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!

A young boy is sleeping in his bed on a usual night. He hears footsteps outside his door, and peeks out of his eyes to see what is happening. His door swings open quietly to reveal a murderer carrying the corpses of his parents. After silently propping them up on a chair, he writes something on the wall in the blood of the dead bodies. He then hides under the childs bed.


When Anastassia was flipping through an old family album, she stumbled across a photo of herself playing with her pet birds when she was four years old. In the background was another girl holding what looks to be a stuffed animal. But the crazy part is, Anastassia says there was no other little girl there when the picture was taken—well, not living at least. Her parents also confirmed that they had never seen that child before. And as if this story wasn't creepy enough already, Anastassia allegedly was later told by a psychic, without being prompted, that the "spirit" of a young girl was following her.
The Angel of Catalonia video has accumulated millions of views since its upload in 2006 and has made several lists on the internet “proving” ghosts and the paranormal are real. In the video, two men hit record on their camera as they enter a forest outside the town of Campdevànol, Spain, then come across some large feathers in the woods. Finally they pan over to what looks like a man with open wounds on his back, who turns and looks at them, catching a reflection in his eyes. The video is a very well produced hoax by some Spanish horror film fans who used to explain their process at a now-defunct making of site (but the Wayback Machine never forgets).

“This is a maned wolf from the Piaui State of northeastern Brazil. It is the tallest wild canid in the world standing over 4 feet at the shoulder. Due to its red fur and fox-like face and ears, it is often called a fox on stilts. This particular wolf came sniffing around our camp the previous two nights but I was hoping to photograph it in existing light without flash. Maned wolves are mostly nocturnal but will forage in the morning and late afternoon and finally on the third night it came by early enough that I was able to get a bunch of shots before dusk.” – Sean Crane
“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
You might be surprised to learn that this beautiful sea critter (also known as a sea swallow or blue dragon) is actually a sea slug. The blue and silvery mollusk is known to feed off cnidarians like the venomous Portuguese Man o' War. What makes these gorgeous slugs even more fascinating is their practice of storing the cnidarians's stinging nematocysts within its own tissues — ensuring a painful sting to anyone who messes with it.
This deep-dweller — also known as the spook fish (Macropinna microstoma) — has tubular eyes that protrude from its large transparent dome of soft tissue. Barreleyes live in complete blackness, and scientists believed their ultra-sensitive eyes were fixed and could search only for the silhouettes of prey overhead. Recently, though, researchers found that their eyes can pivot forward, which allows the fish to see prey in front of it.
Also known as "thumb splitters," these vibrant crustaceans are named in honor of their powerful claws, which can spear, stun and dismember prey with 200 pounds of force. In addition to their predatory tendencies, mantis shrimp are also distinguished for their impressive visual capabilities. The eyes of these psychedelic sea critters are equipped with 12 color receptors — meanwhile, humans and most other animals only have three. Scientists speculate this might enable them to process color information quickly within the eye instead going through the brain.

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.


Right away this video is suspicious just from the description -- a ghost hanging around the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland? That's a fake haunted house. Why would any realm-shambling specter waste its time in a place where people are expecting to see automated rocking chairs and Muppets dressed up like phantoms? It just seems like that would be super boring.
"Rubber Johnny" is not just British slang for a condom. It’s also a very disturbing art film by Chris Cunningham for the band Aphex Twin. The video originally hit the internet in June 2005, and what was supposed to be a 30-second commercial for Aphex Twin music became a short film about a deformed raver who lived in a basement with his chihuahua. Practical make-up effects were combined with quick editing and video shot in night-vision mode to make the whole thing seem trippy, weird, and disturbingly tactile.
This strange blue creature may look like a monster from a Japanese RPG, but it actually is a real animal—the Glaucus atlanticus, sea slug, to be exact. Known as the blue dragon, this creature is a is a species of blue sea slug. You could find it in warm waters of the oceans, as it floats on the surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. The blue dragon is an aggressive predator that feeds on organisms much larger than itself, including the venomous Portuguese man o’ war. Not only that, it actually absorbs the man o’ wars venom and stores it in the tips of the finger-like appendages on either side of its body to use when preying on other fish! So small but so vicious.
Scientists themselves keep discovering new species every year and admit that modern science is not familiar with all existing animals. This leaves room to such unique and even bizarre discoveries and collected in this post! Inspired by reddit, we put together a selection of such unheard-of creatures as a Dumbo Octopus, Pink Fairy Armadillo, Star-Nosed Mole and many more. Warning – not all of them are super cute and fluffy!

