Do you think your pet is the most mischievous and sneakiest animal in the world? Think again, my friend.
The animal kingdom is flooded with cute, mischievous animals that rival the average human’s intelligence on so many levels. If you don’t believe me, then you’re in for a treat!
Join me as I uncover some of the planet’s biggest mischief-makers and how they use their troublesome nature to their advantage. Some of the animals on this list will leave you questioning everything you’ve known about them all along.
Capuchin monkeys have always been in a war of wits with humans since time immemorial. These mettlesome bipeds have starred in countless commercials, movies, and TV shows (remember Marcel? Ross’s pet monkey in Friends).
These extraordinary critters are famous for their long tails and coffee-shade fur.
Like other monkeys, capuchin monkeys are wise enough to use tools. Let’s say, for example, they’re hungry, and they need to crack a nut. Rather than chew their way into it, expect to find them with an anvil and rock.
Oh, and if one of them spots a predator like a snake or an ocelot, they make special calls like barks and coughs to alert the rest.
Based on a 2015 study from the International Journal of Comparative Psychology, it’s a fact that pigs could very well be a man’s best friend – yikes!
Like your adorable canine companion, pigs are sneaky and troublesome creatures. They’re friendly enough to befriend the grumpiest of people. Pigs are also smart enough to solve mazes, exhibit empathy, and decipher emotions.
An adorable fact about pigs is that they like tricking each other. If you rear pigs, you probably marvel at how crafty they can be toward each other. For instance, pigs love following each other for food. Right?
Sometimes, if one spots food from a distance and doesn’t feel like sharing, they’ll intentionally throw the others off the trail. Typical pig moves!
Although their creepy demeanor and dark feather color may say otherwise, these ‘angry birds’ can be quite mischievous and playful. One would even call them jerks. Why? One: they’re insanely annoying. Two: they don’t care about anything or anyone other than themselves.
Crows engage in mischievous acts such as raiding nests for eggs, tailgating raptors, harassing dogs, knocking over trash cans, and most commonly, stealing food. Trust me; you won’t leave this Earth before a random crow snatches your hotdog on a park bench somewhere.
On random occasions, an owl or hawk may be perched upon a tree, and a mob of crows will appear out of the blues and screech or dive-bomb them till they retreat to safety. Jerks, I know.
Are you planning an unconventional animal heist? Well, your squad isn’t complete without the adorable yet-conniving raccoon. I’m not even sarcastic here.
In an eccentric 1908 study by notable ethologist H.B. David, the average raccoon is sneaky enough to pick a complex in less than ten trials. Even when you flip the lock upside-down or even rearrange them, the genius raccoon will still find its way around it.
As if that’s not enough, raccoons have an eclectic hearing range (100-40,000Hz) that allows them to hear the most delicate of sounds, e.g., earthworms moving underground.
Raccoons are also notable for their adorable human-like paws. They use them to perform naughty antics such as climbing up walls or looting trash cans. Just two more reasons to have them on your team!
Octopuses (never ‘octopi’) are some of the planet’s most proficient camouflage artists. I won’t get into the geeky details of how and why, but it’s a distinctive feature that they use primarily for protection and mischief.
Their sneaky personality comes from their shapeshifting ability. Its impersonation game is so spot-on that it can swim away from a predator without raising the slightest suspicion.
Couple this brilliant move with its camouflaging ability, and you get a sneaky antisocial cephalopod. Yes! These intelligent animals are antisocial enough to build their cities using discarded shells and rock outcrops.
Octopuses are also notorious for climbing their way out of seemingly secure aquarium tanks.
Parrots are naturally mischievous by word and action. The African Grey parrot, in particular, stands out for its impressive level of intelligence. This wild bird possesses the IQ of a three-year-old kid. In the words of Dean Cain, ‘Unbelievable? Believe it.’
Due to their unique intellectual quotient, most homeowners shy away from rearing African grey parrots. No offense, but they can be super annoying, especially if they’re bored and you don’t have a clue about how to keep them engaged.
Like a three-year-old, the African grey may resort to destructive habits and unpleasant behavior to stimulate their minds. When that happens, your best bet would be to seek after divine…, sorry, professional intervention.
