anime gengar grinning

"Pokémon" is a happy-go-lucky series about anime kids commanding a roster of colorful animals in friendly matches. Unless you read the Pokédex entries. Then the series transforms into a turn-based struggle for life and limb.

The main goal of every "Pokémon" game is to "catch ’em all." Each caught Pokémon adds to an in-game encyclopedia known as the Pokédex which provides tidbits of information about different creatures. Usually, these entries discuss their behaviors, abilities, and habitats, but occasionally these facts are downright disturbing.

Did you know that Sliggoo sometimes dissolve their friends because they are completely blind? Or that Bewear tend to accidentally snap their Trainers’ spines by hugging them too tightly? You wouldn’t unless you caught these Pokémon and read their Pokédex entries, and "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet" have their share of scary trivia regarding Pokémon biology.


naclstack mountainous area

The Rock-type Nacli and its evolutions are as blocky as rock salt and their names all contain NaCl, the chemical formula for salt (sodium chloride). In the real world, salt has many uses, such as preserving meat, and "Pokémon Scarlet" and "Violet" ask what would happen if wild animals could use this technique.

The second evolution of the Nacli line, Naclstack, which looks like it crawled out of "Minecraft," has learned how to weaponize its salt. According to the "Pokémon Scarlet" Pokédex, Naclstack "dry cures its prey by spraying salt over them" to remove water. On one hand, it’s probably unhealthy for Naclstack to ingest water since they are made out of rock salt, but on the other hand, the process sounds very unpleasant.

If you look closely at the Pokédex entry, you might notice an important detail is missing: It doesn’t state whether Naclstack prey are alive or dead. Preserving meat via salting is common in the real world, but since the Pokédex doesn’t state Naclstack only salt the dead, it’s neither difficult nor unrealistic to assume they dry cure living creatures. Imagine lying on the ground, unable to move as a Naclstack turns you into jerky. Then imagine the process lasting several weeks because that’s just how long dry curing takes. Puts Naclstack in a much darker light, doesn’t it?


wattrel flying over grass

Type advantages are some of the first lessons players learn in "Pokémon" games. The combat system is full of elemental types that interact with one another in a variety of ways, but what happens when a Pokemon uses these types outside of battle? In some cases, the answer is a localized genocide.

Wattrel is the latest in a long line of bird Pokémon. These petrel-like creatures can generate countless watts of electricity, hence the name, and they weaponize this ability to hunt. The "Pokémon Scarlet" Pokédex states that Wattrel "dives into the ocean, catching prey by electrocuting them." So, what’s the big deal? Electric eels hunt by electrocuting prey after all. This may be true, but electric eels can’t generate enough electricity to call down a smiting bolt of lightning. Wattrel, however, can.

Given Wattrel’s electrical capacity, its Pokédex entry implies that each time a Wattrel dives into the water, it turns any nearby Water-types into fish fry. Not only is the process likely painful, especially for Mantyke (they’re also part Flying-type, which makes them even more vulnerable), but it probably electrocutes Pokémon Wattrel didn’t plan on eating. Because that’s just how the cartoon logic of the "Pokémon" franchise works.

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