many predators, it does have one small defense mechanism. When threatened, a turkey vulture will vomit its dinner, and the offensive odor is enough to deter any predator. Find out more turkey vulture facts here.Turkey vultures aren’t actually vultures, but instead, are related to the stork.
Vultures are the street cleaners of the natural world, eating up leftover rotten meat and flesh that predators have picked over. But what’s even grosser? Vultures can’t sweat to cool themselves down, so in the hot summer sun, they’ll shower off with their own urine.
Hagfish are creepy underwater creatures that are toothless and nearly blind. If they find a corpse on the bottom of the sea, they’ll enter by any hole they can find and devour it from the inside out!
Their only defense mechanism is slime, lots of slime! Well, it’s mucus, to be exact, and they can make up to 17 pints of the disgusting stuff to expel in the direction of their enemies.
A botfly may resemble a cute, fluffy little bee, but it has an even more sinister side than a sting. A botfly needs a mammal as a host. It drops its eggs onto the skin, and they burrow into the skin of the unsuspecting animal. A lump forms, with a hole used as a breathing tube for the larvae when it hatches. Eventually, the larvae falls out of the skin, where it molts and becomes a botfly.
While most species will host in animals, a particular species in South America prefer to use… humans.
Jackals may seem like a larger, cute version of a fox. But they’re actually much more gross than that. These wild scavengers will eat up any leftovers a predator has left behind. They’ll eat old carcasses, rotting flesh, and diseased dead stuff.
To feed their pups, jackals are known to vomit up their last meal to make their own baby-jackal-food. And if their little pups can’t eat it all? They’ll just eat it right back up for desert.
Scorpions are well known for their defense system – those scarily wicked stingers that curl up over the top of their backs. These stingers can get lodged into their enemy and pull off as the scorpion makes its escape. However, the left-behind stinger continues to squirt venom into the enemy. That’s reason enough to avoid a scorpion, but the story gets even better.
The scorpion’s tail doesn’t grow back, and in fact, when it is pulled off, it takes the scorpion’s anus with it. As a result, the scorpion sadly can no longer poop, and the feces builds up inside the scorpion until it explodes and dies.
My parents taught me to steer clear of snapping turtles, lest I lose a finger (and the ability to play piano along with it!). But I had no idea that there was a darker, more disturbingly creepy side to snapping turtles that many of us never even know about.
In India, there is a practice of laying loved ones to rest in the Ganges River. Consequently, large numbers of corpses in the river create health hazards for the people living there (not to mention the emotional trauma that goes along with it).
Thousands of snapping turtles have been trained to feast on human flesh to deal with this large number of corpses in the river. As a result, 24,000 turtles have been released into the river with such a thirst for flesh that they will drag a body from the banks to be devoured. Find out more here.
Male bees have a pretty horrifying habit to ensure the survival of their family line. When mating, a male bee’s genitalia explodes inside of the queen, in effect, plugs her up so no other be can mate with her.
Shirley Temple may have wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas, but we’ve since learned about how vicious and frightening hippos can be. However, they might be intelligent enough to create their own sunscreen from mud to protect their skin from the intense sun.
Of course, hippos will even make their own mud – out of their feces and urine, which they will throw at each other to mark their territory.
Koala bears sure are also so cute and adorable, gripping onto trees with their big eyes and innocent-looking faces. But Koala’s hide a disgusting secret or two!
First of all, baby koalas need help boosting their immune systems, and in order to do so, they eat their parent’s poo. What a gross way to feed a baby!
If that weren’t bad enough, 40% of all koalas that end up in animal sanctuaries have been infected with the sexually transmitted disease, chlamydia, which can be transferred through their urine. Find more about these vile but adorable creatures here.
See, sea cucumbers are the laughingstock of the underwater world, but you don’t want to mess with one!
When scared, a sea cucumber can shoot its internal organs in your direction. When it feels threatened, it can shoot its internals from either the front end or the back end in a process known as evisceration. Then, the scared animal leaves its guts behind for the predator to devour and quickly slips away. Not to worry, though, because sea cucumbers can regrow their lost organs over time and do it again.
What could be disgusting about a sweet little deer in the woods? Plenty! As it turns out, these innocent-looking animals aren’t just vegetarians. In fact, when food is scarce in the dead of winter, these beautiful animals will turn carnivorous when hungry. And what’s worse, they’ll even dine on fellow deer, dead rabbits, birds, and even fish. But in 2015, a deer was spotted and photographed dining on a human corpse. So maybe these deer aren’t so innocent after all!
Most species of beetles are harmless to humans, but some are not! Not only is the bombardier beetle dirty and filthy, but it’s also downright dangerous.
This scary little bug has two different glands which produce two different chemicals. When frightened, it releases both at once and bombs its attacker with the combination of the two chemicals. The resulting reaction can reach a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit and burn human skin.
Small lizards don’t seem like much trouble, but the horned lizard fights dirty. This lizard will shoot blood in a gross effort to protect itself.
The lizard’s blood pools in sacs below its eyes. When the sacs are full, it can squirt its own blood up to six feet! Predators find the stream of blood so disgusting that the lizard gets a chance to escape from harm’s way. You can find out more here.
Frogs seem like benign little amphibians, but they are totally disgusting. At least, the narrow-mouthed frog is! This little froggy makes its home in elephant dung.
Elephant dung not only makes a comfortable home, but it also is full of bugs and food that the elephant didn’t finish digesting. This frog is gross because it eats, sleeps, and well, breathes in elephant poop.
We love to watch the flamingoes at the zoo as they balance on one foot. And while they may be hilarious to watch, they’re also gross.
Flamingos, along with storks and vultures, can’t sweat, so they beat the heat using a process called, urohidrosis. Urohidrosis is a fancy term that means peeing on your feet. Instead of sweating to keep cool, these birds urinate down their own legs in an effort to cool off from the hot sun.
Yes, houseflies can be pesky and annoying in the summer, especially when they end up inside your house! But there’s a lot more to a common fly than the annoying buzzing, and you need to know just how filthy and disgusting it really is.
Flies are attracted to grossly scented waste, like trash and dog poo. After they pick up all the gross bacteria, they may just land on your food, vomiting their digestive juices right into your dinner. Is that just appetizing?
Flies just love dead flesh, too, and use it as a nest for their eggs, which quickly hatch into maggots.
Did you know that cows are gassy? A single cow can produce up to 220 pounds of methane gas every single year. And while that might not be enough to have an effect on global warming, but that’s a whole lot of burps and farts all in one place.
But wait, there’s more… cows regurgitate their food – so they can eat it all over again!
If all of those filthy, nasty, gross, disgusting, and scary animals weren’t bad enough, there is, of course, one more that takes the proverbial filthy cake: humans! Why are humans such filthy animals?
Our noses make a cupful of mucus every day!
We’re constantly shedding tons of dead skin cells every where we go.
We can fart enough to fill up a balloon with gas every single day.
We make one to two liters of spit each and every day.
We burp, fart, vomit, poop, sneeze, make boogers, have bad breath and body odor, fill up landfills with trash, and some people can go for weeks without washing their sheets, allowing dust mites to grow and thrive in their own beds. Now that’s gross!
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