Human beings have a complex courtship system depending on the continent in which they live. Country people and city people can have different rituals of courtship as well, it is usually based on one’s moral background and upbringing. Sex today is seen mainly as a source of pleasure, not only for reproduction like it was once seen as far back in history. When it comes to animals though, they are different. Most species have sex with the only goal of it being for reproduction. However, in order to reproduce, their mating selections may even be more complex than humans. Sometimes the process can be dangerous, if not deadly. So what are some of the weirdest and most extravagant mating rituals in the animals kingdom?
10. Marine Flatworm
This animal not only has a weird name, but they also have a strange mating ritual. The marine flatworm is a hermaphrodite that lives in coral. Its reproduction is based on a strange ritual in which two of the animals engage in a penis fight. Each worm can produce sperm and eggs, so the role of the woman, or the man, is decided during this fight. The penis is situated on the belly of the animal. The winner is the one that succeeds in piercing the other with its penis in order to inseminate the other. The loser will have to take on the role of mother, with all the duties and the time that it requires.
9. Redback Spider
The redback spider is considered as one of the most dangerous and venomous spiders in the world. However, this spider is not only dangerous for humans due to her venom, but it is also dangerous for its mate. This species is one of the only cannibal mating species where the male mate gives consent. In fact, during the act, the male will dance on the web of the female, then hit her belly like a tambourine. This foreplay can last for up to five hours. In fact, if the foreplay lasts less than 100 minutes, the female doesn’t consider the male as a worthy mate and won’t allow to be inseminated by him. Then, the male will try to inseminate the female (whether he has been accepted or not) with one of his two penises, and finally he will place his abdomen on the mouth of the female asking to be eaten alive. If the male is worthy, the female would then let him inseminate her a second time in order to fertilize the eggs.
With all the quills on this animal, we can highly doubt that it has a regular mating ritual. In fact, the strange mating process starts during the seducing phase. The male makes his approach by rubbing his nose on the female. If she doesn’t reject him, he will put himself up on his back legs, and pee with a heavy and strong jet onto the female. This jet is impressively strong because it can reach up to two meters. In less than a minute, the female is completely recovered from the pee. If she doesn’t like it, and chooses to reject him, she will growl and go find another partner. If she likes it, she presents herself without quills to her new partner. Sometimes, the male will put the female on their back for safety reason considered their backs are covered in sharp quills. The female is up for fertilization only eight to twelve hours a year, but during those hours she will have sex with her partner until he is totally exhausted.
7. Bed Bug
Scientists have created a special name for this insects reproduction mode: the traumatic insemination. The reproduction is not made by the reproductive organs of the female, which are used only for delivery of the eggs. The male perforates the abdomen of the female with his penis. In order to adapt to this strange practice, the female of this species has developed a spermolegenese. Another interesting fact is that male bed bugs have a difficult time to recognize their female partner. They assume that size is a hint of a female bug, so the smaller males risk getting perforated and most male bugs don’t survive this attack.
6. Angler Fish
This fish lives in the abyss (between 1,000 and 3,000 meters under water) and the perfect dark of the sea. This certain fish was unknown and undiscovered for a long time. When scientists began to search deeper in the ocean, they came across the angler fish, and they were surprised to discover that there were only females. What makes this fish interesting is that it has a little parasite on top of their head that helps it to catch their prey, which is in fact what is left over from the males of this species. When the male angler fish is born, they are a lot smaller than the female. In order to survive, they bite a female and never let go if they are lucky enough to cross paths with one of them in the dark. Then both animals merge into one. When the merging is complete, the male will be reduced to his simplest expression: a pair of testis. Also, due to this strange mating habit, which is also a way to survive for the male, females get bitten by multiple males.
5. The Nursery Web Spider
The male nursery web spider seduces the female by offering her a present. It is often one of their prey wrapped up with their silk. Then the pleased female lets the male do his thing (impregnates her) while she eats the present. Sometimes, the male offers an empty present to the female. Before the female realizes that the male has offered her an empty present, it is too late, and he has already fertilized her. Scientists have compared the number of eggs produced by females when the present is empty and when it is full, and the number of eggs produced does not change.
4. Common Garter Snake
The season of love for the common garter snake is so special that it has become a touristic adventure in Canada. After the hibernation period is complete, the female creates pheromones so powerful that it can attract and draw in more than one hundred males around her. Then an orgy begins in which the males try to fertilize the female with their two penises. An interesting fact is that during this act, some males actually receive some of the female pheromones onto themselves leading other males to them. This strange phenomenon has been explained by scientists after years of non-understanding. The answer why males don’t mind this is that after hibernation, the snakes are weak and the don’t mind leading other males onto them because it heats them up and protects them from possible predators.
3. Western Honey Bee
The reproduction of the western honey bee is an example of one of the biggest sexual suicides because the male honey bees have no other purpose than to fertilize the queen been. Males have no stinger so they can’t bear any pollen. The fertilization of the queen is made during a nuptial flight during which all male are following the queen forming a swarm in order to have a chance to inseminate her. The male that wins the chance of inseminating the queen has an ejaculation so strong that his penis explodes as well as his abdomen. The “lucky” bee falls down on the floor and dies soon afterward. During the nuptial flight, the queen will get with a dozen males and get enough sperm to lay eggs for the rest of her life, which is around four years. The rest of the males who did not inseminate the queen don’t have a promising fate. After the summer, the worker bees decide that the honey is too precious for sperm givers and throw them out of the hive. They die of hunger and tiredness not long after being abandoned.
2. Great Grey Slug
The sexual mating of the great grey slug, or the leopard slug, is one of the best circus spectacles. The two hermaphrodite slugs start seducing each other during long hours by turning in circles. Then, they climb to an elevation that pleases both participants. When they have reached the desired height, the two artists wind around each others and let themselves fall in space retained by their saliva. Then it’s the slugs genitalia’s turn to wind up. Their genitalia is situated on the side of their heads. After insemination, both participants will lay hundreds of eggs.
1. Satin Bowerbird
This little bird from Australia is well-known for its extraordinarily complex courtship. In order to seduce the female, the male Satin Bowerbird creates a decorative and artistic nest. The nest is decorated with a lot of colors and shining objects as well as made of sticks and is decorated with flowers, berries and shells inside. The male will even paint his nest to please his potential female. Then the male waits for the inspection of the female. The females inspect and look very carefully at the entire nest and even taste the paint. Once they have selected a mate, they will more than likely come back to him in the following years.