Category Archives: Spooky Nature Facts

Spooky Nature Facts: Fascinating Literature

Spooky Reading for a Halloween Evening

Halloween may conjure up thoughts of ghost stories, horror movies, and chilling tales, but nothing can compare to how truly bizarre and intriguing nature can be. What could be more peculiar, more frightening, than the strange and ghastly realities stories found in the natural world all around us?

There’s a plethora of literature to be found on spooky nature facts, from books on poisonous plants and deadly animals, to strange science and lethal diseases. Click below and add some of these creepy real life tales to your autumn night reading.

Frightful Flora:

“A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war.”

“You may be familiar with the Venus flytrap, but did you know that some pitcher plants can—and do—digest an entire rat?”

“Organized alphabetically, The Big, Bad Book of Botany combines the latest in biological information with bizarre facts about the plant kingdom’s oddest members, including a species that is more poisonous than a cobra and a prehistoric plant that actually “walked.””

“Beware: it’s a poisonous world—and this is the ultimate guide to surviving nature at her most toxic!”

Fierce Fauna:

“Now, in The Big, Bad Book of Beasts, award-winning author Michael Largo has updated the medieval bestsellers for the twenty-first century, illuminating little-known facts, astonishing secrets, and bizarre superstitions about the beasts that inhabit our world—and haunt our imaginations.”

“In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world,
Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes―creatures
that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs.”

Fascinating Forensics:

“Along the way, we discover how maggots collected from a corpse can help determine time of death; how a DNA trace a millionth the size of a grain of salt can be used to convict a killer; and how a team of young Argentine scientists led by a maverick American anthropologist were able to uncover the victims of a genocide.”

“Landmark crime investigations examined in depth include a notorious murder involving blood evidence and defended by F. Lee Bailey, the seminal 1936 murder that demonstrated the usefulness of the microscope in examining trace evidence, the 1849 murder of a wealthy Boston businessman that demonstrated how difficult it is to successfully dispose of a corpse, and many others.”

“A fascinating Jazz Age tale of chemistry and detection, poison and murder, The Poisoner’s Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten era.”

“In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.”

Deadly Diseases:

“Combining tales of devastating epidemics with accessible science and fascinating history, Deadly Companions reveals how closely microbes have evolved with us over the millennia, shaping human civilization through infection, disease, and deadly pandemic.”

“In this critically acclaimed exploration, journalist Bill Wasik and veterinarian Monica Murphy chart four thousand years of the history, science, and cultural mythology of rabies.”

“In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery.”

Spooky Science:

“A riveting exposé of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.”

“In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.”

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Spooky Nature Facts: Orange and Black Wildlife

Spooky Nature Facts: Orange and Black Wildlife

Wildlife Dressed for Halloween Have you ever wondered why so many animals follow a Halloween-themed dress code of orange and black? From the American Redstart to the Monarch Butterfly, and thousands of species in between, this is indeed a common color combination. Below you’ll find a slideshow I created of photographs that my partner took on our… Continue Reading

Spooky Nature Facts: Flesh-eating Round-leaved Sundew

Spooky Nature Facts: Flesh-eating Round-leaved Sundew

The round-leaved sundew is a diminutive but deadly cousin of the Venus fly trap. Its proper name, Drosera rotundifolia, comes from the Greek word meaning “dewy”, a reference to the plant’s glistening droplets of sticky liquid mounted at the tips of touch-sensitive tentacles. Resembling sweet-smelling crystal balls, they serve to fatally attract all manner of flying insects.… Continue Reading

Spooky Nature Facts: The Darlingtonia Midge

Spooky Nature Facts: The Darlingtonia Midge

The Darlingtonia Midge & Its Murderous Accomplice Who would believe that an insect and an insect-eating plant could have a mutually beneficial relationship?  Surprisingly, that’s exactly the case in the unlikely union between the mosquito-like midge and the carnivorous California pitcher plant (Darlingtonia californica), which is found in serpentine seeps in northern California and Oregon.… Continue Reading

Spooky Nature Facts: Skeletons and Bones

Spooky Nature Facts: Skeletons and Bones

Spooky Nature Facts: Skeletons and Bones What would the Halloween season be without stories of skeletons and bones? So without further ado, here are some fun (and spooky) facts about them. Fun Facts about Animal Bones Rodents crave gnawing on bones, which mammalogists believe serves the dual purposes of keeping their ever growing incisors in… Continue Reading

Spooky Nature Facts: Ancient Egyptian Embalming

Spooky Nature Facts: Ancient Egyptian Embalming & Mummification You may wonder what Egyptian embalming practices have to do with nature, but if it weren’t for the special aromatic and preservative properties of native plant species found throughout the world, including ancient Egypt, preserving the dead for ‘eternity’ would not have been possible.  Here are a few fun… Continue Reading

Spooky Nature Facts About Carnivorous Plants

These cunning plants have been known to dine, not only on insects, but arachnids, mollusks, worms, small fish, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, and even birds as well! Carnivorous plants attract, catch and digest animal prey. Some of the well-known varieties include the venus fly trap, sundew, pitcher plant, butterwort, and bladderwort – all of which can… Continue Reading

Spooky Nature Facts: Mushrooms

A Mushroom By Any Other Name What do Witch’s Butter, Blood Boletes, Inky Caps and Jack O’ Lanterns have to do with mushrooms? They are all spooky, but real, names of common forest fungi. These creepy denizens of dank, dark redwood and pine forests were familiar to me growing up in California and awakened  an early fascination… Continue Reading

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