There are about 8.7 million species, that we know of anyway, on planet Earth. With so many animals, it’s likely you haven’t kept track of each and every one. We all know about lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), but when you really dig deeper, you might be surprised by the strange animals roaming around out there in the wild. From weird looking amphibians to pokey mammals, the sheer amount of diversity in the animal kingdom is pretty amazing! Curious to see what oddball beasts we found? Here are 25 Bizarre Animals You Didn’t Know Exist.
These creatures possess one of the most bizarre noses in the entire animal kingdom. The snouts are lined with more than 25,000 minute sensory receptors that help the mole feel its way through its underground lair. These 11 pairs of pink fleshy appendages ringing its snout is used as a touch organ and are perfectly poised to detect seismic wave vibrations.
Also known as the Thorny Devil, this lizard has a body covered with thousands of spikes. These spikes are thought to make predators think twice before attempting to swallow a thorny devil. Not only does their spiny armor protect them from predators, it also helps them absorb water in their arid habitat. There are hygroscopic (moisure-attracting) grooves between their thorns. They obtain water from the dew that condenses on their bodies overnight, during rare rainfalls, or by brushing up against dew-coated grass. Any water that gets into the grooves between its thorns is drawn by capillary action to its mouth, allowing the thorny dragon to suck water from all over its body.
“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
They are found across the world’s oceans at depths of 1,600 to 24,000 feet, where they are among the largest animals. One species has been recorded at more than 6 feet in length and weighing 13 pounds. They live on, or close to, the seafloor, where they hunt a variety of invertebrates. These big-eared creatures are unusual for octopuses because they’re able to swallow their prey whole.

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.
The Ring is one of the few American remakes of a Japanese horror film that not only justifies its existence, but arguably outshines the original. Naomi Watts stars as a journalist investigating a supposedly cursed videotape: whoever watches the tape, which features an extremely creepy series of nonsensical images, will die seven days later. Good luck!
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!
Also known as the Thorny Devil, this lizard has a body covered with thousands of spikes. These spikes are thought to make predators think twice before attempting to swallow a thorny devil. Not only does their spiny armor protect them from predators, it also helps them absorb water in their arid habitat. There are hygroscopic (moisure-attracting) grooves between their thorns. They obtain water from the dew that condenses on their bodies overnight, during rare rainfalls, or by brushing up against dew-coated grass. Any water that gets into the grooves between its thorns is drawn by capillary action to its mouth, allowing the thorny dragon to suck water from all over its body.
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.
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.
When they hatch, they quickly infect other local anemonefishes. Parasites, by definition, don’t aspire to kill their host. After all, if the host dies, the parasite loses its home and food source. However, in the case of the tongue-eating louse, some individuals can grow to be so large that the hapless anemonefish struggles to close its mouth. Eventually, as you might imagine, this hinders the host’s ability to eat.
The goblin shark is, without a doubt, one of the weird ocean animals that looks more like the predators from the thriller shark movies. This living fossil sports a protruding nose or stout to detect its prey. Along with its unique and extendable jaw that appears to unhinge when feeding, the overall appearance of the goblin shark is both fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
“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
Whether it was the flower arrangements or the music that set him off, one unhappy "ghost" made sure that the bride and groom knew he wasn't having it. As you can see from one reddit user's selfie, there appears to be a rather displeased face lurking in the background of what is an otherwise adorable memento. Grimacing ghost or not, one thing is for sure: the photobomber certainly did not receive a wedding invitation.
The long, thin jaw of the gharial may appear quite frightening to many folks, but have no fear — it's an adaptation developed in response to the creature's fish-heavy diet. Sadly, the global population numbers for this critically endangered Indian crocodile are currently estimated at less than 235 individuals, due to loss of river habitat, depletion of food sources and fishing nets.
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 is the kind of creature that came straight out of your nightmare to suck your soul out! But this deep sea fish lives in depths which have little or no light penetration at all. Because of this, their eyes are adapted to recognize even the slightest shadows in the water. Believe it or not, these creatures have the ability to create a light of their own through a phenomenon known as bioluminescence and sometimes they can actually adjust the level of light below them to match the surface light, which makes them practically invisible! Scary indeed!
“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
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!
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.
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.
Though sometimes called the Mexican walking fish, the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is not a fish at all, but an aquatic salamander that remains in its larval form throughout its life. Because axolotls can regenerate most of their body parts, including entire limbs and portions of the brain and spine, they’re popular subjects in scientific-research labs.
Check out these humongous dudes. Sunfish, or mola mola, are huge bony fish that can weigh up to a whopping 2,250 kilograms and can reach around 4 meters in length. Their rather odd appearance is due to the fact that their back fin doesn’t grow and instead folds into itself. They typically feed on jellyfish and small fish, and can be found in both temperature and tropical oceans.
So what is it? It's clearly a person (or the shade of a person) just kind of jaunting along like a haunted iPod commercial, but what could produce that image on the security feed? A lot of YouTube comments jump to the conclusion that it's a reflection on the monitor, which would make sense if the room the monitors are in were about 60 feet long, and wide enough for someone to stand far enough away to make the appropriate scale and to walk a long enough distance to cast a seamless reflection on all four screens. Beyond that, the screens are stacked, not side by side, meaning the security office would have to be two stories tall and the person casting the reflection would have to teleport from the top level to the bottom level midstride in order to maintain the illusion. Either that or the reflection is being made by a very tiny man.
“The babirusas (from Indonesian b?b? r?sa, lit. “deer-hog”) are a genus, Babyrousa, in the pig family (Suidae) found in Wallacea, or specifically the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi, Togian, Sula and Buru. All members of this genus were considered part of a single species until 2002, the babirusa, B. babyrussa, but following the split into several species, this scientific name is restricted to the Buru babirusa from Buru and Sula, whereas the best-known species, the north Sulawesi babirusa, is named B. celebensis. If a babirusa does not grind its tusks (achievable through regular activity), they will eventually keep growing so as to penetrate the animal’s own skull.” – Syahrul Ramadan
And the light from the "angel" has a strange weight to it -- you can see it pulse outward at the bottom as it suddenly gains mass after striking the ground. Anyway, maybe a Pixar animator got bored and threw this together just to mess with people. After contacting all of his or her friends in Jakarta, Indonesia, to stage it. Including, of course, his or her friends with access to the security footage of that particular public square.
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