Animal Facts: Blue Wasps to Dog Poo

Except for wasps, I love pretty much every type of animal on the planet. To be honest, I suspect if I read a bit more about wasps, I’d start liking them too. (In fact, it says here you can get blue wasps, which is pretty awesome).

So when I started writing a book of animal facts, there was only one challenge: which brilliant beasties would I leave out? After all, there are about 2 million different animals on the planet and I had about 120 pages. This was going to be tougher than an armadillo’s shell – which, by the way, is totally bulletproof. (We know this because in 2015, a man from Texas tried to shoot an armadillo, but the bullet bounced off and hit him in the face.)

In the end, I just went for the most surprising facts I could find. Then an amazing designer called Peter Clayman helped me to turn them into fantastic illustrations. What sort of facts? One of my favourites was this one.

It’s about people who have been swallowed alive by the planet’s scariest animals – but lived to tell the tale. That shark bit off more than he could chew, didn’t he?

Or how about this one? It’s about the size differences between males and females in some animal species.

A female blanket octopus can be up to 100 TIMES bigger than the male. That’s like an average sized man having a 180 metre wife. Or a normal-sized woman having a 1.6 centimetre husband (about the size of a paperclip). What do you think would be more fun? Being gigantic or being tiny?

Now this might make you feel ill. Because in the bad old days, before modern medicine, people thought that animals could magically cure any illness. And I don’t just mean using leeches to suck your blood – because, believe it or not, they STILL use leeches in hospitals today. I’m talking about curing warts by chopping a mouse in half and holding it against your skin. Or getting rid of a sore throat by eating dried-out dog poo mixed with honey. Which probably made your throat worse – and gave you the smelliest breath in history.

I’ll end with this one. You see, I love animals, but I draw the line at them falling randomly on my head. But it happens more often than you think. Take a look – spiders, fish, worms, jellyfish and more have all rained down from the heavens. However it has NEVER – as far as anybody knows – rained cats and dogs.

If you liked these facts, there are HUNDREDS more in my book – The Awesome Book of Animals. Your favourite animal will almost certainly be in there (unless it’s a wasp).

Please note that this was a guest blog from Adam Frost and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.

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