From Relative Obscurity to Internet Fame, the Honey Badger Don’t Care

Rumored to emasculate its prey and sham its own death, the solitary and reclusive honey badger, also known as the “honey ratel”, is one of the most rarely observed of Afro-Asian carnivores and clearly one of the most apathetic. The honey badger gained much acclaim in North America and around the world from a wacky and sardonic 2011 video parody, which circulated off the charts. The gripping footage went viral thanks to a quirky natural history narrative full of expletives and loosely accurate conjecture about the hunting and scavenging behavior of the formidable mustelid. Nonetheless, the YouTube video, which has since received over 70 million views, explains why the Guinness Book of World Records lists the honey badger as the most fearless animal in the world.

The dubbed parody of clips of honey badgers in action originally aired on the National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Animal Countdown. The video showcases the tenacity and ferocity of these infamous scavengers and notorious bee hive invaders. But is it really possible to determine for certain if honey badgers are the most fearless animals on Earth? Well, they are certainly at the top of the list and I’ll explain why.

According to the website of the World Famous San Diego Zoo, which is one of four zoos in the United States to have recently exhibited honey badgers, “It would be hard to find a more quarrelsome animal than the honey badger. It doesn’t start fights it can’t finish and makes an impressive foe.” And, I should add that honey badgers don’t actually feed on honey, rather they raid bee hives in search of bee larvae.

In reference to South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, the scientific name of the honey badger is Mellivora capensis, which means “honey eaters of —> Read More