Some call them the ‘geniuses of the ocean.’ Others call them gentle sharks. Whatever you choose to call them, there’s no denying how super-intelligent, playful and adorable dolphins are. Their smiley appearance precedes their sneaky and mischievous character.
Dolphins spend a considerable chunk of their time messing around and looking for fun ways to occupy themselves. If you’ve been on a motorboat ride on the ocean, there’s a huge chance you’ve spotted one or two swimming alongside your boat. If you haven’t ridden with a dolphin before, I’d include that in my bucket list.
The dolphins in dolphinariums love interacting with the trainers and all the toys at their disposal.
Aren’t they cute? No, aren’t they? With their long bushy tail and shiny black eyes, squirrels are adorable enough to get away with any backyard offense (well, most of the time).
Most homeowners can’t stand the presence of these pesky critters. According to the American Public Power Association reports, squirrels are the number one culprits behind significant power outages in most parts of the US. A single squirrel can cause pitch-black darkness in an entire neighborhood just by hopping from one transformer to the next.
Squirrels are agile enough to sneak into your attic and inhabit them without your permission. Once they’re in, good luck getting them out. These tiny rodents can leave expensive messes and leave you with massive bills on your hands.
The menacing flybys, the painful stings, and prolific fecal droppings are just about enough to summarize the notorious nature of the honey bees.
Although these tiny critters make the sweetest substance known to man, it’s next to impossible to keep up with their annoying habits. Bees will set up shop on any tree and make it their home.
Suppose they make a home on the tree that’s next to your bedroom window. The mere buzzing sound is enough to keep you up at night and leave you scampering for safety once they make their way into your home.
If you park your car under a tree, get ready to spend extra to get that sticky bee poop off your hood.
Jumbos are shy, friendly, and fun to be around (in the right circumstances).
You may or may not know that these mammoth mammals can also be a pain in the backside. Of course, all elephants have their personalities. However, one distinct trait among them is their troublesome personality.
There have been numerous instances of elephants doing the unthinkable to satisfy their enormous appetite. One smashed its head through a kitchen wall, while another stopped a bus to grope around for food.
In Tanzania and other countries in Africa, Elephants have caused irreparable damage on huge plantations. Occupants of these elephant-prone areas have been forced to spend extra on equipment such as floodlights, spotlights, etc., in a bid to deter night raids.
Everybody hates rats. By everybody, I mean me and many others like me. They look cute and all, but they’re annoying and sneaky. Freakishly sneaky. Not to mention they scare the daylights out of me.
Rats do the most mischievous and annoying activities of any animal on this list. They leave trails of poop everywhere, devour food that you worked so hard to stock up on, make unexpected entrances; the list goes on.
These destructive, freeloading life forms are also fatal, depending on your area of residence. They’re hosts to the deadly Bubonic Plague. How do they spread the disease, you may ask. Well, leave your pantry open and food uncovered, and, God-forbid, you might be a victim of the plague.
You never expected them on this list, did you?
I know you’re fond of your friendly feathery friends, but you must admit – they’re quite a handful. Here are a couple of reasons why chickens are not on my ‘favorite farm animals’ list:
- They leave their crap everywhere they go. Worst case scenario is when the chickens find their way into your home.
- They leave painful pecks when you try and collect their eggs. I get why they do that, but still.
- They eat each other. Not sure whether to classify this as mischief or downright stupidity.
- Noise, noise, noise. Chickens’ unnecessary clucks at any time of the day drive me insane!
- They eat their eggs and kill their chicks. I rest my case.
Black herons aren’t your average wading birds. Although they’re blessed with long beaks, long necks, and long legs, they often confuse their prey with their secret weapon: their giant wings.
Black Herons’ wings stretch wide enough to form an umbrella-like cover. These sneaky birds get their daily bread by a uniquely advanced technique known as canopy feeding. It requires them to tuck down their head and spread their wings around their body to create an eye-catching sunshade of sorts.
What’s the point of canopy feeding, besides it being a classic Victoria’s Secret model pose? Well, the shade from its wings attracts small fish around it. The shade also reduces the sun’s glare and enables it to see clearly past the surface.
