The Heviest Snake, Giant Ants, Poison Frogs || 18 Bizarre Amazon Creatures
You’re strapped in a boat cruising down the Amazon River with the sun scorching hot. As you check out your map, your boat starts rocking back and forth. The water is starting to get more intense, so you hang on for dear life.
You tuck your map in your pocket and try to take control of your boat. You strike some jagged rocks and duck low to avoid tree branches. Your boat strikes a large rock out of nowhere and capsizes.
You’re swimming in the murky green water. While you’re trying your best to get ashore, your boat gets washed away. Underneath the water lies a whole new world of bizarre and dangerous animals. Candiru fish are snake-like creatures that can grow up to 16 inches long.
Arapiamas can weigh more than an adult male and are taller than most basketball players. They’re the biggest freshwater fish in South America. They have a hybrid gill system that forces them to pop up to the surface every 5 to 15 minutes to breathe in oxygen for their large swim bladder. You swim out of the raging water and dry yourself off. Oh, no — your map is completely soaked!
There’s no way you can get to your destination without it. You venture into the thick rainforest, shoving the branches and leaves away. As you get deeper, you notice something on a tree. It’s barely moving, but it’s got sharp claws and a raggedy coat. It stretches its arm to another branch and tries to pull itself up... ever... so... slowly.
Sloths sleep more than half their days and only head down from trees once a week. They’re so motionless they sometimes grow algae and moss on their fur. The rainforest gets denser with each step until there’s barely any sunlight illuminating the path in front of you.
You notice a figure following you. With every branch you step on, you can hear a faint sound right next to you creeping around. You start walking a bit faster, and the sound catches up with you. You make it out of the dense part and tread along a narrow path until you reach a cliff.
You can’t walk normally here, so you pin against the wall and walk sideways to cross the hills. You slowly move across with the river 30 feet below you. You move your right foot, and some rocks fall into the river. You keep going and misstep. You’re about to fall, but you hold on to a large tree branch and pull yourself up.
You notice a couple of colorful poison frogs inches away from your fingers. Touching any of these frogs can be extremely dangerous and harmful, despite their amazing color patterns. The golden poison frog is one of the most poisonous animals in the world. One of them hops right next to you, so you let go of the branch and fall back in the river.
The river is washing you down until you reach a calm current. Underneath you is a swarm of piranhas swimming with their sharp teeth. The red color on their skin is unmistakable, so you swim off like an Olympic athlete. Piranhas will eat anything that goes their way, no matter the size. You grip onto a log and climb up a small rock to catch your breath. There is a huge electric eel underneath the rock. Despite their name, they’re more related to catfish than eels. They use their powerful 600 volts of electricity to defend themselves and catch food.
You’re stuck unless you’re like the Common Basilisk and can run on the water like a jet ski. These incredible lizards have special webbings on their toes and can run the distance of a basketball court. You hop on a bunch of rocks until you reach the land.
You continue walking along the riverbank until you come across a moving rock. You rub your eyes and see it moving again. It’s a dinosaur-looking turtle that resembles a crocodile with armor. The mata mata is a freshwater turtle that disguises itself with its surroundings to catch prey. Their heads stretch longer than their bodies. You shimmy your way past it and continue.
You head back into the rainforest and find a spot to rest. Wait — there are giant ants everywhere. They’re the biggest ants in the world and can produce one of the most painful stings out there, even comparable to a wasp’s sting. You immediately get up and find another place to rest. As you continue walking along, you notice the same feeling of something following you. You can hear some leaves rustling, but it’s getting dark, and there’s no way of telling.
You find a nice little spot to build a campfire and catch some Z’s, but in the Amazon, everything is a threat. Except for those cute Capybaras wandering around. They live in groups next to water sources. They’re also the biggest rodents in the world. You don’t need to worry about them if you’re stuck in the middle of the Amazon rainforest.
Suddenly you feel something slithering up next to you. You look down and see a massive Green Anaconda just about to constrict you. They are the heaviest snakes in the world that can grow up to 20 feet long and have a huge appetite. You get up and sprint your way out of there. Yay! You found a decent cave to crash in.
It’s daytime again, and you’re still alive. You continue walking along the rainforest. You were able to find some breakfast to boost your energy for the rest of the day. You spot something on a tree that looks like a branch. But it’s actually a Potoo, a master of disguise that can spend days motionless on broken tree branches. These bizarre birds use those branches as their permanent home, where they lay their eggs and chill all day.
You continue your way through the rainforest and see a Brazilian Wandering Spider crawling on a tree branch right in front of you. 8 of these species can be found in the Amazon area. They are some of the most aggressive and venomous spiders out there. So, you make a big detour and walk away from it. You feel someone walking next to you again, but you still can’t figure out what it is.
You see a steep cliff with a waterfall hitting a large lake ahead of you. It looks peaceful until you see a team of Black Caimans gathering around the shore. They’re the biggest predators in the whole Amazon ecosystem and feed on anything that moves. It’s a good thing you’re on the high ground otherwise — Whoah! You slip and fall down the river right on the deep end. So far, no Caimans spotted you. You swim underwater and try to get to the opposite end of where the reptiles are.
As you climb out and dry yourself off, you notice some large black spots on you. You try pulling them off, but they’ve latched on pretty hard. The Amazon Giant Leech finds its target by tracking movement and shadow. Once they attach themselves to the skin, it’s extremely difficult to extract them. The best way to do so is to slide your finger next to its mouth and pull it off slowly.
You manage to get them off your body and see that the Caimans are swimming towards you. You’re pinned to the wall with the lake of hungry reptiles approaching. Suddenly a pink dolphin jumps out of the water and splashes all over them. They can grow larger than humans and are the celebrities of the Amazon. Scientists think they get their color from the blood capillaries on their skin.
The Amazon even has Bull Sharks swimming around. These carnivorous giant fish are threatening to humans and can swim in both salt water and fresh water. These sharks prey on anything within their reach, including other sharks. The dolphin distracted the caimans, so you climb up the cliff and try to find the best way to escape. Opened jaws waiting for you to fall into the pit are right below you.
You’re lucky enough to escape to the top. But as your arms pull you up, the 1st thing you see is a jaguar looking straight at you. It’s the creature that’s been following you this whole time. You get up while it starts circling you — timing its strike.
You know that you can’t take on a jaguar, nor can you outrun it. So you grab a large tree branch from the ground to defend yourself. It jumps at you, but you duck down in time. The jaguar lands in the water far away from the Caiman crocs. It’s a good thing these large kitties are excellent swimmers. You pick yourself off and continue. And to your surprise, you find your boat again. You fix it up and sail your way out of the Amazon.