“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
Galeopterus variegatus, also named Sunda Colugo or the Sunda Flying Lemur, is a nocturnal and arboreal (lives in trees) mammal endemic to Indochina and Sundaland. These animals possess large membranes of skin called patagiums that extend along the limbs, allowing them to glide along distances of up to around 100 meters; given that these animals are only around 40 centimeters in length that's pretty impressive skills! The mottled coloring of these animals also makes them look a bit like the lichen of a tree and therefore helps to camouflage them.
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This isopod crustacean — from the same group as pill bugs — must be one of the most stomach churning of all parasites. These tongue eaters are a huge pest in global fish farms; however, on coral reefs divers can sometimes spot them in an unusual place: the mouths of anemonefishes. All that’s usually visible of this sinister parasite in the anemonefish’s open mouth are the beady, black eyes set on a white head in the place you’d expect the tongue to be. Initially, the parasite grub crawls through the fish’s gills and attaches to the tongue.
Despite its ferocious demeanor, the fangtooth measures a little more than 6 inches in length as an adult. Juveniles and adults look so much different that in the 1800s they were thought to be distinct species. Juveniles are found as shallow as 150 feet, migrating into the depths as they mature. It is believed that males are parasitic of females and attach permanently onto them to fertilize the eggs.
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.
Again, totally fake. And again, try going to bed tonight without imagining a dozen tiny black baby arms reaching under the gap beneath your closet door. That's what horror is all about -- you watch these at work, during the day and your rational brain writes it off as some film student's demo reel. Watch it again, at night, alone and you will believe in ceiling hands.
“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