Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nature's Terrifying Truths: Invincible Mole Rats

They already haunt the corners of my nightmares. Naked mole rats seem to have no place on this Earth. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland they may thrive--their abject nudity and deformed visages blending into the background of moaning, lumbering despair. But for now, they're the stuff of terror. Unique among mammals and things with consciences, they are cold blooded. Woe be to those who wake up with a naked mole rat's buck tooth buried in a fresh wound, its hairless skin permanently stained with the blood of its victims. And now you can forget about dumping deadly acid or red hot chili peppers on the thing in self defense. The naked mole rat is impervious to such things. Science would tell us that studying the mole rat's pain immunity may lead to new drugs for pain relief. They would stupidly suggest that the naked mole rat may be useful to us after all. But let me remind you that there is occasionally only a line as thin as pink, hairless rodent skin between science and madness. More details here.

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