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.
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.
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.
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.
For instance, in 2015 researchers identified a ruby-red sea dragon off the coast of Australia, a new species of giant tortoise in the Galápagos Islands and an ancient spikey worm with 30 legs in China. As these newfound creatures are uncovered, it's important to protect them from pollution, habitat loss and the havoc caused by invasive species, especially as Earth enters its sixth mass extinction, experts say.
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.
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 new species was serendipitously discovered in a museum exhibit of fossils from the Crato Formation in northeastern Brazil. The Solnhofen Museum in Germany had labeled it "Unknown fossil," but David Martill, a paleobiologist at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, gave it a long look. His jaw dropped when he realized it had four legs, Martill told Live Science in July.
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.
A modern horror movie so good, it inspired an entire universe of future films including two more Conjurings, the Annabelle series, and this year’s The Nun. The original is still the best, though. The Conjuring is inspired by a real-life pair of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who come to help a family whose farmhouse may be haunted.
And the light from the "angel" has a strange weight to it -- you can see it pulse outward at the bottom as it suddenly gains mass after striking the ground. Anyway, maybe a Pixar animator got bored and threw this together just to mess with people. After contacting all of his or her friends in Jakarta, Indonesia, to stage it. Including, of course, his or her friends with access to the security footage of that particular public square.
It’s nearly Halloween, and it would be silly not to discuss some of the world’s most famous ghost sightings and actual video encounters. As I’m writing this, I’ve already been out and done my fair share of research. Which is great for you because what I have to show you will quite frankly have you looking over your shoulder for the next few weeks and sleeping with one eye open.
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.
Whether it was the flower arrangements or the music that set him off, one unhappy "ghost" made sure that the bride and groom knew he wasn't having it. As you can see from one reddit user's selfie, there appears to be a rather displeased face lurking in the background of what is an otherwise adorable memento. Grimacing ghost or not, one thing is for sure: the photobomber certainly did not receive a wedding invitation.
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.
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.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! And the only thing more fun than celebrating with a "sexy [insert inanimate object here]" costume and downing candy corn shots is not doing that and instead downing something pumpkin-flavored under a pile of blankets while watching some truly terrifying content. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are 13 of our favorite (read: scariest) classic ghost movies guaranteed to keep you up all night thinking, What was that? Did you hear that?! TURN THE LIGHTS ON.
The blackness of our deepest oceans is a tough place to eke out a living. To survive, residents must make the most of feeding opportunities when they arise. The black swallower is ruled by its stomach: It can eat fishes twice its own length and 10 times its mass. However, its eyes can be bigger than its stomach. Many of the known specimens have been found when a bloated swallower washed ashore having eaten a meal too large to digest.
One of the classic, creepy videos of the pre-YouTube internet made it to the mass streaming service in 2006. Rather than being downloaded and shared as a movie file as it originally gained cult status, the video was uploaded by the director of the short film, who already knew it had become a curio of the web. The director, David B. Earle, wanted to make an infinitely looping film to show the paradox that there might be nothing on the other side of life.
A headless goddamned ghost appears right in goddamned front of them. You literally see it materialize on camera -- of all the entries on this list, this is the one you absolutely have to watch (here's a shorter version that cuts right to the ghost if you don't have 4 free minutes). Seriously, your mind will be blown like Eric Stoltz's penis in The Rules of Attraction. As they swing the camera lazily through the room, the ghost just walks very purposefully toward them like it's delivering a pizza, while a long, low moan emanates from its phantom lungs.