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!
What looks like a zombie shark is actually the Atlantic Wolffish. It is a deep sea fish. hence its appearance. It has very large teeth that stick out of its mouth, even when closed, giving it a ferocious appearance. Despite this look, Atlantic Wolffish are not aggressive towards people and are not known to bite people unless they are provoked. Atlantic Wolffish are voracious predators, and the large head, powerful jaws, and large canine teeth are all used to hunt and eat hard-bodied or spiny invertebrates. Their blood contains several natural compounds that prevent it from freezing.
Once there, they start feeding. They also begin absorbing their mobility features and gills. The eyes and notochord (like a spine) go next. Finally, the brain is absorbed. Having no need to move about anymore, all of these body parts are considered superfluous by nature and dispensed with (an intriguing indicator that eyes and brains are necessarily mainly for reasons of mobility and are unnecessary for stationary organisms like plants—no wonder many of us feel an urge to travel). The material is then recycled to create whole new body systems, including digestive, reproductive, and circulatory systems. Then the hermaphroditic tunicate reproduces, expelling brand new sea squirts into the world. It doesn’t get much more alien than that.
In this video, we have four kids wandering around looking for a ghost in an abandoned school in Iraq (one description says India, but since they're speaking Arabic we'll go with Iraq). The boys are kind of wandering aimlessly through stairwells and empty classrooms for a solid two minutes, which would arouse suspicion under our "Why is anyone filming this?" rule if not for the fact that we know they are explicitly waiting for the lights to suddenly dim and for a hallway full of disembodied 19th century clothes to start doing the Monster Mash. That doesn't happen. What happens is much creepier:
When Ian Wrin and April Russ stopped by Tujague's, New Orleans' second oldest restaurant, they were shocked to discover that a ghost had been hovering behind them in one of their selfies. Poppy Tooke, radio host of Louisiana Eats, explained that the "ghost" was Julian, a famous actor of the silent film-era, who once starred alongside Rudolph Valentino in Aisle of Love. In addition to being quite the thespian, Julian, a cross-dresser whose alter ego was Vesta Tilley, had his own makeup line and his picture had been hanging on the restaurant's wall since 1917...until two years ago, when it was relegated to the attic. Not so pleased with the move, Julian has apparently been haunting the restaurant ever since.
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.
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.
We can truthfully say that our list comprises of some of the rarest and weirdest animals there are. Take, for example, the Glaucus Atlanticus – an aquatic animal who looks like a Pokemon monster and has a name as equally anime. Or the absolutely stunning, yet very unusual animal called Okapi, that looks something like a cross between a moose and a zebra but is actually related to a giraffe. Or even the rare animal called Goblin shark, who looks like it soaked in a bath for too long, making it one of the scariest sea creatures.
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.
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.
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 video, conducted mostly in American Sign Language, finds a man claiming that he keeps his great grandmother's casket in his backyard. Apparently, the original cemetery "cannot upkeep because of corruption," so he transferred his grandmother's body to an above-ground lot. Not only is this very illegal (do not keep dead bodies, y'all), the next video clip involves the man opening the casket and kissing the corpse of his grandmother on the mouth. ON. THE. MOUTH.
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.