What’s the strangest, craziest, wackiest animal you can think of? It doesn’t have to be real, so get creative!
Does it have webbed feet? A forked tongue? More than two eyes? Does it change colors?
Scientists estimate that there are approximately 8.7 million species on Earth. You and I have only seen a small fraction of them.
So what can we say about the ones we haven’t seen? The ones that live deep underwater, deep underground, in obscure corners, or in our own backyard?
They can’t all be king, or your best friend, or be known to have a great memory, but they’ve all got something that makes them special And these ten strangers certainly stand out.
10. Star-Nose Mole:
Have you seen this little guy yet? If not, look a little harder on your next hike. That is if you live along the east coast of North America. The star-nosed mole might look strange, but he smells great! That is to say, that this mole has 25,000 tiny sensory receptors on its snout, to help it navigate underground. Did I mention it can also smell underwater?
9. Japanese Spider Crab
Rumor has it, these crabs will eat just about anything, even humans. Likewise, some Japanese restaurants serve them as a delicacy. And why should these crabs be considered anything less?
With legs reaching up to 3.8 m, and an overall body weight of 19 kg, the Japanese spider crab is the biggest of its kind! They’ve also been known to live up to 100 years, which might explain why they can be a little crabby.
8. Lowland Streaked Tenrec
This is what you’d get if a hedgehog, a porcupine, and a bumblebee somehow made a baby. But don’t laugh; the yellow on this guy’s coat is a bold warning. Should predators decide to attack it while it’s foraging for food, the tenrec’s sharp quills will detach in self-defense.
No, it doesn’t sound very exciting, and it doesn’t look it either.
But this fish is only pouting because it’s been taken out of its natural habitat. Blobfish live deep underwater, sometimes further down than 300 meters!
And for that reason, they’ve got very light and soft bones, so that their bodies can compress without breaking anything. But that means that if they’re pulled out of the water, they pretty much turn to jelly, and end up looking like this.
…That wasn’t a nautical pun, this creature is called an aye-aye. But no one really knows why. What we do know is that this diabolical looking lemur is the world’s largest nocturnal primate!
It also has a unique way of using its long, narrow fingers to pick grubs from trees. In Madagascar, where the aye-aye is from, locals used to see them as bad luck and would kill them on sight. Aye-aye are now an endangered species, and are protected by law.
5. Red-lipped batfish:
At 75 meters below sea level, who needs to wear makeup? Well, this batfish isn’t doing it for you. His lips are red so that he can attract a female! And don’t worry, they’re harmless to humans.
Despite being technically called a fish, red-lipped batfish are poor swimmers; so they use their pectoral fins to basically “”walk” along the ocean floor.
4. Leaf-tailed Gecko:
The leaf-tailed gecko can be found in Madagascar. Or can they? These geckos are famous for being able to disguise themselves as leaves to hide from predators.
In dire circumstances, they can shed their tails to trick their enemies into thinking that they really are just another leaf. Ever vigilant, this gecko doesn’t even have eyelids!
Instead, it’s got a transparent covering over its eyes, which it licks periodically throughout the day to keep clean.
3. Mantis Shrimp
This is another powerful little bugger. But unlike the leaf-tailed gecko, mantis shrimps tend to be a lot more colorful, and they live underwater.
Though pretty common creatures, found around the world, mantis shrimps aren’t very well known, since they spend a lot of time digging tunnels and hiding under rocks.
But you’d be wrong to call them cowards. A mantis shrimp stores its energy in its arms, and can throw a punch as powerful as a .22 caliber bullet!
2. Proboscis Monkey:
Clearly, his nose stands out, and that’s the point! Amongst males of this species, the bigger the nose, the more successful they are in attracting female mates! From a human perspective, it’s a little less flattering.
The proboscis monkey is from Indonesia, but locals used to call them “Dutch monkeys” after Dutch colonists, who they also saw as having large noses and bellies.
1. Blue Dragon Nudibranch:
Last but not least, number 1 looks like it’s from a different planet, or perhaps, a different universe.
This is the blue dragon nudibranch. Before you get too excited, you should know that it’s just a sea slug. It floats on warm waters off the coasts of South Africa, Australia, and Mozambique. But that doesn’t mean it’s lazy.
The blue dragon takes on prey that’s bigger than itself, and can even absorb venom from its enemies and use it against them.”
- Inside the Bizarre Life of the Star-Nosed Mole, World’s Fastest Eater
- 11 Facts About Japanese Spider Crabs That Will Keep You Up At Night
- 5 Incredible facts about the lowland streaked tenrec
- Behold The Blobfish
- Red-lipped Batfish
- ABSURD CREATURE OF THE WEEK: SATANIC LEAF-TAILED GECKO WEARS THE WORLD’S MOST UNBELIEVABLE CAMO
- Why the mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal
- Proboscis Monkey
- If You Ever See This Tiny ‘Sea Dragon’, Don’t Even Think About Getting Close To It
- Featured Image Source: Sylke Rohrlach / Flickr