If you think it’s hard to keep up with dating in the digital age, you might consider how easy we humans actually have it. I know, it sounds counterintuitive — non-humans don’t have to make awkward conversation in a bar where they can’t hear each other anyway. But our friends in the animal kingdom go through some major trials and tribulations — some romantic, some downright odd, some truly horrifying — before they finally take things to the next level.

Don’t try any of these at home, kids. But seriously.

1. The Anglerfish

Since the male anglerfish is unable to get a job or literally do anything for himself, he physically (and let’s face it, emotionally) attaches himself to the female. Now that he’s getting nutrients from his lady, he ditches some body parts that have been getting in his way. While casually impregnating the female anglerfish, the male sheds his eyes, fins, and a few organs, becoming more and more useless as time goes on. He’s a partner for life…and a permanent freeloader.

2. Web Spider

A total romantic at heart, the male web spider brings edible treats wrapped in the finest silk to his lady of choice. Once she accepts this gift, they mate, have babies, and live happily ever after — except they don’t. Research reveals that some males aren’t packing much, and the female web ain’t playin’ games. Without a proper gift, he’s lucky if she just kicks him to the curb and doesn’t eat him for being a straight up scrub.

animals mating

3. Banana Slug

Much to the disappointment of every man, the banana slug is, on average, eight inches long. But irony has played a cruel joke on these hung slugs — they must find a female large enough to procreate with or face a lifetime of rejection.

4. Hippo

Much to the dismay of anyone who isn’t a hippo, when the male sets his eyes on his female of choice, he holds nothing back. The courtship begins with him simultaneously defecating and urinating on himself. He then twirls, hurling his dick around with the hopes of spraying the female in the face with it, naturally.

5. Squid

The mating routine of squids can last up to two weeks, which is arguably longer than many relationships outside the animal kingdom. It begins with a nuptial dance that leads to an all-day love fest that’s only paused for the female to dive down and deposit her eggs. The squids rest in the evenings and take up again in the mornings until both are completely satisfied. Frankly, it sounds like the ultimate staycation.

 

animals mating

6. Bees

Unlike many human males, the male bee has zero commitment issues. Once he’s ready to inseminate the queen, his testicles explode, effectively leaving him D.O.A. With the penis stuck inside her, she has no possible chance of ever mating with another male, taking the phrase “ride or die” to a whole new level. Unfortunately, that leaves the queen B raising a boatload of worker bees on her own. See? Even the animal kingdom has a form of ghosting.

7. Birds of Paradise

The key to winning over the female bird of paradise is busting a move. It’s not just for bragging rights though. The dance shows off his feathers, which prove he’s in good health. Game doesn’t always recognize game, however — unimpressed females have been known to reject a male for missing a beat.