Despite its reddish hue and cape-like webbing that may call Count Dracula to mind, Vampyroteuthis infernalis is harmless. This deep-dwelling species — typically living in 2,000 to 4,000 feet of water — can flip its webbing inside out as a form of protection, revealing rows of soft tooth-like spines called cirri. This scaredy-cat is a far cry from all other cephalopods, which hunt live animals.
Hosted by the Illinois Paranormal Research Association, Believe operates on a weekly basis, with the crew traveling the country, documenting every demonic disembodied voice and shadowy figure along the way. Led by David Scott, these paranormal investigators have made it their mission to separate the haunted from the not-so-haunted, using innovative investigation techniques to capture both visual and audio evidence while visiting everything from haunted hotels to mental health hospitals.
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!
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.
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.
A group of Japanese teenagers are in a restaurant and complain about an offending smell that manifests just as a pale figure appears in the background. Later, on the subway tracks, they smell the offending odor again and see the strange woman across the tracks who kills herself by jumping in front of the train, then staring down one of the men who has to crouch because of the overpowering smell. This video is actually a segment from a 2008 Japanese found footage horror anthology movie called Ura Horror. This isn't the only segment that's broken out from the show and blown up on creepy YouTube; after the mini-ghost-story, watch the exploding sea creature and the capture of a human soul escaping the body.
Speaking of ghosts and tourist attractions, another haunted "spirit" of a woman was spotted in an Acadian Village cabin in Louisiana earlier this year. We're not really sure what the back story is on this one, but we do know that the attraction is dedicated to Cajun history in the 1800s. So, based on that, we're guessing the "ghost" might've been a basket weaver or corn shucker back in the day.
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.
The Star Nosed Mole must have jumped straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It looks as if its head just got blown up, an effect made even more realistic by the pink tentacles stretched out on its nose. This weird creature is found in Canada and in the north-eastern part of the US. The name comes from its strange nose (which is more like a squished octopus attached to its face than a nose). The tentacles on the nose help the mole find snails, molluscs, worms, and other small creatures it likes to eat. They probably see it coming and die laughing, allowing the mole to simply walk up and gobble them up.
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.
Ok, so everyone's seen the amazing film Madagascar, which includes these animals. But we feel they were a bit misrepresented. While it might look like a cat, fossas (Cryptoprocta ferox) are actually very closely related to the mongoose. They are indeed endemic to Madagascar, and they're the largest carnivores on the island. These enigmatic predators are solitary animals and they will pounce on anything they can sink their retractable claws into. Unfortunately they are endangered because their habitat is threatened by deforestation.
I was dreading going to see these donkeys. Thought it was going to be a smelly, hot farm! How wrong was I?? We absolutely loved this visit. The guide was very knowledgable and made the tour great fun! The highlight of the visit was obviously the baby donkeys, they were so friendly and cute. The history and science part of the tour was equally enjoyable and informative . The visit was great value for money and definately worth a visit!
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)