The sea cucumber’s slothlike speed should make it easy prey. But this bottom-feeder possesses a secret weapon. When under threat by, say, a crab, some sea cucumber species shoot out their guts—their intestines and respiratory tracts, and even their reproductive organs!—from their anuses. Believe it or not, certain predators find this appetizing. As they dig in, the sea cucumber hides under a rock or in the sand and plots its escape. Going on with life after you’ve literally spilled your guts isn’t easy, and afterward the sea cucumber finds itself in a kind of suspended animation for a few months, regenerating its organs and getting ready to escape the next unsuspecting crab.
The 30-pound honey badger has been dubbed the most fearless animal in the world for its willingness to take on larger beasts, such as lions and buffalo. Aside from an incredibly powerful jaw and a thick, rubbery skin, the honey badger defends itself by turning the pouch in its rear end inside out to spray enemies with a musky, suffocating stench. This action sends predators fleeing, which is exactly what you would do if someone you just met pulled the same stunt. Here’s another factoid: The honey badger usually lives alone. Gee, wonder why.