The African Topi Antelope is one of the most mysterious beasts you’ll ever meet while on safari. They’re a natural species of ungulate with a complicated social structure.
The male Topi, much like the human species, is prone to lying to their female counterparts for better chances of getting laid.
They’ll pull off different gimmicks, such as letting out fake calls to attract and keep. Essentially, each time a female Topi feels like wandering away, the male will yell out the equivalent of “Lion incoming! We’re gonna die!”
Being defenseless as they are, the female Topi will stick close to the male to avoid being the predator’s lunch. The Topi Antelope’s mischief helps to keep their mate from crossing paths with a better suitor.
You won’t believe the extent that the female Brown Trout will go to pick her suitor. Yeah, it’s weird.
When a female Trout drops her eggs, the males aren’t present to fertilize them. Trout sex doesn’t mainly require both parties to be there at the same time. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry Trout can step into the scene and fertilize the eggs.
To avoid this, the female fish will fake an orgasm to imply that they haven’t yet dropped their eggs. They’ll keep up their Megan Ryan fake orgasm impression until their version of a ‘Chris Hemsworth’ happens to swim near them.
A study found that the average female trout fake their orgasms a whopping 69 times until they find the perfect mate.
Pearl fish is as mischievous and disgusting as they come. Their parasitic game is on a whole different level. Although pearlfish are categorized as parasites, not all of them are. It’s only those that fall under the genus Carapus species.
Anywho, pearlfish spend every day of their lives being a pain to the poor sea cucumber (quite literally). Believe it or not! Pearlfish build posh mansions right at the heart of the serene, leafy suburbs (a.k.a the anus) of the cucumber fish.
They chew through their host’s abdominal walls and feast on their gonads (ovary/testis). Not only are they warm and cozy, but they’re also well-stocked and constantly satisfied – conniving little critters.
Butterflies have always been a symbol of innocence, beauty, and peace. That’s all you know about them for now. What you may not know is that these beautiful multicolored spectacles have made fools of us for centuries.
Some species of butterflies, such as the Heliconius charithonia (jargon for the zebra longwing), are certified, cannibals. These innocent-looking insects devour their siblings with no second thought.
Others, like the emperor butterflies, often engage in less violent activities such as mud-puddling.
They also go wild whenever they see fresh droppings. With the help of their long snout (tongue-like thingy), they slurp up the amino acids and salts that they often don’t get from plants which are typical behavior among all butterfly species.
The Aspidontus taeniatus, or the Sabre-toothed blenny, is a species of fish originally from the Indo-Pacific. They’re sometimes referred to as “false cleanerfish.”
Blenny fish aren’t what you’d consider friendly. It’s somewhat ironic since they have what appears to be a warm smile plastered on their face. These mischievous species of fish are known to chew on their fellow fish. Probably the reason they are they’re known as the ‘sabre-toothed’ blenny.
Rather than eat away the parasites like other fish, they bite off a huge chunk of their prey’s face or fin and swim away. Before they take their bite, they perform a dance to signal that they want to clean their unsuspecting prey. They never kill their prey but will bite off their flesh. Awkward!
The Livingstone’s Cichlids wrap up the species of fish on this list. They’re commonly referred to as ‘The Sleeper,’ and for a good reason too.
When the time comes for them to hunt, Cichlids mimic corpses by flopping over. For extra effect, they lie down and gurgle a little. They even hold a small flower in their fins to convince their prey that they’ve crossed over to the other side.
Once an unlucky fish swims by to inspect the carcass, that’s their opportune moment. They perk back up once more and gobble up the poor scavenger.
Ah, the airborne pirates. Skuas are enormous, better versions of the more popular seagulls. If anything, they make the seagull look weak based on their infamous habit of avian piracy. Some even refer to Skuas as ‘parasitic jaegers.’
These birds are notorious for stealing the eggs and chicks of other birds. However, that’s just a start. A considerable portion of their diet is acquired via midair thievery.
They like to fly around in flocks and harass other seabirds until they vomit their catch. The technical jargon for this kind of behavior is ‘kleptoparasitism,’ just in case you were looking for the perfect term to describe your siblings who exhibit vaguely similar behavior.