The daintily named sea pig is actually a kind of locally abundant sea cucumber that inhabits the world’s abyssal plains up to 3.7 miles beneath the surface. It gets its name from a characteristic pink, eggplant-shaped body and bloated legs that give it a porcine appearance. Like their shallower cucumber cousins, sea pigs play an important role in marine ecosystems. They feed on detritus that falls to the seafloor from the rich waters above, whether plankton or a whale carcass. They walk along on a few large tube feet, using a combination of muscle contractions and body fluids. Modified pairs of legs can act as antennae to detect food.
From inside bedrooms and parking garages to CCTV and caught-while-driving footage, this mix of happenstance ghost sightings and night-vision camera action a la Paranormal Activity helps achieve the channel’s goal: to freak you out. The difference between Paranormal Activity and Scary Videos? The happenings on Scary Videos seem pretty legitimate. Scary is right!
To celebrate their first year in university, six friends went camping in the wilderness. After driving for several hours from the nearest town, they discovered a lagoon, nestled beside a cliff ideal for diving. They set up camp in the woods nearby and spent the evening swimming in the warm, clear water. As the sun sunk below the trees, one of the friends went up to the highest point on the cliff and jumped off, while the other 5 watched. Their laughter slowly subsided as they waited for him to surface. It only took half a minute for them to dive in after their friend. Struggling and sputtering among the reeds in the lagoon, they searched hopelessly for him. Finally they disentangled themselves and came up, but they never saw their friend again. Heartbroken they returned to the city and passed a strange and lonely year in which their only solace was the knowledge that they would return to the lagoon to honor the anniversary of their friend’s death.
These spiky spiders look pretty damn awesome. There are numerous different species of spiny orb weavers, all belonging to the genus Gasteracantha. One such example is G. cancriformis which is found in some parts of the US, Central America and some parts of the Caribbean. They’re around 2-9mm in total length and come in a variety of colors and shapes, and some have colored legs too.
Though this isn't an *official* ghost sighting, back in 2013 21-year-old Elisa Lam went missing on vacation in Los Angeles. Her body was found in a water tank in a downtown L.A. hotel, and this was the last footage of her seen before she disappeared. (Oh, and still nobody knows how the body got there.) We have to wonder what Lam was *really* seeing in her final moments...
You might think you’ve seen the world over, under, around and through, but there will still be wonders that will make your eyes pop. Even if you’re a dedicated animal enthusiast, you can’t honestly expect to know all of the 1,367,555 non-insect animal species, that are identified on the face of Earth today! Besides, new animal species might be discovered by the time you finish reading this text, so there will always be some new surprises for us out there. On the other hand, humans have explored only 5 percent of the oceans, so there probably are many more scary sea creatures lurking in the deep.
Here’s a fun fact about the maned wolf: it is not a type of wolf, and it may look like a fox, but it’s not really a fox. It is, however, the largest of all canids or the mammals of the dog family. It is also the sole species under the genus Chrysocyon. The maned wolf is best known for its relatively long limbs and long russet-colored coat. The maned wolf wanders in the wild and is usually found in Peru, Argentina, and Brazil among others.
“These small geckos are native to Madagascar. Other leaf-tailed geckos of the genus Uroplatus share a similar flattened tail, but the satanic leaf-tailed gecko has arguably the most leaf-like tail when compared to congeners. This is a fairly old photo, but proves that you can take nice photos with relatively cheap cameras. This was only a 3.2 megapixel Nikon Coolpix 3700…well before I had begun shooting with a DSLR.” – Mike Martin

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.
“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
Some animals just look weird. Take the mandrill, whose outrageous face is colored to mimic its genitals, or the star-nosed mole whose nose sprouts 22 fleshy tentacles. Others behave strangely―a mallee fowl builds huge mounds of rotting vegetation in which to incubate its eggs. Some are plain ingenious, such as the fog-basking beetle, which stands on its head to drink from fog on the breeze (the fog condenses on its body and then trickles down to its mouth), or the cartwheeling spider, which turns itself into a wheel to roll down sand dunes when it needs to make a sharp exit. Then there's the horned toad, which squirts blood from its eyes at attackers, and the African egg-eating snake, which has to dislocate its jaw to eat an egg three times bigger than its head. With glorious (and sometimes grotesque) full-color photography throughout, 100 Bizarre Animals celebrates the antics and appearance of the world's wackiest creatures.

​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. 
To celebrate their first year in university, six friends went camping in the wilderness. After driving for several hours from the nearest town, they discovered a lagoon, nestled beside a cliff ideal for diving. They set up camp in the woods nearby and spent the evening swimming in the warm, clear water. As the sun sunk below the trees, one of the friends went up to the highest point on the cliff and jumped off, while the other 5 watched. Their laughter slowly subsided as they waited for him to surface. It only took half a minute for them to dive in after their friend. Struggling and sputtering among the reeds in the lagoon, they searched hopelessly for him. Finally they disentangled themselves and came up, but they never saw their friend again. Heartbroken they returned to the city and passed a strange and lonely year in which their only solace was the knowledge that they would return to the lagoon to honor the anniversary of their friend’s death.
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. 

This deep-dweller — also known as the spook fish (Macropinna microstoma) — has tubular eyes that protrude from its large transparent dome of soft tissue. Barreleyes live in complete blackness, and scientists believed their ultra-sensitive eyes were fixed and could search only for the silhouettes of prey overhead. Recently, though, researchers found that their eyes can pivot forward, which allows the fish to see prey in front of it.
If you’re wondering if aliens are out there, you might want to look to the seas. The Giant Isopod is so bizarre and alien-like, it’ll probably give you the creeps. A bottom feeder, it crawls around on the ocean floor, seeking food. It becomes so big because of “deep sea gigantism,” a phenomenon where deep-sea creatures grow much larger than similar creatures in the shallow water.
This one is not so exciting to look at, but it totally wins the bizarre animal contest. It is colloquially known as a “sea squirt.” This is a sea critter that eats its own brain. A marine invertebrate, it spends part of its life in a larval stage where it can swim around in the water much like a fish or any other mobile animal. This is a relatively brief period in the sea squirt’s life. They cannot feed in this stage, so they swim off, find a nice little bit of seabed to settle in on, and then plant themselves.
Blobfish, pangolin, and flower mantis are just a few of the names of the bizarre bugs and animals that readers will learn about in this fascinating nonfiction title. Through vibrant images and photos, informational text, a glossary of terms, and an index, readers will learn some of the strange ways that arthropods, invertebrates, and mammals have adapted over time to camouflage themselves and develop interesting ways to keep predators away.
First look at the Bush Viper, and it’s hard not to think of two creatures: snake and dragon. This one-of-a-kind serpent has an uncanny similarity with the famous magical creature with its somewhat prickly and feather-like scales. However, keep in mind that this animal is still a type of viper. That said, one should refrain from provoking it or else, it will strike like a typical viper.
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