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by Pauli Poisuo
Sometimes, nature is a fickle mistress that can drunkenly throw ridiculous power-ups to pretty much any goofy animal as she wills. Said animals then proceed to mop the floor with us in such humiliating, absurd ways that we might as well abandon all of our supposedly game-changing technology and climb right back into the trees.
A Cow Utterly Destroys A Herder's Helicopter
When you think of cows, you usually think of a docile milk and steak dispensary. It's easy to forget that your average cow is also 1,500 pounds of muscles, and its head ends in sharp points. It can wreck you just as badly as the proverbial raging bull should the need arise. Of course, it would be bad manners for cows to remind us of this fact by casually goring people every now and then. That would be a crassly human thing to do.
Instead, a cow might just wreck the occasional helicopter to show us what's what.
In the vast distances and unforgiving terrain of Australia's Outback, cows are sometimes herded with specially built mustering helicopters. This is both practical and awesome, plus it keeps the musterers safely far above ground. That's the theory, anyway. In practice, the pilots sometimes have to fly pretty close to the cows ... which, apparently, can have the exact same effect as flying too close to the sun.
In 2016, a Queensland musterer got his chopper too close to a certain bovine, whose horns became hooked to the rails under the helicopter. The media describes what happened next in fairly milquetoast terms of the chopper "losing balance" and crashing to ground. They don't explicitly say that the cow first gave it Hulk's "Puny god" treatment from The Avengers, but you'll notice that they don't deny it, either.
"Don't test me, 'copter. I'm not in the moooooood."
The pilot managed to stumble out of the ruined helicopter just before it exploded. (Yeah, the cow wrecked the vehicle so hard that it actually exploded, which lends credence to our "Hulk smash" theory). Meanwhile, the unharmed cow walked away as the fireball erupted behind it, presumably in slow motion while wearing bovine-sized sunglasses.
Snake Burns Down The House Of The Woman Who Attacked It
Anyone who's spent time online knows that the internet's go-to response for creepy critters is, "Kill it with fire!" Occasionally this bleeds out to real life, which is when everyone involved will notice that this is an awful idea.
In 2013, an unnamed lady in Bowie County, Texas was cleaning her yard and saw a snake just chilling out in her yard. This is an unpleasant scenario, but not an uncommon one, which is why there are many different non-lethal ways to deal with it. Instead, the lady chose to kill the snake with -- everyone together now -- fire. She doused the unwelcome serpent with gasoline and threw a match. While we at the Modern Rogue can hardly claim to be herpetological experts, even we could have told the lady that this was an awful idea, because in general, animals don't appreciate being lit on fire. The snake immediately bolted toward the nearest thing that didn't look like it was actively ablaze, which happened to be a brush pile.
The brush pile caught on fire.
Then, the brush pile fire lit the house on fire, destroying it completely. But hey, at least she got rid of the snake, right?
"Look on the bright side: At least you no longer have a termite problem."
Man Shoots An Armadillo ... It Ricochets And Hits His Mother-In-Law
The "all mothers-in-law are insufferable battleaxes" joke is such an old and tired, yet deeply ingrained trope that when you hear of a guy shooting his mother-in-law, you automatically assume that's exactly who he was aiming for.
But sometimes, that's precisely what the armadillo wants you to think.
In 2015, a Georgia guy named Larry McElroy saw an armadillo and decided to shoot it, because some people are like that. So he pulled out his 9mm and took a shot. That probably should have been the end of it, and in most other "small animal meets bullet" scenarios, it would have. However, this particular armadillo played the game of life as a mage and had just enough time to cast a spell called "Make things really awkward for Larry McElroy."
What followed was the kind of magic bullet scenario that would make even the most die-hard JFK conspiracy theorist call shenanigans. First, the bullet hit and killed the armadillo. Then, it bounced off the animal's shell and hit a fence. From there, it ricocheted straight through the back door of the mobile home of McElroy's mother-in-law, who was chilling in a recliner with her back turned to the events ... and promptly took a hit from the armadillo's magic missile bullet. Congratulations, Mr. McElroy! You just shot your wife's mom in the back.
Dude, what'd you expect? It's basically a rat wearing a turtle shell.
Fortunately for everyone (well, everyone human), the various ricochets slowed the bullet down enough that the wound wasn't fatal. The mother-in-law was walking and talking when the Sheriff's department arrived to the scene, though precisely what she was saying has been mercifully left off the history books.
Man Decapitates Rattlesnake ... It Bites Him Anyway
In Part 2 of our series on why you should never, ever mess with Texan snakes, we bring you the tale of a man from Corpus Christi. In May, 2018, he was doing yard work with his wife when they noticed a 4-foot rattlesnake on their property. By now, you know how the drill goes: Once again, man's gut instinct is to tackle nature, and nature responds with some magic trick that drops humanity right on its ass.
So the man took a spade and beheaded the trespassing serpent. Then, he bent down to pick up the pieces and dispose of them. And then, the snake's removed head refused to give a damn about the fact that it was dead, and bit the man anyway.
This wasn't Slytherin necromancy, or the result of the rattlesnake making a pact with the Snake Devil. It's actually a weird physical property of snakes that those in the know will warn you about, but many people remain ignorant of. Since a snake's metabolism is much slower than that of a human, its various organs can survive beheading for quite some time. And when it has just been attacked, the snake will be pissed. So when Shovel Guy grabbed the head, it was still very much alive -- and angry as all hell. It chomped into his hand and discharged every drop of venom it had, in a desperate (though slightly misguided) attempt to survive.
If you find one of these in your yard, just pack your stuff and move.
The man survived the bite, but only just. He had to be airlifted to a hospital, and for the first 24 hours the doctors were unsure whether he was going to make it. To underline how pissed off a rattlesnake gets after decapitating it: A usual rattlesnake bite takes 2-4 doses of antivenom to treat. This one needed 26 doses.
Multiple Animals Have Shot Hunters With Their Own Guns
We know that we're taking a pretty bold stance here, but we can't help but think that animals don't like being hunted for sport. Part of it is knowledge of the basic will to survive in all living things. Part of it is plain old intuition. Oh, and the way the animals keep shooting hunters with their own guns is also a pretty big hint that they might disapprove.
Yes, that has happened. In fact, it's happened multiple times. Take the Belarusian hunter who wounded a fox in 2011, and moved in to finish the animal with the butt of his rifle. To his surprise, the fox was feeling a lot feistier than it had seemed from distance. It started fiercely objecting to the hunter's intentions (imagine a furious fox attacking you at close range for specifics). During the scuffle, the fox got its paw on the trigger and shot the hunter in the leg before escaping into the woods.
Foxes always look like they're planning something evil. Because they are.
Then there's the hunter from Iowa, who on a 2017 hunting trip placed his loaded shotgun on the ground and walked away to take a leak or do whatever else it is that hunters do when they aren't holding their guns. He was standing directly in the line of fire, when one of the hunting party's dogs happily stepped on the trigger guard and peppered the hunter's back with pellets.
A year later, another hunting dog managed to actually kill its owner in Russia. The hunter was sitting down with his shotgun resting on his knee and pointing at his abdomen. At that point, another hunter released a super-excited hunting dog from the back of the car. The dog ran to greet his owner, hit the trigger of his double-barreled TOZ-34, and ... well, we don't need to draw you a picture.
Moral of the story: Dogs are man's best friends, even if they have to teach us lessons in gun safety the hard way. Meanwhile, foxes will just stone cold shoot your ass if they can, because hey, you shot first.