Some glide through the dark abyss of the ocean depths while others hang from trees in dark jungle canopies. Some sport enormous eyes while others have horned flesh or bubble gum pink skin. Some skirt the line between gorgeous and terrifying, and all are absolutely fascinating. These are twenty-nine of the most incredibly and real weird animals on Earth:
It’s been found in every ocean except the Arctic, at depths ranging from 2,500 to 7,000 feet. The jelly’s dark-red color affords it a high level of camouflage at depth, as red light doesn’t penetrate deep water. Stygiomedusa gigantea has also been found with the rare fish Thalassobathia pelagica swimming around and living within its medusa. It is believed that the fishes share a symbiotic relationship.
This quirky little guy is native to the tropical lowland forests of eastern Madagascar. The streaked tenrec is equipped with two sets of quills: barbed and nonbarbed. Similar to a porcupine, the barbed quills are used as a means of a defense against predators. The nonbarbed quills, on the other hand, are vibrated in order to emit a faint chattering that is used to communicate with family.
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!
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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)