What animals make you cringe?

Cockaroaches. Including small ones and including big ones. Only exception is coloured ones, and that is so long as it’s not apparent it’s a roach, and you can forget and pretend it’s a bug.

Also harvestmen- their legs - especially when in their large groups, though I’ve not seen those in real life. Long legged spiders for the same reason, more so when wet. Especially cellar spiders when wet; their legs stick to each other and also fall off. Leucauge too but not so much, since they are pretty and a bit more robust.

All swarming, small creatures that heave or look like they are in a tumult when together.

Moths, for the sake of their large, unsightly abdomens. I have seen a moth abdomen burst open on the sidewalk and it was 90% egg.

Also some squirmy, squishy, formless kinds of parasites.

Plus, the lotus capsules due to the holes.

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@marina_gorbunova I totally agree with you. I understand some sentiments but for a naturalist forum this thread is a big cringe.

before I had a place to record or document nature observations I would have ignored many things but since inaturalist has made its place into my life I simply cannot pass by life without wanting to know more about it.

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many of my leech observations are actually ones that are on me.

Because of their style of movement - like they are measuring land - they are locally called "ameen" (land measurers)
That leeches can live for 20 years, have a unique ability to insert anticoagulants makes them so darn fascinating.

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I used to have a tentative relationship with snakes, When in college a friend introduced me to snakes - he helped me handle one - which we had to rescue from a class room, after that i did a lot of reading and trying to understand more about the marvels of snakes and of course try to id them. (esp the venomous and non venomous ones)

Today I won’t go around selectively chasing them but if i do find them will spend time watching, observing and if feasible get pictures. And since then I have also learned to rescue them - so that is also a phone call that comes by now and then.

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I really liked photos of leeches “waiting” in a tick manner on plant leaves, and they’re generally really pretty, I got bit by big one once, I would say it didn’t hurt almost at all (I had to wait for some time as I was photographing a frog and couldn’t get to see what’s going on with my leg).

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In fact, I think, next monsoons I am going to organize a leech walk :-)

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Sloths. I am of the perhaps unpopular opinion that sloths, in general, aren’t cute at all - rather, they’re highly disturbing.
General facts about the sloth

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Homo unsapien idiotien

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I agree to a point, but I think it’s also OK to acknowledge that even if we respect nature and want to appreciate and conserve it, we might find parts of it personally unpalatable. I also think it’s interesting to reflect on what personal or societal views and experiences might cause us to react negatively to certain organisms.

FWIW I did a lot of public outreach involving snakes, spiders, millipedes, etc., and many people said it was my obvious passion for these creatures that helped them appreciate the animals, even if only grudgingly. This is not me saying I’m a great interpreter, just that I think helping others realize it’s OK to like these things can allow people to begin appreciating them.

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That’s why I wrote that it could be organized e.g. as help to overcome this, but calling owls disgusting for no reason is just offensive.

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Even nature doesn’t completely like nature, though. I would bet not all organisms like all the other ones, even excluding predators/prey. We have revulsion to parasites and rot, or things that look like rot, part of which is probably inborn and part of it cultural, and probably for good reason/s.

Some things are disgusting. And what is disgusting to me might not be to you, and vice versa. I like nature every much, and a lot of it disgusts me. I particular it is the animals that live commensally with humans and bring germs, but it is not only them.

Also I can’t work out why it might be a good thing to be turned off by moth abdomens, but it is part of me and I am a part of nature so that seems just like an experience that is overall natural. ‘Stuff be gross sometimes’ is the thing, I think.

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Calling things disgusting creates stigma and fuels hatred to those animals, it’s not just rot and “pests” (which itself is problematic), people kill tons of living things because they find them disgusting, so reading this on forum like this one can help them to stick to that paradigma for longer or even forever.

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Earwigs.

Years ago we visited Yosemite National Park and we stayed at a motel somewhere nearby. The motel had gigantic earwigs. In the beds. :grimacing:

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Same goes for snakes, but there fear is understandable because in my village every month someone dies of getting bitten by snakes (no hatred against snakes), they fear snakes so much even if I tell them not to kill the snakes they will, crowd running with bamboo sticks to kill snakes, I know that hurts but it’s true, I personally want to rescue snakes but I can’t recue them, once I tried snaked hisses at me and came to bite(I am not saying it’s snake faults) but it was a bad expereince for me.
I know this is not a ideal picture we want to see, but it is real picture, and I don’t live in fancy village where wildlife rescuer come for rescuing animals. And I think discussing about animal you like or not like is acceptable. My mom, I asked her “why she don’t touch turtle?”, she simple had no reason for not touching turtle but she don’t touch them anyways, but it’s not like she hate, After me she was the only one who cared for that turtle.
My point of saying is that people will love or hate animals, only thing we can do as naturalist is to tell them is to ask them you hate them , and remove their misconceptions, we cannot do nothing more, if we try we are just forcing them, and results can be harmful

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In our region we have 2 species of snakes, one is mildly venomous for humans, but likely you get inflammation and high temperature, to die you need to be a little kid or elderly person and not get any care, they’re not agressive and most bites came from stepping on a sleeping snake, still people hate them and kill, both this species and one that is perfectly safe, both are afraid of humans.
If point of iNat is to get people to love nature it’s hard to do if you start with what you hate about it, why not discuss species you like?

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Good thing you didn’t go to St. Helena Island.

Maybe so, but in some cases, they are outright harmful to us. I already referenced the chigoe flea; and I think more people are happy than sad about the eradication of Guinea worm. These creatures have caused horrific suffering.

As much as I have always loved nature, finding out about tropical diseases created some cognitive dissonance – they impinged on my idealizing the tropical rainforest as a place of breathtaking beauty. And then when I found out about the chigoe flea, I was discombobulated that such a horrid creature exists. I’ve never been squeamish about insects, but that chigoe flea is something else! If it was made extinct, I would not grieve.

I don’t know, maybe you don’t have such things in Russia.

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Far from all things mentioned in this topic are actually harmful, if it was topic about worst body parasites or diseases it’d be a different story. Just reread original post and there’s 0 of actually dangerous things, I don’t think anyone likes having something living in them, but intention here was clearly different, it’s similar to the previous topics of worst sounds and ugliest birds, which if you love those creatures are actually painful to read.

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I agree there is a substantial difference between harmful creatures - which include the latest one rocking our world – and stating a general “cringe” for things ones does not like.

Yes nature has its own complicated love hate relationship with itself but stigmatizing a variety of organisms that are outright neither harmful nor parasitic is an issue.

Any one blindly replying to the title should read the first post. I find that the mention that “monkeys” and “the brown fish owl” or the “brown boobook” to be disgusting not just stupefying but truthfully ignorant and downright silly, and it seems to come from not knowing anything about either the diversity of monkeys or anything about owls at all.

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I am generally genuinely curious and interested in everything, from spiders to snakes. But, maggots reduce me to a cringing sook :laughing:

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The great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin more or less answered your question when he wrote:

Oh, beautiful summer! I would love you,
If not for the heat, yes the dust, and mosquitoes,
And flies.

Human beings are part of nature, including the part of nature that is red in tooth and claw. We are born, we feed on other organisms, other organisms feed on us, we die and return to the cycle of life as the components of wind and rain and roses and butterflies and dust and mosquitoes and flies… and chigoe fleas. A reflexive negative response to certain types of organism is natural in some respects but a defense of that response premised on the notion that the things we don’t like deserve extermination is a denial of humanity’s oneness with the natural world.

Chigoe fleas do unpleasant things to humans and other critters they infest. They are also evolutionary marvels. I don’t want 'em. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. But they are kind of amazing in their unpleasantness.

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