“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
These wonderfully strange creatures only seem alien to us because they are so different from us. Nothing showcases the biodiversity of our planet better than a look at species we find bizarre or unusual. All of these critters have found totally different niches in nature than we have. Sadly, species are being lost rapidly every single year, and the biodiversity of our planet is shrinking as a result of our human influence. If we want amazing species like the sea pig and the spider crab to continue to thrive, we need to work actively to preserve and protect the natural environment.
A group of Japanese teenagers are in a restaurant and complain about an offending smell that manifests just as a pale figure appears in the background. Later, on the subway tracks, they smell the offending odor again and see the strange woman across the tracks who kills herself by jumping in front of the train, then staring down one of the men who has to crouch because of the overpowering smell. This video is actually a segment from a 2008 Japanese found footage horror anthology movie called Ura Horror. This isn't the only segment that's broken out from the show and blown up on creepy YouTube; after the mini-ghost-story, watch the exploding sea creature and the capture of a human soul escaping the body.
The Yeti crab is a recently discovered animal which lives in the South Pacific Ocean. The Yeti crab looks like it’s always wearing the bright yellow crab-mittens its grandmother gave it for Christmas one year. It’s roughly 15 cm long and its pincers contain bacteria which it can use to clean the water around its body. It usually eats green algae and small shrimp.
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.
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.
The Angel of Catalonia video has accumulated millions of views since its upload in 2006 and has made several lists on the internet “proving” ghosts and the paranormal are real. In the video, two men hit record on their camera as they enter a forest outside the town of Campdevànol, Spain, then come across some large feathers in the woods. Finally they pan over to what looks like a man with open wounds on his back, who turns and looks at them, catching a reflection in his eyes. The video is a very well produced hoax by some Spanish horror film fans who used to explain their process at a now-defunct making of site (but the Wayback Machine never forgets).
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.
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.
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.
If you freeze-frame it, you can see that while the thing may be humanoid in appearance, its eyes are badly sunken in, its head and face seem overly large (and awfully pale), and its pupils catch every ounce of the virtually nonexistent light coming from the camera. So, it's either a seriously haggard meth addict with Riddick-like powers who wandered out into the woods of Spain to scream at the talking scorpions living beneath his fingernails, or it's someone in heavy monster makeup. Most likely, it's the latter and the whole thing was staged by a couple of friends wanting to either get on the news or become Internet famous. It's not even that great of a costu- ... wait, what are those, stumps on its back?
Sadly, in the wild, axolotls are on the brink of extinction. They’re found only in local waterways near Mexico City, where urbanization and water pollution have exacted a toll on their population numbers. Compounding these environmental hazards are nonnative fish species such as Asian carp and African tilapia, which eat juvenile axolotls. These amphibians, which are popular in home aquariums, can be nearly black, chocolate brown, golden, cream colored, speckled or piebald.
You probably recognize these two from television. Ghost Hunters airs Wednesdays on Syfy; Ghost Adventures, Saturdays on the Travel Channel. But their YouTube channels are worth checking out for your streaming scares. Their YouTube channels are great ways to revisit past investigations, even sometimes including silly behind the scenes extras and fan interactions.
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)