In a photo provided by Stephen Tatum, an orange alligator is seen near a pond in Hanahan, S.C. Photos show the 4- to 5-foot-long alligator on the banks of a retention pond at the Tanner Plantation neighborhood. While no one knows exactly why this alligator is orange, Jay Butfiloski with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says the color may come from where the animal spent the winter, perhaps in a rusty steel culvert pipe. Experts say the alligator will shed its skin and probably return to a normal shade soon. 
Make no mistake — those tree trunks seen above are not saplings. That's right, those crabs are huge! Growing up to a meter in length from leg to leg, these terrestrial hermit crabs are the largest land-living arthropods in the world. Although they are omnivores that have been known to consume turtle hatchlings, they generally prefer to eat fleshy fruits and, you guessed it, coconuts!
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 shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is one of the most sought after bird in Africa. A most amazing bird with prehistoric looks – its height of up to 150 centimeters (5 feet) and weighs up to 14 pounds – a most amazing bird found in the pearl of Africa – Uganda. The Arabs used to call the Shoebill Stork – “Abu Maruk” meaning father of the shoe – one could call the Shoebill Stork a flying shoe because of his unique bill. Amazingly this prehistoric looking bird can live for 50 some years. The population of the shoebills is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, the majority of which live in swamps in Sudan, Uganda, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. BirdLife International has classified it as Vulnerable with the main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting.” – Manuela Kulpa
FYI: Bearded pigs use their scruff to dig around for roots, fungus, and bugs to eat. They also snarf down plants, small birds, and the occasional orangutan carcass. (It’s a pain getting the gristle out of your beard, though.) For more chuckles, steal a line or two from these animal jokes that will have everyone in your office howling. *No pun intended.*
Pacu is actually a common name for numerous different fish species that are related to piranhas. Pacus are vegetarian fishes that are traditionally found in the major river systems of South America. They look a bit like a piranha, but they’re usually a lot larger than your average piranha. So what’s so interesting about these fish, they look pretty uninspiring- right? WRONG. 

Peering into the chomping jaws of these fish will reveal their totally bizarre set of gnashers that look scarily like human teeth. They have these teeth because they normally feed on hard things like nuts and seeds which is why they have been nicknamed nutcracker fish, but a few joke articles came out stating they were also “testicle-biting” fish, as they supposedly left men in Papua New Guinea castrated after they took a shine to their crown jewels. After one was caught in Sweden, a fish expert Henrik Carl joked in a news article “They bite because they’re hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth,” but it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously, so don’t worry- they won’t actually eat your knackers, they’re safe around these guys.
Unlike most jellyfish, Stygiomedusa gigantea actually has no tentacles — only four “arms” that hang down like wavy curtains. This deep-sea jellyfish has arms that can reach 30 feet in length and also function as extensions of the mouth. Although they do not sting, they are believed to capture and trap plankton and small fish. Stygiomedusa gigantea has been sighted only about 100 times in the past 118 years.
Also known as the Thorny Devil, this lizard has a body covered with thousands of spikes. These spikes are thought to make predators think twice before attempting to swallow a thorny devil. Not only does their spiny armor protect them from predators, it also helps them absorb water in their arid habitat. There are hygroscopic (moisure-attracting) grooves between their thorns. They obtain water from the dew that condenses on their bodies overnight, during rare rainfalls, or by brushing up against dew-coated grass. Any water that gets into the grooves between its thorns is drawn by capillary action to its mouth, allowing the thorny dragon to suck water from all over its body.

All madness aside, what really made the Stanley Hotel famous was when author Stephen King actually lived at the hotel for a time and had his own ghostly experience. King reported seeing a faint ghostly figure at the top of the stairs one night before bed. It was this mysterious sighting he witnessed, that inspired King’s movie The Shining. The hotel now runs the film version of “The Shining” on a continuous loop to the guest televisions.
Sometimes referred to as vampire sharks, these creatures don’t like being exposed to sunlight. They aren’t often seen and so some people believe they are very low in numbers. Because of its distorted and disfigured appearance, some people assume this is some type of species that has been born with genetic concerns or that has been mangled by another creature living in the water. Given the depths at which it lives, the goblin shark poses no danger to humans but it might as well be on the endangered list due to few sightings of the shark.
When Ian Wrin and April Russ stopped by Tujague's, New Orleans' second oldest restaurant, they were shocked to discover that a ghost had been hovering behind them in one of their selfies. Poppy Tooke, radio host of Louisiana Eats, explained that the "ghost" was Julian, a famous actor of the silent film-era, who once starred alongside Rudolph Valentino in Aisle of Love. In addition to being quite the thespian, Julian, a cross-dresser whose alter ego was Vesta Tilley, had his own makeup line and his picture had been hanging on the restaurant's wall since 1917...until two years ago, when it was relegated to the attic. Not so pleased with the move, Julian has apparently been haunting the restaurant ever since.

​The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) is a species of antelope found in numerous countries such as Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia. They are pretty easy to recognize because they have a very long neck and long skinny legs. Oh, and you know, the fact that they can stand on their hind legs! This allows them to be able to reach vegetation that other antelopes can't. And don't they look smug about it. 
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.

500px ISO is home to the best photo stories on the web. We feature the unique, crazy, and beautiful stories behind the photos you see on 500px. You'll meet inspirational photographers, and discover how they capture the images that blow your mind every day. From tutorials to collections and beyond, 500px ISO is your go-to source for everything photography.


Pet owners know the eerie feeling of seeing your cat or dog watch something you can't see, and this dog owner put their pet's extra senses to the test. Captured in 2008, the footage starts off with radio interference and an orb, but gets substantially weirder. A door opens and shuts on its own, a roll of paper towels goes flying, and the dogs bark and retreat from something behind where the camera is sitting. It's a freaky scene, one that's not easily explained by camera tricks.
This isopod crustacean — from the same group as pill bugs — must be one of the most stomach churning of all parasites. These tongue eaters are a huge pest in global fish farms; however, on coral reefs divers can sometimes spot them in an unusual place: the mouths of anemonefishes. All that’s usually visible of this sinister parasite in the anemonefish’s open mouth are the beady, black eyes set on a white head in the place you’d expect the tongue to be. Initially, the parasite grub crawls through the fish’s gills and attaches to the tongue.
500px ISO is home to the best photo stories on the web. We feature the unique, crazy, and beautiful stories behind the photos you see on 500px. You'll meet inspirational photographers, and discover how they capture the images that blow your mind every day. From tutorials to collections and beyond, 500px ISO is your go-to source for everything photography.
This strange blue creature may look like a monster from a Japanese RPG, but it actually is a real animal—the Glaucus atlanticus, sea slug, to be exact. Known as the blue dragon, this creature is a is a species of blue sea slug. You could find it in warm waters of the oceans, as it floats on the surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. The blue dragon is an aggressive predator that feeds on organisms much larger than itself, including the venomous Portuguese man o’ war. Not only that, it actually absorbs the man o’ wars venom and stores it in the tips of the finger-like appendages on either side of its body to use when preying on other fish! So small but so vicious.
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.

The Angora rabbit is an animal that seems to have an eternally bad hair day. One of oldest types of rabbit in the world, it’s bred for its long, soft, silky hair. This is a very high maintenance animal since it needs to be sheared every few months. Apparently, their long fur can cause these rabbits to sometimes overheat. And we all know there’s nothing worse than having a rabbit melt on your carpet.

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