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!
These animals, known as sea pigs, are in fact a type of sea cucumber. Sea pigs are found in the deepest abyssal depths of the world’s oceans, as far as 3.7 miles under the ocean surface. They are known to eat bits of decaying plant and animal material found in deep sea mud, but are awfully fond of food that has recently fallen from the ocean’s surface, like a whale corpse!
In this news video, a child appears to be haunted by a duppy, a malevolent spirit of Caribbean origin. While the boy in the video claims the duppy is the spirit of a friend, it behaves violently toward him, pushing and pulling him in different directions. Some people have written off the video as a fake, but watching the boy's movements carefully, especially in the second attack, shows him flailing and kicking in ways that don't look like acting. Without follow-up, we don't know whether the spirit ever left him alone or if he continued to be haunted - we're left only with the lasting image of a young boy tormented by a violent duppy.
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.
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.
Not only does this Japanese facial-tissue commercial make no sense as an ad -- what does that tomato/unicorn baby have against wiping itself? -- it's also, supposedly, cursed. Like earlier "viral" videos that would get passed around on VHS, this curse comes with an isolating twist: Watch the video by yourself at midnight (in your respective time zone, of course), and the video changes to a distorted, satanic-looking mess with a pair of black eyes that stare back at you.
Giant isopods live between 550 to 7020 feet deep, and prefer a mud or clay floor, which they burrow into for shelter. The most scary feauture about them, apart from their bug like appearance, is that they can get really BIG! Their size ranges between 7.5 and 14.2 inches in length, but they can get much bigger: One specimen pulled up with an ROV in 2010 was 2.5 feet long! They also can survive very long without eating. In fact, one giant isopod in Japan went for five years without eating a single bite before dying earlier this year. They are known to bite! But its a small one, harmless. Believe it or not THERE’S A WHOLE ALBUM DEDICATED TO SONGS ABOUT THEM. It’s called Songs About Giant Isopods, and you can listen to it here.
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.
The two men are apparently investigating strange noises. It's not totally unbelievable that they would want to bring a camera along -- strange noises potentially mean a large and equally strange creature, so it would behoove them to get it on tape. As they follow the noises, they start to find giant white feathers, which honestly are kind of out of place in the middle of the forest, seeing as oversized swans and/or geese typically don't go tearing through the underbrush at midnight:
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.
It just looks like a smudge in our still shots, but in motion it's a clear yet transparent human figure, merrily strolling down the path like someone out to test their new Predator cloaking device. The guard tracks it across all four screens as it walks right through the closed gate, crosses the street and then struts out over the river before fading from view:
Approximately 99 percent of "supernatural" videos can be revealed as hoaxes simply by asking "Why was anyone filming this?" As much as Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project have attempted to convince us otherwise, people usually don't have cameras glued to their faces unless they know someone is about to be shot out of a cannon or something. So that's our question as soon as this video opens:
“My son and I found this amazing little creature while catching prawns (trying to!). I’ve only ever seen one of these animals once before many years ago when my son was very small – he is now 16yo. We saw it on a beach but had no idea what it was at the time. It became a story that we talked about for years and my son would often say “Remember when we saw that crazy blue ‘fish’ on the beach?” The way they move it isn’t hard to believe it could be some sort of exotic fish. I learned years later that it was in fact a type of Nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk or sea slug. Well, much to our excitement we found one again and this time I was able to get photos for the record. This wasn’t an easy photo to take and I’m not sure of the exact details because it took a fair bit of experimenting to get a shot I was happy with. I’d be happy to share a few tips and more details if anyone is interested. It involved a macro lens, a bucket, off-camera flash, mosquito bites and sandy, wet knees.” – Steve Passlow
With their spiky bristles between their fur and distinct black and yellowish stripes, the lowland streaked tenrec mostly resembles a cross between a hedgehog and an oversized bee! Its appearance is even more unusual because of the spiky yellow bristles around their head, but gives them great camouflage while foraging on the forest floor. When a predator is foolish enough to go for the tenrec, it will be sure it gets a mouthful of spiky spines that detach from the tenracs body. This small tenrec is the only mammal known to use stridulation for generating sound – something that’s usually associated with snakes and insects.
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.
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.
Voted as the world’s ugliest animal, the blob fish is actually a pretty harmless creature…Don’t let the permanent, miserable scowl on its face fool you. Blob fish are found as deep as 300 meters or more, meaning that they can be subject to severe decompression when they are pulled out from the waters to the surface. Blobfish don’t have swim bladders but do have very soft bones. That makes sense for an animal that lives in the crushing pressures of the deep sea, allowing the fish to compress without cracking their bones. But up at the surface the fish seems jellylike and basically collapses, distorting its features.
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.
Speaking of ghosts and tourist attractions, another haunted "spirit" of a woman was spotted in an Acadian Village cabin in Louisiana earlier this year. We're not really sure what the back story is on this one, but we do know that the attraction is dedicated to Cajun history in the 1800s. So, based on that, we're guessing the "ghost" might've been a basket weaver or corn shucker back in the day.