Strangest Things (2020)
Every now and then, by some extraordinary miracle, the stars align, and two of my glorious creatures come together and...
Well, they just do it.
[male] Oh, deer.
All of my species have their own methods of procreating.
Some mating rituals are conquests of fairy tale proportions, and some are... slightly less romantic.
Some animals mate for life...
[male swan] Mmm.
...while others get around.
[male kangaroo] Peekaboo.
Hey, I don't judge.
You do you, kangaroo.
From attraction, to courting, to the big bang, all the birds and all the bees and everything else in between exists...
...because of one reason.
Mating... happening here on my...
We commence this viscous life-affirming sojourn deep in Sherwood Forest, where two amorous leopard slugs have hung a do-not-disturb sign on their tree B&B.
["Land of Hope and Glory"]
[posh British accent] Oh, sluggy sluggy, shimmering mucus rope.
He-she hermaphrodites, so full of hope.
Though not yet approved... by the Pope.
They'll need to mate, and then elope.
You embrace each other procreating, entwined.
Neither requests being wined nor dined.
Groins which shoot from your noggin make the deal complete.
Interlaced and probing, a single heartbeat.
And now, if you please, I will say, "good day."
And lose my lunch, into that bale of hay.
[music climaxes] [slug groans]
In the famous words of Kit De Luca from Pretty Woman, "Don't take less than a hundred, and call me when you're through."
[chirpy music] [penguins squawk]
And in the frigid landscape of the Antarctic, getting it on is often just a stone's throw away.
Penguins and humans have more in common than you'd think, especially when it comes to making babies, and their home lives.
[male penguin] Hey, why you being so frigid? [moans]
[female] I don't know, why are you being so, still standing there?
[male] I'm just trying to break the ice!
God, I'm so stupid!
Just like humans, most species of penguin choose to mate with the same partner season after season.
Isn't that darling?
Well, only kinda, because...
[male penguin] Tickle tickle tickle tickle!
Alright, going out for a jar of herring.
Just like some humans, male penguins tend to stray from their partners from time to time, and when they do get bored and a little randy...
[male 2] It may be cold, but I'm feeling hot.
...they'll visit, well... the ladies of the night.
That's right, even penguins engage in the world's oldest profession.
Here's how it goes:
When a male penguin is feeling "under-serviced," he'll bring a single, female penguin some stones.
Yes, actual stones that she can use to build a nest, or in this case... a bordello.
To cover her bases, she usually makes the male pay up in full before they can get down to business.
[female penguin] No kissing on the beak.
On one embarrassing occasion, a male penguin was seen giving a whopping 62 stones for a single interlude.
[female penguin] No, no, no, not that stone.
Yeah. Yeah, that one.
And he probably rented that tuxedo.
[female penguin] See ya next Thursday!
And, uh, bring more rocks.
[didgeridoo playing] - Now here's an Australian bird that doesn't beat around the bush.
He knows his only chance of scoring a mate is getting that Sheila back to his swanky pad.
This is a bowerbird named Tanner.
[Tanner] G'day, mate! Sorry, I'm just, uh, gettin' something.
Tanner has been in a bit of a rut lately.
I'd give my didgeridoo for a swipe right.
That's why he spent the last few months building a special love nest called a "bower."
He does this to hopefully impress a mate.
That's right. I use sticks, bones, shells, even these little pieces of blue rubbish to decorate my crib.
Watch out, ladies!
Tanner just might be the next Frank Lloyd Mr. Right.
It looks like he's found a new lovebird to come back to his bower.
Thanks for dropping in! What's your name?
Now this is when the magic happens. in addition to being a great builder, he's also an illusionist.
Tanner's arranged the sticks and decorations so that it creates the forced perspective that he's actually bigger than he really is.
Thank you, science!
Not that size matters.
I hope it doesn't.
Seems like things are heating up.
Once she spends a few minutes at his love shack, he does a sultry little dance, and then he makes his big move.
Talk "birdy" to me!
Soon we'll hear the adorable pitter-patter of annoying little Tanners running around.
Tanner is back, baby!
