Honey Badger, or Cowardly Sociopath?

There’s been a trend in sports recently of dubbing really aggressive players with the nickname “the Honey Badger”, implying that these players are as aggressive and violent as the honey badger. A football player for LSU calls himself the honey badger, and the 49ers are all claiming to play like honey badgers. This is based upon the ridiculously popular video showing a honey badger killing a bunch of snakes and eating bee larvae.

The narrator exaggerates the “awesomeness” of the honey badger, saying the honey badger “just don’t give a f***” when ripping through a hive of bees, or killing snakes. However, the honey badger has immunity to snake venom, and they have a tough, loose skin that presumably makes them immune to bee stings. That’s like saying “poison frogs are awesome, because nobody eats them, unless they want to die!” I would like to show this video to respond to people who say honey badgers are brave.

After this stupid animal tries to go steal a leopard’s kill, the leopard returns and gives this badger the look of death. The badger then screams like a little girl, and shits its pants and runs away. That is an interesting strategy, and I would like to reiterate that when faced with a superior opponent (i.e. a leopard), the honey badger runs away like a coward. Meanwhile, it continues to bully animals its own size or smaller, like monitor lizards, snakes, and bees. Way to be brave.

In defense of the honey badger is this other video:

Once again, a leopard sees a honey badger and tries to kill it. And boy is it a pain in the ass to kill. So, the take home message is that honey badgers are not brave animals by any means. They have evolved to be tough take what they want from otherwise dangerous animals (puff adders and bees). But from bigger predators, they run away in fear.

However, if they are being attacked, they will fight to the point that their attacker regrets attacking them. So, if the 49ers football players are honey badgers, the Saints can expect a win this weekend because the 49ers are small and inferior, but they will probably injure 4-5 Saints players in the course of the game.

What animal for me is the most fearsome in the wild? Has to be the hippo:

I have to respect an animal that is vegetarian and annoys lions and crocodiles, without any repercussions.


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