The Deadliest Mustache in the WORLD: Cape Buffalos

Written by Thomson Safaris
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There’s one indisputable mark of a true supervillain. No, it’s not a constant feline companion, or even a plot to take over the world…

…it’s a well-groomed, preferably curled, mustache.

That distinguishing feature alone might qualify cape (or African) buffalos—whose large bone horns are distinctively mustache-shaped—for the title of “original supervillain,” but their dastardly powers extend far beyond the twirling tips of their distinctive headpieces. Oh yes, much further than you know, MWAHAHAHA!

Besides the recognizable silhouette, the horns serve another notable (and potentially diabolical) purpose for the buffalos, members of the infamous “Big 5” gang (or should we say ‘crime syndicate?’): they make the animals virtually invincible.

Yes, Mr. Bond, you heard right: your primitive weapons cannot harm me.

cape buffaloBesides the recognizable silhouette, the horns serve another notable (and potentially diabolical) purpose for the buffalos, members of the infamous “Big 5” gang (or should we say ‘crime syndicate?’): they make the animals virtually invincible.
Photo: Thomson Safaris guest, Mary Gremmler

The buffalo’s horns are thick, solid bone, and they fuse at the center of the animal’s skull, forming what’s known as a “boss” (which, incidentally, is also what buffalos insist their minions refer to them as). Often, even at short range, bullets fail to penetrate a buffalo’s skull, and its massive, meaty body, while not armor-plated, is likewise extremely tough.

Of course no supervillain would be complete without a favorite deadly weapon, and the cape buffalo has two: each of those long, pointed horns.

snidely-whiplashIt’s clear where Snidely Whiplash stole his style inspiration…
“Villainc” by Caricature by J.J., SVG file by Gustavb – Moved to current name from Image:Villianc.svg (see original file history below). Move approved by User:Superm401.This vector image was created with Inkscape.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Villainc.svg#mediaviewer/File:Villainc.svg

With the full weight of a buffalo behind them (the animals regularly grow up to 2,000 pounds), the horns can easily gore an attacking animal—or a human perceived as a threat—to death. Even lions, the apex predator in East Africa, rarely attack a healthy buffalo, and some estimates peg the buffalo as the deadliest animal to humans in all of Africa, more so than hippos, crocodiles, or any of the big cats.

Part of this lethality can be chalked up to the buffalo’s hair-trigger temper; the animals have been known to charge with little provocation.

But then, what sort of supervillains would they be if they bothered to control their tempers?