12 Things You Should Never Google: Nature Edition
The Internet is full of any number of horrific and disturbing things, even when you're researching something as seemingly innocent as the natural world. There are so many nature things you shouldn't Google, be they animal, vegetable, or mineral. True, morbid curiosity drives a lot of what people search for. If that's your thing, here are all of the nature-oriented things you should never Google because they're either sad, disgusting, or unspeakable.
The results won't be shown on this list, but there will be descriptions of what you'll find if you do go down the rabbit hole. Warning: these may include animals you shouldn't Google because they're incredibly weird-looking or off-putting. They may also include gross nature phenomena, and anything generally creepy that is found in nature in general. From weird animal mouths to alarming animal penises, to bugs and sea creatures that are straight up nightmare fuel, here they are in all their glory.
Bear NovelPhoto: Bear / David R. Godine, Publisher
Bears often crop up in fiction, from Winnie-the-Pooh to The Berenstain Bears. But if you Google "Bear Novel," you'll discover a novel called Bear. Canadian author Marian Engel published this Governor General's Literary Award-winning novel about a lonely librarian who starts having intimate relations with a bear, and it took the Internet by storm in 2014 when a few pages from the novel were put on Imgur for everyone to read. There are lots of tales of forbidden love, but not quite like this one.
Turtle PenisPhoto: Fabienkhan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5
You may have grown up loving the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or maybe you had, or currently own, an adorable pet turtle. Either way, you should never Google "turtle penis" if you want to keep your childhood memories untainted.
The nightmarish aspect of turtle anatomy has to do with proportion. Their penises are huge compared to the rest of their frames; full-on erections can be about a quarter to a half of the size of their bodies.
Rock With Internal OrgansPhoto: Bachelot Pierre J-P / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
When you Google "rock with internal organs," you're going to see a lot of washed up pieces of rock that look like they have actual guts inside. Some particularly gnarly images show a "rock" split in half, revealing a bloody red stomach and what seems like a brain.
The "rock" is actually a sea-dwelling creature called Pyura chilensis. It's hermaphroditic, though it can mate if it chooses. It's also apparently tasty – Chilean locals eat P. chilensis both cooked and raw.
Lamprey DiseasePhoto: Drow_male / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
"Lamprey disease" is a made-up virus you could supposedly get by "using a computer too much." It really caught on in 2007, thanks in part to a Photoshopped image featuring a man's eye socket with a lamprey's disgusting, teeth-riddled mouth where his eye should be. Other versions of the hoax claimed that fingers could be similarly damaged.
If Snopes hadn't proved the "disease" was a hoax, most people who saw the picture on the Internet would have become farmers by now.
Brown Recluse Spider BitePhoto: CDC / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Brown recluse spider bites are gnarly. A brown recluse spider bite is painless, often goes unnoticed, and it does very little tissue damage. But supposedly, it can lead to shocking amounts of tissue damage.
Fortunately, most of those cases are misdiagnosed. True, a brown recluse's bite can cause irritation and leave a mark. But really extreme examples of horrific wounds are typically caused by viral or bacterial infections.
Ilha De Queimada Grande, Or Snake IslandPhoto: Prefeitura de Itanhaém / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Ilha de Queimada Grande is more commonly known as "Snake Island." The Smithsonian's website has named it the deadliest island in the world, since it has the highest concentration of venomous snakes anywhere on earth. If you're afraid of snakes, definitely avoid Googling it.
The island is just south of Sao Paolo in Brazil, and people rarely go there – and still fewer survive. It's home to a snake that only exists on that island, and whose venom can kill you in less than an hour.
Fun fact: the snakes on the island have evolved to be so venomous because their main source of food are birds in trees taking a break on the island in between long journeys. They have to catch the birds before they fly away, so the venom they've developed kills birds instantly.