Scientifically Accurate Animal Superheroes Couldn’t Save Us From Anything

Slate’s animal blog.
Jan. 20 2014 12:00 AM

Scientifically Accurate Animal Superheroes

451041101-volunteers-of-the-israeli-sea-turtle-rescue-center-free_2
Just wait until this loggerhead sea turtle gets its nunchucks.

Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Last year the team behind the YouTube channel Animation Domination High-Def blessed the Internet with a series of disturbing, hilarious parodies of cartoon theme songs. The videos spoof animal-based superheroes, from Thunder Cats to Spiderman to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they feature visual references to the original televised themes. What’s really impressive and wonderful about this work is the clever lyrics. Relying on biological facts, the songs present some of the best profanity to come from the animal world.

My own Ninja Turtle fandom didn’t exactly take root in a passion for studying nature—I liked them mostly for their swords and nunchucks, and because Michelangelo was a party dude. The ADHD creative team has swept any such fluff off the table and shown us just how badly the Turtles and indeed most animal-human hybrids would fail at fighting crime. Warning: Though these videos are cartoons, they’re not at all safe for work.

Advertisement

For the benefit of those who simply don’t know, and in the face of prudes who might erroneously cite human morals and suppress grotesque facts about animal physiology and behavior, ADHD’s writers give us delightful lessons on the underbelly of the natural world. If you’re ready to venture where the sun doesn’t shine, take a couple of minutes and watch their profane parody of Duck Tails.

Disseminating such odd animal facts is a job that shouldn’t fall solely on the shoulders of scientists with government grants to study duck genitals

The Scientifically Accurate web series unites ridiculous facts with the iconic elements of the original shows it parodies. Scrooge McDuck still has his top hat and spiffy jacket and his giant pool of gold. And the Turtles still have their ninja weapons. But the videos also teach us about the characters’ phenomenal and often debaucherous behavior, and they open the door for us to consider which animals could be the true heroes in nature’s evolutionary arms race.

Here’s to more work like this from Animation Domination High-Def and elsewhere. Most animal-based superheroes to have graced the television and silver screens are still ripe for parody.  Scientifically Accurate video series creator Heather Anne Campbell says there are two more videos in the ADHD pipeline, and the team recently released its latest piece, Scientifically Accurate Santa Claus. But among so many potential subjects my vote is for Sonic the Hedgehog. He is not actually the fastest thing alive, and his catchphrases are terrible. “Let’s juice”? Really, Sonic? No amount of steroids could make you as fast as you claim to be.

Ben Mirin is the project coordinator for Slate Custom. He is a producer, field ornithologist, and musician living in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.