Evolution, I just have a few questions. And they all have to do with why this fish looks oddly like my Grandpa Tom. Also, who was so lazy that they decided on ‘blobfish’? Honestly, I could write an entire book of questions, but for now, I’ll just admire the laziness of the blobfish, who doesn’t work for food and rather just inhales whatever floats by that looks generally edible (yes––that’s true).
Also known as "thumb splitters," these vibrant crustaceans are named in honor of their powerful claws, which can spear, stun and dismember prey with 200 pounds of force. In addition to their predatory tendencies, mantis shrimp are also distinguished for their impressive visual capabilities. The eyes of these psychedelic sea critters are equipped with 12 color receptors — meanwhile, humans and most other animals only have three. Scientists speculate this might enable them to process color information quickly within the eye instead going through the brain.
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.
Hosted by the Illinois Paranormal Research Association, Believe operates on a weekly basis, with the crew traveling the country, documenting every demonic disembodied voice and shadowy figure along the way. Led by David Scott, these paranormal investigators have made it their mission to separate the haunted from the not-so-haunted, using innovative investigation techniques to capture both visual and audio evidence while visiting everything from haunted hotels to mental health hospitals.
Known for its luscious red lips!, the red lipped batfish is native to the waters of Galapagos Islands. Ironically, it’s a bad swimmer and uses its highly-adapted pectoral fins to walk on the ocean floor. Some scientist believe the purpose of its red bright lip is for the male to attract the female. Yes its the male with the red lips! This fish lives in tropical climates and on the depth range of 3 to 76 meters below sea level and poses no threat as such.
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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.
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.
In this video, we have four kids wandering around looking for a ghost in an abandoned school in Iraq (one description says India, but since they're speaking Arabic we'll go with Iraq). The boys are kind of wandering aimlessly through stairwells and empty classrooms for a solid two minutes, which would arouse suspicion under our "Why is anyone filming this?" rule if not for the fact that we know they are explicitly waiting for the lights to suddenly dim and for a hallway full of disembodied 19th century clothes to start doing the Monster Mash. That doesn't happen. What happens is much creepier:
“The leaf-tailed geckos are native to Madagascar and are renowned for their camouflage. This individual is just a juvenile. Many of the leaf-tailed gecko species press their bodies against wooden limbs and trunks during the daytime, and their flattened bodies, fringes, and tails eliminate any shadow, making them invisible to predators. At night, they become active and hunt primarily invertebrate prey.” – Mike Martin
Is it just us, or does this frog look like Kermit? There are many different species of glass frogs, but this little guy is a new discovery — the first in Costa Rica since 1973. While its bright green coloring might grab your attention, the coolest part about this frog is that it is see-through. That’s right — the underside is translucent, providing a stunning view of the amphibian’s internal organs. If you want to see one, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled — these tiny jumpers are less than an inch long.
Again, totally fake. And again, try going to bed tonight without imagining a dozen tiny black baby arms reaching under the gap beneath your closet door. That's what horror is all about -- you watch these at work, during the day and your rational brain writes it off as some film student's demo reel. Watch it again, at night, alone and you will believe in ceiling hands.
This video, conducted mostly in American Sign Language, finds a man claiming that he keeps his great grandmother's casket in his backyard. Apparently, the original cemetery "cannot upkeep because of corruption," so he transferred his grandmother's body to an above-ground lot. Not only is this very illegal (do not keep dead bodies, y'all), the next video clip involves the man opening the casket and kissing the corpse of his grandmother on the mouth. ON. THE. MOUTH.
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.
If an anteater and an armadillo had a baby, it might look something like the pangolin, an odd-looking mammal found throughout parts of Asia and Africa. The pangolin has a long, specially adapted tongue for eating ants and termites and wears a protective keratin shell — it is the only mammal known to have this adaptation. Sadly, its unique characteristics also make it the most trafficked mammal in the world, as it is highly sought-after for its meat and armor. The pangolin is currently listed as a threatened species.
Kiwa hirsuta, which has been nicknamed the yeti crab (for obvious reasons), is a crustacean that was discovered back in 2005 900 miles south of Easter Island at a depth of 2,300 meters. Although there isn't a great deal of information on these curious animals, they seem to dwell around deep sea hydrothermal vents. As you can see, their pincers are covered with blond, hair-like strands. It transpires that these hairs are riddled with bacteria, which some believe may serve as a food source for the crustacean.
It almost looks like it could be viral marketing for something like Diablo III or a new season of Supernatural, but the footage has been floating around for over a year now and so far no one has claimed it. One part of your brain knows this is just a computer-generated effect. But goddamn, did they do a good job -- notice how the glow from the flaming angel beast even lights up the structure on the opposite side of the frame:
From the side, this mole only looks a bit odd, but seen head-on, it can be quite startling. It is considered by numerous people to be incredibly ugly with its odd tentacle-like nose. In reality, the 11 pairs of appendages on the snout are quite amazing. They contain over 25,000 sensory receptors which are called Eimer’s organs. This is the critter’s main sensory apparatus, and it is so fine-tuned that scientists believe it can detect seismic waves. There’s nothing really ugly about the star-nose mole. It’s just different, and its own weird way, quite cute.
To celebrate their first year in university, six friends went camping in the wilderness. After driving for several hours from the nearest town, they discovered a lagoon, nestled beside a cliff ideal for diving. They set up camp in the woods nearby and spent the evening swimming in the warm, clear water. As the sun sunk below the trees, one of the friends went up to the highest point on the cliff and jumped off, while the other 5 watched. Their laughter slowly subsided as they waited for him to surface. It only took half a minute for them to dive in after their friend. Struggling and sputtering among the reeds in the lagoon, they searched hopelessly for him. Finally they disentangled themselves and came up, but they never saw their friend again. Heartbroken they returned to the city and passed a strange and lonely year in which their only solace was the knowledge that they would return to the lagoon to honor the anniversary of their friend’s death.
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.