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.
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.
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This one is not so exciting to look at, but it totally wins the bizarre animal contest. It is colloquially known as a “sea squirt.” This is a sea critter that eats its own brain. A marine invertebrate, it spends part of its life in a larval stage where it can swim around in the water much like a fish or any other mobile animal. This is a relatively brief period in the sea squirt’s life. They cannot feed in this stage, so they swim off, find a nice little bit of seabed to settle in on, and then plant themselves.
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:
Photo: 25. NOAA (Public Domain), 24. By Aaron Logan, Lightmatter gerenuk, CC BY 1.0, 23. Laika ac from USA, Laika ac Deep sea creatures (7472073020), CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. Nisamanee wanmoon, ปลาเปคู (Pacu), CC BY-SA 4.0, 21. gailhampshire via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 20. charlene mcbride via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 19. Camilousuga, Umbonia spinosa (Bicho espino), CC BY-SA 4.0, 18. Rein Ketelaars, Red-lipped Bat fish, CC BY-SA 2.0, 17. Imtorn, Glaucus atlant., CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Ash Bowie, Silkmoth, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15. Frank Vassen, Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Mantadia, Madagascar, CC BY 2.0, 14. Navinder Singh, Saiga tartarica, CC BY-SA 4.0, 13. Bree McGhee via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 12. Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria, Mistukurina owstoni museum victoria – head detail, CC BY 3.0 AU, 11. Karthickbala at ta.wikipedia, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, CC BY-SA 3.0, 10. Raul654, Okapi2, CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. Ba’Gamnan at en.wikipedia, Hummingbird Hawk-moth, CC BY-SA 2.5, 8. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 7. Tobias von Anhalt, Atretochoana eiselti, CC BY-SA 3.0, 6. Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA, Jaguarondi portrait, CC BY-SA 2.0, 5. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 4. Bäras, Thornydevil, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. Nhobgood, Parrotfish turquoisse, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 1. Original: cliff1066™, Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) (cropped), CC BY 3.0
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.
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!
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.
A self-described ghost hunter from Texas who has worked with dozen of other investigators, Alejandro Dominguez is the main man behind this YouTube-based paranormal investigation series. Dominguez cites a ghostly encounter at the age of five as the inspiration for his interest in the afterlife. As a result, every first and third Tuesday of the month, he and his team of ghostbusters search for the dead in super-creepy locales. Fully shot by Dominguez, the videos allegedly capture apparitions and unexplained activity in places like abandoned schools and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
“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
Just as the Cleveland Museum of Art was preparing for the special Monet exhibit Painting The Modern Garden: From Monet to Matisse, the museum's director of architecture and design snapped this spooky photo of a mysterious figure looking down on the gallery. The "ghost" had an uncanny resemblance to the French Impressionist painter himself, and Kelly Notaro, communications associate for the museum told TODAY that "this snapshot taken by a staff member is not retouched or photoshopped, and we've heard from others that they've seen the man." Talk about a unique way to launch an exhibit.