Facts About Honey Badgers That Prove They’re Super Metal

(Last Updated On: September 11, 2020)

You’ve probably heard of the “honey badger don’t care” meme that made the rounds some time ago. If you need a refresher, here it is. So… How little do these animals actually care? What are some other facts about honey badgers?

Well, here are 5 reasons the honey badger is super metal.

Facts About Honey Badgers That Prove They’re Super Metal

1. Honey Badgers Hunt Puff Adders

Alright, an animal with the name puff adder doesn’t sound like the most intimidating snake in the African Savannah. But you should 100% be afraid of the puff adder. These things are responsible for the most fatalities via snakebite of any African snake. Part of it is because there are a lot of puff adders. So fine, maybe that’s it? Treated fatalities hover around 15%, which doesn’t sound all that concerning. Untreated is about 50% mortality, which is definitely scarier.

Except no, because puff adders like to sit by common pathways and they’re very quiet (and blend in quite well with the environment). They also have some super potent venom. It has one of the lowest LD50 (lethal medium dose) values of any viper. Which basically means it’s the amount of venom needed to kill the median person. Also known as, a lot of people. 

If untreated you’re going to get severe necrosis–which means your flesh will literally rot off. 

Honey badgers will literally just go after puff adders and rip their heads off. For the longest time we just figured they didn’t care. For a time, that was probably true. We now know that honey badgers are resistant to puff adders on a molecular level. They mostly rely on their loose skin to keep from getting pierced by multiple snakebites. Venom getting into the badger can put it out for a while.

2. Honey Badgers Pick Fights with Lions

Yes, honey badgers will pick fights with lions and steal their food.

They’re also smart enough to go for the groin. While it is true a honey badger will never beat a lion in a test of strength, they surely best lions in a test of wills. Also the “not caring about anything” contest nobody was playing. 

Honey badger skin is loose. Loose enough that they can turn around in their own skin. It’s pretty effective to wiggle around in your own skin to get out of a lion’s jaws.

These animals are also apparently known for targeting the groin with their jaws–and given how strong their jaws are, that’s not a great proposition. Heck, even the larger antelope has been found dead after having their junk ripped off by a honey badger.

So while lions, leopards, and the like could be predators to the honey badger, they often leave them alone. They’re just too irritating we suppose. 

3. Honey Badger Jaws

Remember when we said honey badger jaws are strong? There’s a reason. Honey badgers eat bones. No we’re not kidding. Here’s a video of one straight up eating a bone.

4. Honey Badgers Are Human Proof

We’re humans. If we can’t solve a problem diplomatically, we mastered fire for a reason. We can be incredibly destructive. Ergo, can we just kill honey badgers with shotguns and machetes. Right? 

Wrong. Honey badger skin being loose means it’s really resistant to being pierced. Heck, if it can resist the crushing 650 pound per square inch power of a lion’s jaw. Turns out hitting a honey badger in anything short of the face with a shotgun or a machete might just piss it off instead of killing it outright. We have little intention of flying out with a 12-gauge to test the theory. 

5. Everything About Stoffel.

Ever heard of Stoffel the honey badger? He’s a honey badger that has been caught picking fights with lions multiple times. So much so that his enclosure had to be reinforced to keep him away from the lions. So you know, he wouldn’t gnaw on their groins and bones.

Except Stoffel broke out of this enclosure anyway, with methods including, but not limited to, stacking rocks and using a broom handle as a ladder/bridge.

You know honey badgers, but what about the other badger animals? Test yourself here.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.