This grotesque looking creature is the Aye- Aye, native to the island of Madagascar. These creatures are nocturnal i.e. they only come out at night. Aye-ayes spend their lives in rain forest trees and avoid coming down to earth. They have long witch-like fingers that help them grab small insects and grubs from tree trunks. These animals may not look like primates at first, but they are related to chimpanzees, apes, and even humans. Many locals regard the aye -aye as an omen of ill luck. For this reason they have often been killed on sight. Such hunting has made the aye-aye critically endangered, but thankfully they are protected by law.
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.
Want to give an arachnophobic diver a heart attack? Put a Japanese spider crab in his path. These critters have very, very long legs which can extend up to 12 feet. Despite their somewhat intimidating appearance, they are reported to be quite docile and friendly, and a lot less scary than many of the more innocuous looking species that inhabit the ocean floor.
For the past five years, Steve Huff has been participating in a sort of coffee klatch with the dead, during which he sets up a portal, sends out an invite to chat, then gets to dishing. Though he welcomes only kind spirits, things still manage to get super creepy. Working alongside his son, Huff uses both traditional equipment, like spirit boxes, and homemade modes of communication like his very own Ouija board. Whether it’s communicating with complete strangers or recently deceased celebrities, Huff’s investigations always focus less on proving the existence of spirits, and instead on why they’re still here.
Yes, you heard correctly, there is an animal called a sarcastic fringehead, and no- it's not just an English person with bangs. These crazy creatures (Neoclinus blanchardi) are found in the Pacific ocean off the coast of North America. Under normal circumstances they don't like to flash the goods, but when threatened they open their huge colorful mouths and show off some sharp teeth as a sign that you don't mess with these bad boys.
From the side, this mole only looks a bit odd, but seen head-on, it can be quite startling. It is considered by numerous people to be incredibly ugly with its odd tentacle-like nose. In reality, the 11 pairs of appendages on the snout are quite amazing. They contain over 25,000 sensory receptors which are called Eimer’s organs. This is the critter’s main sensory apparatus, and it is so fine-tuned that scientists believe it can detect seismic waves. There’s nothing really ugly about the star-nose mole. It’s just different, and its own weird way, quite cute.
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.
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)