We can truthfully say that our list comprises of some of the rarest and weirdest animals there are. Take, for example, the Glaucus Atlanticus – an aquatic animal who looks like a Pokemon monster and has a name as equally anime. Or the absolutely stunning, yet very unusual animal called Okapi, that looks something like a cross between a moose and a zebra but is actually related to a giraffe. Or even the rare animal called Goblin shark, who looks like it soaked in a bath for too long, making it one of the scariest sea creatures.
The Tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalopus) is a small species of deer found in high altitude forests of Burma and China. They have a prominent tuft of hair on their heads which gives them their name, but they also look like an adorable vampire. Their fangs are long upper canines, which are similar to what you'd find in their close relative the muntjac. They're very territorial animals, and although they have small antlers the males use these sharp canines to fight over both territory and mates.
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The Panda Ant is a most unusual species of insect. Their name derives from the obvious resemblance to a panda in its markings. This remarkable insect is not even an ant. The Panda Ant is actually a variety of wingless wasp! Very little is known of this little seen insect. They have been seen to bring down animals as large as cows with only a few dozen stings.
The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the Chinese giant panda. (Image credits: Chris Lukhaup)
When my sister Betsy and I were kids, our family lived for awhile in a charming old farmhouse. We loved exploring its dusty corners and climbing the apple tree in the backyard. But our favorite thing was the ghost.We called her Mother, because she seemed so kind and nurturing. Some mornings Betsy and I would wake up, and on each of our nightstands, we’d find a cup that hadn’t been there the night before. Mother had left them there, worried that we’d get thirsty during the night. She just wanted to take care of us.Among the house’s original furnishings was an antique wooden chair, which we kept against the back wall of the living room. Whenever we were preoccupied, watching TV or playing a game, Mother would inch that chair forward, across the room, toward us. Sometimes she’d manage to move it all the way to the center of the room. We always felt sad putting it back against the wall. Mother just wanted to be near us.Years later, long after we’d moved out, I found an old newspaper article about the farmhouse’s original occupant, a widow. She’d murdered her two children by giving them each a cup of poisoned milk before bed. Then she’d hanged herself.The article included a photo of the farmhouse’s living room, with a woman’s body hanging from a beam. Beneath her, knocked over, was that old wooden chair, placed exactly in the center of the room.
The daintily named sea pig is actually a kind of locally abundant sea cucumber that inhabits the world’s abyssal plains up to 3.7 miles beneath the surface. It gets its name from a characteristic pink, eggplant-shaped body and bloated legs that give it a porcine appearance. Like their shallower cucumber cousins, sea pigs play an important role in marine ecosystems. They feed on detritus that falls to the seafloor from the rich waters above, whether plankton or a whale carcass. They walk along on a few large tube feet, using a combination of muscle contractions and body fluids. Modified pairs of legs can act as antennae to detect food.