7 reasons why hummingbirds are nature's secret badasses

Hummingbirds may look adorable, but that's just a facade.

Don't mess. Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.


Deep down, these bad boys are ornery, near-magical flying ninjas. And recent reports confirm they're even more awesome than we thought they were.

Here, then, is a brief, non-exhaustive list of ludicrously strange and amazing things you probably didn't know about these incredible tiny creatures.

1. Hummingbirds sometimes seem really, really pissed off.

Photo by Luis Acosta/Getty Images.

Hummingbird taste receptors are super attuned to sugar. So much so that — as a number of scientists have observed — when you give them food that isn't sweet enough to satisfy them, they appear visibly mad at you. Which you really don't want because...

2. Hummingbirds will cut you.

Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.

Specifically, adult male hummingbirds. According to a report in Slate, they have beaks, "like stilettos, longer and pointier than those of juvenile males or females — the better for stabbing other males in the throat." Like the three hummingbirds seen here absolutely crushing a bird feeder.

3. For a hummingbird, every day is a series of epic keg stands.

Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images.

Recent studies have shown that hummingbirds have highly sophisticated tongues that function like miniature pumps, which as Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post states, "allows them to drain an entire flower in under a second."

Chug bro. #Chug. #It. #All.

4. Hummingbirds basically have nuclear power plants inside them.


Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

This tiny dude lounging on a baseball field may look relaxed but inside is a raging, insatiable energy volcano. Hummingbirds — unassuming as they seem — have the highest known metabolism among homeothermic vertebrates on planet Earth.

Yep. Pack it in voles. Time to admit defeat.

5. When performing courtship rituals, hummingbirds achieve a G-force so extreme it would cause most fighter pilots to black out.

Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.

Trained fighter pilots can sustain up to 8 or 9 Gs in a dive or a hard turn. Hummingbirds can achieve up to 10 Gs while executing a courtship dive, traveling at speeds that, relative to the length of their bodies, are faster than a space shuttle re-entering the atmosphere.

Most ornithologists agree that this explains why hummingbirds always look so damn smug.

6. Most hummingbirds live their entire lives without ever walking.

Photo by Elmer Martinez/Getty Images.

Because of their amazing ability to keep themselves aloft, hummingbirds have no need for your mortal one-foot-in-front-of-the-other nonsense. Hummingbirds spit on your pedometer. They fly, and they are legion. Watch your back, human.

7. Hummingbirds have evolved into terrifying spy robots.

Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images.

Meet the Nano Hummingbird, a tiny, robotic sky craft modeled on nature's most efficient flying machine. According to its website, it was one of Time magazine's "50 Best Inventions" of 2011, and this "unconventional aircraft could someday provide new reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities in urban environments."

Sort of like a drone, but even harder to spot hovering over your house. Chilling!

That said, a real hummingbird could junk this baby anytime, and only by their continued good fortune is it allowed to continue existing.

Don't let your guard down, hummingbirds. We're counting on you to help us all avoid Skynet.

GIF from "Terminator Genisys."

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

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Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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