Most of us don’t grasp the variety of animals species that inhabit the Earth today, and some even get surprised as they find out there’s an animal they haven’t heard of before. But seriously now – out of 1,367,555[1] identified non-insect animal species that live on Earth today, how do you expect to know every single one of them? To put it into perspective, take into account that this number represents only 1% of all animal species that ever lived!

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)


Sadly, in the wild, axolotls are on the brink of extinction. They’re found only in local waterways near Mexico City, where urbanization and water pollution have exacted a toll on their population numbers. Compounding these environmental hazards are nonnative fish species such as Asian carp and African tilapia, which eat juvenile axolotls. These amphibians, which are popular in home aquariums, can be nearly black, chocolate brown, golden, cream colored, speckled or piebald.
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.
Also known as Whalehead or Shoe-billed Stork, is a very large stork-like bird. This large stork-like bird gets its name because of the shape of its beak. Even though it was already known to ancient Egyptians and Arabs, the bird was only classified in the 19th century. Shoebill prefers life in tropical dense marshes, swamps and wetlands.It is listed as a vulnerable species, with no more than 8000 birds left in the wild.
“Colombia: This Surinam Toad was found in a shallow section of a muddy creek alongside 4-5 other specimens. We ended up finding one other specimen at another location later in the trip but we were unable to catch that specimen. These interesting frogs use their star-shaped fingertips as a sensory tool for prey capture. All of the individuals we observed were positioned similar, with their front limbs outstretched in front of their mouth and partially buried in loose muddy leaf litter.” – Nathan Shepard

Voted as the world’s ugliest animal, the blob fish is actually a pretty harmless creature…Don’t let the permanent, miserable scowl on its face fool you. Blob fish are found as deep as 300 meters or more, meaning that they can be subject to severe decompression when they are pulled out from the waters to the surface. Blobfish don’t have swim bladders but do have very soft bones. That makes sense for an animal that lives in the crushing pressures of the deep sea, allowing the fish to compress without cracking their bones. But up at the surface the fish seems jellylike and basically collapses, distorting its features.

Most of us don’t grasp the variety of animals species that inhabit the Earth today, and some even get surprised as they find out there’s an animal they haven’t heard of before. But seriously now – out of 1,367,555[1] identified non-insect animal species that live on Earth today, how do you expect to know every single one of them? To put it into perspective, take into account that this number represents only 1% of all animal species that ever lived!
“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
It’s nearly Halloween, and it would be silly not to discuss some of the world’s most famous ghost sightings and actual video encounters. As I’m writing this, I’ve already been out and done my fair share of research. Which is great for you because what I have to show you will quite frankly have you looking over your shoulder for the next few weeks and sleeping with one eye open.
“My son and I found this amazing little creature while catching prawns (trying to!). I’ve only ever seen one of these animals once before many years ago when my son was very small – he is now 16yo. We saw it on a beach but had no idea what it was at the time. It became a story that we talked about for years and my son would often say “Remember when we saw that crazy blue ‘fish’ on the beach?” The way they move it isn’t hard to believe it could be some sort of exotic fish. I learned years later that it was in fact a type of Nudibranch, a marine gastropod mollusk or sea slug. Well, much to our excitement we found one again and this time I was able to get photos for the record. This wasn’t an easy photo to take and I’m not sure of the exact details because it took a fair bit of experimenting to get a shot I was happy with. I’d be happy to share a few tips and more details if anyone is interested. It involved a macro lens, a bucket, off-camera flash, mosquito bites and sandy, wet knees.” – Steve Passlow
“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
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.

The sea pig is nothing like a pig, except perhaps in the flesh tone of its body. It is actually a kind of sea cucumber with feet. They tend to look rather fat and round. To a human being, they appear more than a little alien. They are actually incredibly common though, and inhabit sea floors of every ocean in the world, including the Antarctic. Often they travel in huge groups, sometimes in the hundreds. Despite their oddness, they seem to elicit “cute” responses, and even appear to be something of an internet meme. Good for the sea pig!
Uploaded by chestertyler714 in 2009, Real Demons Caught On Tape, is a special effects showcase of a very high skill level. Back in 2009, the consumer technology easily existed to make an ashy hand ghost jump scare YouTube video. The four million views that the video has accumulated since means more than enough people were willing to go along with the creepiness all the way to the denouement of a monster. Sometimes this sort of thing could even get a person a job, like when Lights Out was all the rage.
It’s nearly Halloween, and it would be silly not to discuss some of the world’s most famous ghost sightings and actual video encounters. As I’m writing this, I’ve already been out and done my fair share of research. Which is great for you because what I have to show you will quite frankly have you looking over your shoulder for the next few weeks and sleeping with one eye open.
Launched in 2007, this nonprofit uses hi-tech equipment and scientific skepticism to track down evidence that there is indeed life after death. If you’re looking for jump scares, you’re in the wrong place. The Tucson-based SCAPAS doesn’t just conduct their studies and investigations with a high level of professionalism, but also with immense respect for the deceased. As a result, the group—which also offers advice on how to form a paranormal group, conduct investigations and analyze evidence in their podcast—delivers paranormal content that is worth the watch.
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.
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