"Hey! I bet you can’t tell what this is."
"It’s a slug."
"You can’t tell because I’ve cleverly disguised it."
"It’s a slug."
"Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Could it be some kind of cow?’"
"It’s definitely a slug."
"But no! It doesn’t even have a backbone!"
"Evolution, it’s a white banana slug.”
"Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. It’s a slug. Good trick, though, huh?"
"Please stop pretending that random mutations were brilliant ideas you had."
Source: Flickr / dhelling01
Camouflage is one of evolution’s neatest tricks. To keep you safe, it might disguise you as an elegant leaf, an inconspicuous rock, or a pristine field of freshly fallen snow. Or maybe it might disguise you as a hot, wet pile of bird poo. This is for your own good, giant swallowtail caterpillar.
"What now, evolution?"
"Well, I had such good luck with the handfish—what if I made a handlobster?”
"Handlobster? That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”
"Come on! It just takes a few little mutations. Look, I’ll do one now.”
"I think I like it."
Image credit: Richard Figueiredo, F/V Leah; courtesy Maine State Aquarium
"Hmm. This slug came out a little funny.”
"Whoa, evolution, what the hell?"
"I don’t know. I think I may have mixed something up on the camouflage gene."
"I was distracted."
"Well, you can’t just put that in the undergrowth, it’ll get eaten in like two seconds."
"What should I do with it, then?"
"I’m getting tired of making insects that just hatch, eat, mate, and die."
"Well, what else are they supposed to do? Seems like you’ve hit all the major requirements there, evolution."
"I don’t know, something more interesting."
"Like maybe hatch underground, putter around down there for 17 years, emerge in massive swarms that tear through the countryside and dive-bomb weddings and generally freak everyone the hell out for a while, and then eat, mate, and die.”
"Hm. ‘Interesting’ is one word for that."
"I can see it now. The 17-year cicadas: Just when you thought you could forget.”
"That’s ridiculous. You watch too many movies."
“BZZZ, motherf—ers! BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.”
Source: Flickr / dharma_for_one