Through good and evil, the animals of the planet continue to fascinate and capture our attention. 2021 was no different.
Whether by land, air or water, some stories have shown how animals and humans sometimes share unique bonds, while others have shown just how frightening nature can really be.
From bears, snakes, moonfish to the emergence of millions, if not billions of very loud insects, these are some of the biggest animal stories of the year.
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The cicadas came and went – but not in silence
If there was an animal awards show, the Cicadas would likely sweep all of the major 2021 categories, as well as the Revolutionary Animal of the Year.
In the spring, a group of cicadas known as Brood X first emerged in 17 years and appeared all over the eastern seaboard of the United States, ensuring their presence was known by making sounds between 80 and 100 decibels, or as loud as a low-flying airplane or a lawn mower.
From the moment they arrived, Brood X wreaked havoc. In just a few weeks, they disrupted National Weather Service radars, caused a car crash in Ohio, crawled over a CNN reporter in a live fire, and infested a White House news plane, delaying him for more than six hours. Not bad for an animal with a sexually transmitted fungus that rots its body and essentially turns them into zombies.
These red-eyed bedbugs can look downright scary, especially since they only come out of the basement every 17 years. Photo: Shutterstock
Despite their annoyance, some people have found a way to savor these critters on their plate, a Virginia restaurant serving cicada tacos. However, they weren’t that good for dogs.
Even though they won’t be back until 2038, Brood X’s legacy will continue through art.
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Other threatening creatures
Cicadas weren’t the only insects wreaking havoc in the world. In Maine, the invasive brown moth caterpillar was poisoning people and leaving them with painful rashes.
In the northeast, health officials were pleading with people to kill the invasive spotted lantern fly.
Spiders have also made headlines, including the enormous ‘megaspider’ in Australia.
Easily mistaken for a butterfly or colorful moth, the spotted lantern is actually a species of leafhopper that can cause serious damage to trees and crops. Photo: Shutterstock
What is hiding in the waters
We know relatively little about what really lurks beneath the deep waters around the world, but all of those wild creatures that washed up on shore last year have provided a glimpse of some of the lesser seen aquatic beasts.
After all, what would you do if you found the terrifying footballer fish not once but twice, along with a rare 100-pound deep ocean fish and a huge ‘mutilated alien shark’ fish off the coast of the United States. Pacific?
The “mutilated alien shark” turned out to be a sunfish, one of the heaviest bony fish in the world and weighing up to 2.5 tonnes. Photo: Shutterstock
Also don’t forget the rare ‘cotton candy’ colored lobster, the ‘mysterious drop’ or the man swallowed by a humpback whale in the Atlantic, as well as the Kansas man who caught the old one. alligator roach.
But be aware that it is not necessary to throw pet fish into the water, especially your goldfish.
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Snakes also had a shocking 2021. A woman from Georgia thought there was a lump of down on her floor – until it turned out there were 18 snakes under her bed. In Australia, a 10-foot-long python was found browsing spices in a grocery store.
Some encounters have taken place with potentially fatal snakes, such as when a woman from Mississippi saw the very rare blond woodland rattlesnake.
In Britain, a stonemason company found one of the world’s deadliest snakes, a sawscale viper, in a container shipped from India. Snakes also appear to be celebrating Christmas, after South Africa’s most poisonous snake, the boomslang, rolls off a family’s Christmas tree.