If videos of the creepiest creatures and fungi aren't on your YouTube Halloween watchlist, then you’re missing out.
KQED’s award-winning wildlife series Deep Look gives viewers an up-close look at the natural world as you’ve never seen before. And this year, the Deep Look team has curated a chilling playlist for your Halloween enjoyment.
From foul-smelling mushrooms and zombie flies to flesh-eating beetles, scroll on to watch some of Deep Look’s favorite episodes about creatures associated with the macabre.
These whispering, walking bats are onto something
Most species, with the exception of fruit bats, use echolocation, their built-in sonar, to find prey. But some bats are sneakier than others.
Meet the pallid bat, also known as the whispering bat. They’re known for their sneaky, scrappy methods of hunting, and with the help of their huge ears, they’re highly attuned to the sound of mammals breathing.
Watch flesh-eating beetles strip bodies to the bone
The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley has mastered the art of preserving dead things. They are able to do so with the help of Dermestid Beetles – flesh-eating creatures – that can clean the bones of dead animals within days.
The challenge? The museum has to ensure these beetles stay in the lab, and don’t wreak havoc by munching through specimens in other parts of the museum.
This mushroom tricks flies by faking its own death
Is it spoiled fruit? A rotten egg? Or a dead animal? The cage fungus looks and smells like decaying meat – on purpose.
The rotten odor is irresistible to flies, which help spread its spores far and wide. While many mushrooms spread their spores by releasing them into the wind, the cage fungus gets the flies to do all the work.
This mushroom starts killing you before you even realize
The death cap mushroom got its name for a reason, and they’re abundant in California. What makes them lethal is a toxin in the mushroom that destroys your liver cells.
For the first 6 to 12 hours after eating the mushroom, victims of the death cap feel fine. But after that, they develop severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
This killer fungus turns flies into zombies
Have you ever seen a zombie fruit fly? Fruit flies get their minds infiltrated by this killer fungus, known by its scientific name, Entomophthora muscae, which means "fly destroyer."
For the first few days after picking up a fungal spore, an infected fruit fly seems normal. But inside, the fungus is taking over the fly’s brain.