Posted by: Mark | May 29, 2014

Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You (in the Grossest Ways Possible)

Information from Dan Riskin’s Mother Nature is Trying to KILL you: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World (2014).

 

“In a broad study of eighteen different maritime disasters spanning the 1850s to the 2010s, researchers found that the likelihood of survival for a woman was about half that of a man” (Elinder and Erixson, 2012).   “In the 2011 sinking of the Russian ship MV Bulgaria, 60 percent of the men survived but only 27 percent of the women.”  The Titanic was an exception–70% survival rate for women, 20% for men. Riskin credits Captain Edward Smith for rigidly enforcing “women and children” first. Most captains don’t live up to the standard.

 

According to a study of eunuchs in Korea from the 18th and 19th century (Min et al), they lived 15 to 19 years longer than non-castrated men of similar social stations. Is it worth it? Ask me a few decades.

 

In a species of toad called Rhinella, the males swarm females, squeezing out eggs so relentlessly that they kill her. Later, if another male finds the female’s corpse, it will mate with her, squeezing out even more eggs and fertilizing them. “Males have been observed having sex with dead females in many other animal groups, including penguins, ducks, and lobsters, but Rhinella is the only animal for which necrophilia can actually lead to offspring. ” I suppose we all should be thankful of that.

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