Real-Life Creatures with Superhero Abilities
Ant-Man is Marvel's latest superhero to reach theaters, and his powers are pretty cool: When wearing the Ant-Man suit, he can shrink down to ant-size, possesses superhuman strength, and can even communicate with ants, one of the most interesting creatures on Earth.
As masters of architecture able to hold loads 5,000 times their own body weight, ants are without a doubt superheroes of the animal world (for more proof, check out these amazing videos), but they're not alone in their superlative abilities. National Geographic has reimagined a host of other impressive animals as members of a new crime-fighting team in a fun comic strip.
This little fish may not be cute, but it sure is powerful. As National Geographic writes, "If the plan is to stay put, clingfish have it covered. These three-inch-long ocean dwellers have suction discs on their abdomens that can grip with a force 150 times their body weight."
How on earth does a fish do something so incredible? The secret is in the suction disk on the bottom of its body. According to National Geographic, "The rim of the suction disk in lined with tiny papillae, each with smaller hairs that each have even smaller filaments." According to Petra Ditsche, a fish biologist at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, it especially helps them stay put in tidal pools, where waves have been known to move the fish around.
How does this strength translate to human terms? Imagine using one hand to cling to a wall while the other hand holds up an entire school bus. That's approximately how powerful these fish are.
Like the ant, the mantis shrimp wouldn't win any size competitions: On average, it's only about two inches long. But it's still a force to be reckoned with.
National Geographic says, "The crustacean uses its claw to smash snail shells at speeds between 45 and 65 miles (72 and 104 kilometers) an hour. The speedy strike heats up surrounding water and vaporizes it." Vaporizes it! Sure sounds like a superhero power.
And that's not all. "The mantis shrimp's clobber wields nearly [the] force of a .22-caliber bullet," National Geographic continues. "Add to that a double whammy of the shock wave from vaporizing water, and its prey has little chance of survival."
To meet the rest of this super squad, head over to National Geographic's website.