Perhaps my favorite animal superpower is the power of deception.
When it comes to survival of the fittest, some of my animals have highly creative methods to ensure only the most formidable bachelors get a rose.
[presenter] Tonight, on Reel Emergencies:
[operator] Reel Emergency Services, what's your reel emergency?
[male caller] Uh, yeah, hello? Um...
I'm on a date with this brown trout chick, and I think she might be pretending to enjoy herself.
[operator] Okay, sir.
I need you to remain calm.
[caller] I feel pretty calm. Sir!
Is the female trout currently alive?
[caller] Yeah, she's alive, b-but... she's also kind of acting like a dead fish, you know? [laughs]
[operator] Okay, sir. Please describe her behavior.
[caller] Well, okay so, uh... [laughs] This is kind of awkward, - is there a male dispatcher I could talk... No, I'm the only one that works here.
[caller] Okay, so, ah... we were trying to make babies together, then she started acting, I dunno, like, she's tricking me or something.
[operator] What makes you think she's tricking you, sir?
[caller]Well, you know, at first, she was shaking and wiggling her body with mine, cha-cha-cha, like we were having a good time, having fun, and I thought she was giving me her good eggs, but as soon as I turn around, I notice she kept all the good eggs for herself! What gives?
[operator] Uh, yeah, we've been getting a lot of calls like these today, sir.
Turns out that when an undesirable male approaches, the female will falsify appreciation, tricking him into thinking that he's done a good job, when in reality, she's off to find a better suitor.
[caller shouting] Better suitor? Wait, you say I'm the undesirable one?
[operator] Yes, sir, I'm afraid you are.
But hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
- [caller] This is a lake! Don't raise your voice at me, sir!
I've got another call on the line.
A restaurant just ran out of chicken nuggets.
It's a reel emergency.
[announcer] Reel Emergencies. [police siren]
[slow country music]
Even in the much more temperate climate of North America, love can still be complicated, confusing, and a downright tangled mess.
[male host] This week on Entanglements. [hisses]
Ricardo's got a devious plan.
[Mother Nature] Garter snakes will lure other males away from the burrow by using fake pheromones, and assuming the role of a female.
- Why? [tango music]
Because baby-making is one competitive biz in the snake world.
[Ricardo, South American accent] Yoo-hoo, boys! Over here!
Don't I smell like a woman?
A very voluptuous... woman?
[female snake] Oh, Ricardo!
How... how could you do this?
I saw you kissing her out in the field.
[Ricardo] I wasn't kissing her, Fiona.
I am her.
[Barbie] This makes no sense...
[host] Entanglements. [hisses]
Soon, the mating ball reveals the ugly truth... [hisses]
[Mother Nature] During mating season, garters form masses of slithering bodies known as "mating balls," where one or two females are completely swamped by ten or more males.
[host] Entanglements. [hisses]
[male] Uh, Daisy, I would be honored if you would accompany me to this year's slithering mating ball and community mouse boil.
Ah, I'm such an idiot!
[Daisy] Oh, Colton!
You know I love you, but we can never be, for I... am your mother!
[Colton] That's gross. Hi, Mom.
[host] All this, and not much more... next episode...
- of Entanglements. [hisses] - [organ music]
["Flight of the Bumblebee" plays]
[Mother Nature] Sometimes when love first takes flight, you get a tremendous buzz.
It's like nothing in the world.
Nothing else matters, and then... Bam!
That's when you get stung.
These are honey bees.
You've seen them many times before.
But I bet what you didn't know is the absurd way in which these honey "baes" mate.
[big band music]
Once they make a beeline for each other, and an undeniable connection is forged, they get a little buzzed on amour.
But, tragically, it's not all the mile high club for these star-crossed pollinators.
Because as soon as they finish, the male's reproductive organ and abdominal tissue are ripped out of his body and left inside the female.
[80's film music]
No Hollywood ending here.
[male bee] Arrrrrrrrrrrrrh!
[groaning] At least I went out with a bang.
Ahh. Love stings.
Let's heat things up in the Sonoran Desert.
There are different strokes for different folks.
