Horror isn’t just for movies, you know. Why, just look around you! The world is chock full of rank, vomitous and otherwise mind-numbing phenomena! That’s why from time to time I’m going to take a break from the make believe horrors of art and screen and introduce you to some of the true-to-life terror from…OUR HORRIBLE WORLD!
Motherhood! The cornerstone of any balanced breakfast. At least it is for this slimy brood of caecilians (suh-SILL-yunz). Precious!
Are they worms? Are they snakes? You’d be wrong on both counts, Mark Trail. Caecilians are amphibians, which makes them more closely related to newts and toads. And they live underground in the tropics, so they’re rarely seen and hardly studied. But the fine, fine crew of the BBC One series LIFE IN COLD BLOOD were able to film a mama caecilian with her hungry brood and document a truly nauseating wonder of nature.
Baby caecilians are born with a series of tiny hook teeth in their mouths. For a long time no one knew why. Now it turns out that they’re specialized for eating their own mother! But it gets even more horrible, because the babies need to eat about once every three days and mama caecilian has evolved to re-grow a fatty, nutrient-rich new layer of skin in that amount of time so that her babies can eat her again.
And as fast as the savage, hook toothed rugrats can feast, mama just keeps growing her fatty flesh back as fast as she loses it. Just like Oprah.
So remember, the next time your nipples are chafing after a rigorous breastfeeding, turn that frown upside down and count your lucky stars that your little gobbler isn't gnawing the whole thing off! Because it’s the lowly caecilian that really pulled the childcare short straw in…OUR HORRIBLE WORLD!