Saturday, April 6, 2013

The World's Most Horrific: Why We Should Be Afraid of Nature

Thursday night, I came home from work, I opened up Pinterest, and I saw something so terrible, no one should ever have to see it, let alone think about it. It was a picture of a child's skull (that's bad enough), but a section of bone had been removed so that one could see the adult teeth above the baby teeth, and there they were, teeth sitting in what looked like giant bone-pores, existing in a place that defied logic, and generally ruining teeth for me for the rest of my life.

Seriously, I am glad I've run out of teeth to grow, because I'd have all the potential teeth removed right now. It was awful.


You want to see?

No you don't.


Well...if you insist. But don't come crying to me later on. Here it is.

Unspeakably horrible. It was so bad, I almost threw up on my computer right then. Of course, it was far too horrible for me to touch my computer with the picture still showing, so I ran into The Brother's room and he came back to my room and closed the window for me. Naturally, he mocked me mercilessly, but then I saw the picture again and retched, which was enough for him to know that This Was Serious and one Should Not Laugh About It Anymore.

Unfortunately, I had to re-open the teeth picture window so I could make sure it never appeared in my Pinterest feed again. And then I had to see it again when I gave you that link up there, and I almost threw up for a THIRD TIME, this time at work, so you owe me one.

I have a problem with holes with things coming out of them, apparently, because this is not the first thing of that sort that has terrified me, and really, growing teeth are only freaky because it reminds me of That Other Thing.


I love toads and frogs, they are awesome. Frogs are really neat, and I love it when a frog of the tree variety chooses to cling to our windows in the hot and humid Indiana summer, only to slowly slide down the glass because it is too wet for his (or her) little froggy feet to cling. I rescue toads I find in inopportune places (like too near the road) and put them in the garden so they can grow fat and happy.

But one day, in Biology class, our teacher was absent, and we were shown a video. The video was about a specific river in South America, and it showed all the biodiversity of the river, and was all around a cool sort of video, until the narrator introduced me to a certain species of toad that has its babies hatch OUT OF ITS BACK.

Yes, that's right. The Surinam Toad, scientific name Pipa pipa. Seemingly sent from Hell to visit torment upon unsuspecting observers, the P. pipa has found a way to take care if its offspring without actually having to pay attention to them. It lays eggs, the eggs embed themselves in the female frog's bag, and then, just when you think it can't get any worse, you're sitting in biology class watching fully-formed tiny toads using little hands to drag themselves out of gaping holes in the mother frog's back.

That is just unacceptable. That's all I have to say on the subject. It is utterly and completely unacceptable. If you really want your eggs inside you, be a mammal for crying out loud.

I sat in Bio, watching in stunned silence. When the video was over, I gathered my things, left class, went home, and had violent nightmares about the backs of toads and living toad babies popping out of MY skin for...well. It's been about 14 years or so.

The worst part is, once you see the toad, once you REALLY see it, you see things that remind you of the baby toads EVERYWHERE.

Like, say you're watching TV, and they decide to record video of a plant growing out of a seed. Then they play it, all sped up, and you look at the TV and see a plant, except what you really see as the baby plant comes out of the seed is TOAD BABIES.

The Brother told me, after I recounted to him the Story of the Toad Video on Thursday, that I should just forget about those toads, because they live in Africa and they aren't all that populous anyway.


They live on the SAME LAND MASS as I do, PLUS they are not endangered, not threatened, and are actually classified in the "Least Concern" column. So I do really have a reason to be afraid. I think these toads are as common as, say, LOBSTERS, and you all know how I feel about lobsters.

Nature is going to kill me. And I really like nature. But nature is scary. Lots of things happen that shouldn't happen, and PLUS, things are out there that are way bigger than us and think we'd be nice and crunchy, if they could only get their claws, jaws, tentacles, or talons around us. Basically, run. And don't stop, because before you know it, someone will have flushed their pet lobster or baby-back toads down their toilet because when is a baby-back toad ever cute in the first place? And then they will be living in the sewer system in the cities as well as out in tropical places, which are supposed to be beautiful and sunny and not at all frightening, but ARE, because where else but the tropics can you find baby-back toads AND lobsters just a short walk from your hotel room? And the lobsters and baby-back toads will grow in the sewers and become like those giant rats, and then it will be just like Godzilla, only with BABIES COMING OUT OF ITS BACK.

The way I see it, only the moon is safe right now, and even then, we'll have to search the space shuttles very carefully to make sure there aren't any tiny frogs clinging onto the underside of the control panel or lobsters scuttling across the cabin floor, because then these creatures will be in space too, and we may as well give up.


  1. Laura, I love your stories. Is it wrong that I automatically knew the teeth picture to which you were referring?

  2. That video...that video is horrifying. Thanks for the nightmares.