And some of my critters crave a little more danger in their dating lives.
To the average looky-loo, this seems like two arachnids waltzing the night away.
But the promenade ádeux happening here is less Cinderella, and more Edward Scissorhands.
The male is actually holding the female's pincers to prevent her from snipping his head off.
When the male has successfully used his pheromones to secure an inamorata, he grabs her by the pedipalps.
And leads her in a mating dance that can last hours, and sometimes days!
Just like Sting.
[Sting impersonation] ♪ Scor-pion! You don't have... ♪
[Mother Nature] He eventually deposits his seed onto the ground, and places her on top of it to fertilize her eggs.
But forget about that post-game cuddle sesh.
Female scorpions are one of those creatures that consume their partners after mating.
Sometimes the horizontal tango can really work up an appetite.
Just be careful you're not on the menu.
If you wanna spice up your postpartum romance, look no further than the freshwater wetlands of South America.
They say birds of a feather flock together, but sometimes they also like to "flock" around with other birds.
All hail the wattled jacana.
It's a wader bird, found along shorelines and mudflats.
[jacana] I'm a wader bird, mostly because I'm always "wading" around for my wife Benita to come home.
Have you guys seen her? [laughs]
Oh, Benita! Are you under this marsh?
Wattled jacanas are very promiscuous birds, and in a surprising twist, it's not the men in this block with the wandering beaks.
It's actually the female jacanas who are prone to spread their wings any chance they get.
[jacana] Not my Benita!
Oh, Benita, pure as the New Jersey snow.
If he opened his eyes, even a little, he'd realize that his dear Benita is out there doing the "nesty" with every other man in the marsh.
Hmm. Benita sure likes to go out a lot!
There's bowling, book club, bocce balls...
How many late-night activities can one lady partake in?
She's very well-rounded.
Uff! So while Benita Bird Bae's out getting her beak on, her male partner stays back home to babysit all their young ones.
And if that doesn't ruffle his feathers enough, it's more than likely he's actually looking after babies that aren't even his.
[jacana] Terence doesn't look like me.
None of my kids look like me! Ha!
What are the odds of that?
Hello? The odds are great!
Benita is cheating on you!
[dramatic music] What?!
[stuttering] My... Be... Je...
[screaming] No... ooooo!
Bogs and marshes are home to many other alternative partnerships, where Best Dad Ever candidates have to pull, or in this case, literally, carry more weight.
This terrifying papa is a Japanese water bug.
It's unusual for invertebrates to feature males that look after the females' eggs.
Water bugs will often mate three or four times before the male selflessly invites the female...
[water bug] Hey, girl.
...to plaster her eggs...
Load me up.
...on his back.
I like that.
Then it's just, get yourself born, water bug!
[baby bug] Mama?
Other Fathers of the Year include:
Common marmosets, emperor penguins, and rheas.
Hmm. If only there was a song that paid homage to these perennially perfect patriarchs.
♪ I had my whole life planned ♪
♪ I had it all figured out ♪
♪ Was gonna make lots of babies ♪
♪ Leave my wife in the house ♪
♪ To act like a big man was my only goal ♪
♪ Cause the one thing I knew Was my gender role ♪
♪ Then my life turned upside down ♪
♪ It didn't seem fair ♪
♪ When Mother Nature told me I gotta be a daddy daycare ♪
♪ And the kids sang ♪
♪ Are you man enough to be my mama? ♪
♪ Also man enough to be my dad? ♪
♪ Don't seem right ♪
♪ But it ain't wrong ♪
♪ You can still be a big ol' man ♪
♪ And also Mr. Mom ♪
[Mother Nature] Oo! Was it good for you?
♪ I like-ah the pangolin ♪
♪ I like-ah the horny toad ♪
♪ I like-ah the man o' war ♪
♪ I like-ah the crab in the road ♪
♪ I like-ah the Jumping Stick ♪
♪ A super-engorged brown tick ♪
♪ A magical unicorn tang ♪
♪ A deer with a crazy fang ♪
♪ And they like yoo-ou ♪
♪ Pah ♪