When you think of ghosts and ghouls, there’s one creature you don’t have to be afraid of: Dracula. I mean, everyone knows vampires aren’t real…right? Well, maybe not human vampires (yet), but that doesn’t mean a few vampire-like animals don’t exist.
Here are six real life vampire creatures that you need to watch out for. Especially #2; that one is creepy with a capital “C.”
1.) The Vampire Bat.
This South American flying bloodsucker should be feared. There are two different species of vampire bat in the world, and both are native to South America. The less terrifying species likes to feed on the blood of birds. The other, more common species enjoys the blood of other mammals. Yes, this includes humans. Make sure to watch your back on your next trip to South America.
2.) Bloodsucking Finch.
The Galapagos Islands are famous for their variety of Finch species. On the islands exist a species of finch called the Vampire Finch. These hellish little birds will, every once in a while, get the craving for bird blood. They’ll go and peck the backs of other birds enough to draw blood and then feast on what it can before getting chased away. I’m not sure I can look at finches the same way again.
Here’s the finch in action. Ouch. This doesn’t look like any fun for that other bird.
3.) The Candiru Fish.
This aquatic bloodsucker is a terrifying little beast. The candiru is a type of catfish from South America that loves the taste of blood. Back in 1960, one researcher decided to test a theory about these fish by letting one of them suck blood from his hand. I can’t only imagine how painful that was.
These are some of the most common bloodsuckers in the world (not to mention they love to spread deadly diseases). In fact, they’re the deadliest creature on Earth, killing about 45 million people every year. Mosquitoes cause death from diseases the females leave behind after they suck your blood.
5.) Mosquito Bloodsuckers.
Maybe you can take solace in the fact that there is a species of tiny midges called Culicoides anophelis, who suck the blood of mosquitoes. How’s that for justice? The downside is that these midges also carry disease, which they spread to the mosquito, which spreads to people the mosquito bites.
Check out one of these little midges in action.
6.) The Lamprey.
The lamprey is by far one of the most terrifying creatures to ever exist. While it looks like a horrible space alien, the lamprey is really just a fish. It uses its intimidating teeth to attach onto and suck the blood of fish. Ouch. They’re also pretty hearty creatures who can survive in both fresh water and salt water.
If this picture isn’t enough to creep you out, just check out this video.
I knew that the lamprey was a terrifying bloodsucker, but now finches are sucking blood?! I think it’s safe to say that vampires are taking over the animal kingdom, and humans are next. Time to stock up on garlic.
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