Have you ever wondered what it’s like inside a penguin’s mouth? You’re going to be sorry you did.
To be honest, just add it to the list of things you didn’t need to know. It’s too strange to be anything else.
I’ll be the first to admit that penguins are generally very cute little creatures, running around in tuxedos, sliding around on the ice, and flashing their little tufts of hair.
I can’t fault them from the outside. But, as with some humans, when they open their mouths, it all goes down the drain.
An image showing the inside of a penguin’s mouth has left many internet users very disturbed as it reveals bizarre, sharp lines running lengthways down both the top and the bottom of their mouths.
It looks like the image might have been edited, or as if camera might have slipped and accidentally created multiple lines, but that’s not the case.
The image is entirely real, and was shared by National Geographic Your Shot contributor Clinton Berry in 2015.
Titled ‘When Penguins Attack’, Berry managed to capture the photo about six miles from Casey Station on Antarctica’s sea ice.
The photographer explained he was studying the movements of the penguins for weeks when he managed to successfully take the picture using a GoPro.
“They walked in the same area almost every day. We would get maybe a dozen or less going by. The day this was taken there were over 60 penguins. It was a bit of luck involved too,” he explained.
See the image below:
Though Berry was definitely lucky to be able to capture such a sight, people looking at the image don’t feel quite so fortunate.
After coming across the picture on Twitter, one person simply wrote: “SEND IT BACK TO HELL!!!”
Another viewer described the scene as ‘Nightmare fuel…,” while a third wrote: “I can never unsee this.”
According to Penguins International, the line of spikes in the mouth are called papillae, which appear sharp on the top and curve backwards toward the back of the mouth.
The spines make sure any fish eaten by the penguin can only travel in one direction towards its stomach – and what’s potentially more horrifying is that we have them too. They’re just less pronounced.
The penguin seen in this particular image is an Adélie penguin; one of approximately 18 species of penguins.
Adélie penguins feed on tiny aquatic creatures like shrimp-like krill, but they also eat fish and squid, all done using that entirely terrifying mouth of theirs.