“This is a maned wolf from the Piaui State of northeastern Brazil. It is the tallest wild canid in the world standing over 4 feet at the shoulder. Due to its red fur and fox-like face and ears, it is often called a fox on stilts. This particular wolf came sniffing around our camp the previous two nights but I was hoping to photograph it in existing light without flash. Maned wolves are mostly nocturnal but will forage in the morning and late afternoon and finally on the third night it came by early enough that I was able to get a bunch of shots before dusk.” – Sean Crane

Which one of these bizarre creatures and critters are you meeting for the first time? Discover animal kingdom oddballs that 500px photographers have captured for you, with jaw-dropping features that range from wide cartoon-ish eyes to extremely long limbs and snouts to exaggerated body parts that look downright scary. Plus, you’ll get the story behind each of these photographers’ wild encounters. Scroll down!
I always beg for them to give him one last chance. Of course, they did at first. Charlie has been back home several times, each shorter in duration than the last. Every time without fail, it all starts again. The neighbourhood cats with gouged out eyes showing up in his toy chest, my dad’s razors found dropped on the baby slide in the park across the street, mom’s vitamins replaced by bits of dishwasher tablets. My parents are hesitant now, using “last chances” sparingly. They say his disorder makes him charming, makes it easy for him to fake normalcy, and to trick the doctors who care for him into thinking he is ready for rehabilitation. That I will just have to put up with my boredom if it means staying safe from him.

'Do you know anybody with Asperger Syndrome?' - Ha, me apparently, who knew - 52 years bewilderment, 35 years seeing Drs for depression & anxiety, not even 1 suggested AS, maybe assumed it was 'males only'. To me AS are the smart, creative, kind, thoughtful, open-minded, honest, cool type I always gravitate to - only a problem with social guff & only 'cos NTs are so rigidly intolerant & accidentally ignorant. No cure for genius.
Chrysomallon squamiferum is found around inhospitable Indian Ocean hydrothermal vents, extreme ecosystems in 8,000 feet of water. Water temps can reach over 700°F, and biological communities sprout up where the salt water and extreme heat interact. Here, armored snails use iron sulfide to build their shells — the only animals on Earth to use iron in this way. Black metallic scales also cover the foot.
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 Star Nosed Mole must have jumped straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It looks as if its head just got blown up, an effect made even more realistic by the pink tentacles stretched out on its nose. This weird creature is found in Canada and in the north-eastern part of the US. The name comes from its strange nose (which is more like a squished octopus attached to its face than a nose). The tentacles on the nose help the mole find snails, molluscs, worms, and other small creatures it likes to eat. They probably see it coming and die laughing, allowing the mole to simply walk up and gobble them up.
A year passed and they returned to the lagoon as a memorial, but as they approached they saw their friend standing there, head bowed. Excitedly they called to him and began running towards him, but he didn’t turn. As they got closer they called him more desperately, but still to no avail. With joy they ran towards him, but stopped dead when they saw not one but five crosses on the waterside.
Though this isn't an *official* ghost sighting, back in 2013 21-year-old Elisa Lam went missing on vacation in Los Angeles. Her body was found in a water tank in a downtown L.A. hotel, and this was the last footage of her seen before she disappeared. (Oh, and still nobody knows how the body got there.) We have to wonder what Lam was *really* seeing in her final moments...
You might be surprised to learn that this beautiful sea critter (also known as a sea swallow or blue dragon) is actually a sea slug. The blue and silvery mollusk is known to feed off cnidarians like the venomous Portuguese Man o' War. What makes these gorgeous slugs even more fascinating is their practice of storing the cnidarians's stinging nematocysts within its own tissues — ensuring a painful sting to anyone who messes with it.
Just last week, divers in the Solomon Islands discovered a glowing sea turtle under the waves. While other animals are known to be bioluminescent, this is the first documented case of a glowing reptile in the wild. According to diver David Gruber, an associate professor of biology at Baruch College, the hawksbill sea turtle’s shell glowed both red and green, but it’s likely that the red came from biofluorescent algae. 

The first part of this video, in which a man is woken up by the sound of crying and finds a crouching figure in the hallway, is scary enough. But when he returns for another glimpse at the figure, he finds it closer, its arms in the air, making it less likely to be a figment of his imagination and more likely to be some otherworldly presence in his home.
So what is it? It's clearly a person (or the shade of a person) just kind of jaunting along like a haunted iPod commercial, but what could produce that image on the security feed? A lot of YouTube comments jump to the conclusion that it's a reflection on the monitor, which would make sense if the room the monitors are in were about 60 feet long, and wide enough for someone to stand far enough away to make the appropriate scale and to walk a long enough distance to cast a seamless reflection on all four screens. Beyond that, the screens are stacked, not side by side, meaning the security office would have to be two stories tall and the person casting the reflection would have to teleport from the top level to the bottom level midstride in order to maintain the illusion. Either that or the reflection is being made by a very tiny man. 

Just last week, divers in the Solomon Islands discovered a glowing sea turtle under the waves. While other animals are known to be bioluminescent, this is the first documented case of a glowing reptile in the wild. According to diver David Gruber, an associate professor of biology at Baruch College, the hawksbill sea turtle’s shell glowed both red and green, but it’s likely that the red came from biofluorescent algae.
Intrigued by the incredible—and often inexplicable—forms of life on our Earth, science writer Mara Grunbaum began showcasing her favorite examples on Tumblr. Now you can marvel at more than 100 of Evolution’s greatest hits and misses in her new book WTF, Evolution?!: A Theory of Unintelligible Design (Workman). Take a break from these strange creatures and check out the most adorable photos of the sweetest animals.
Like its namesake legend, the Abominable Snowman, the yeti crab has limbs that are covered in thick white hairs. These hairs are also covered in filamentous bacteria that give the crab an extraordinarily hairy appearance. In 2011, another species of yeti crab was discovered, and the role of these hairs became clearer. It appears that the crabs use their hairs as farmland for the filamentous bacteria that grow on them. They harvest and feed on these bacteria, and even wave their hairy arms in nutrient-rich vent seeps to fertilize their crop and increase their productivity.
Known for the peculiar frill around its neck, this lizard is largely arboreal, spending majority of its time in the trees. When the lizard is frightened, it produces a startling deimatic display: it gapes its mouth, exposing a bright pink or yellow lining; it spreads out its frill, displaying bright orange and red scales; raises its body; and sometimes holds its tail above its body. This reaction is used for territorial displays, to discourage predators, and during courtship.
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