25 Strangest Animals On Earth That You Probably Don’t Know Of

25 Strangest Animals On Earth That You Probably Don’t Know Of

With over 8 million species of living creatures on our planet, it’s no surprise that not everyone has had the opportunity to see them all. Even if you dedicated your entire life to viewing pictures of all the unique animals on Earth, it would take you approximately 8 years if you spent 30 seconds on each photo and didn’t take any breaks for eating or sleeping. And with new and rare species being discovered by scientists every day, that task seems almost impossible.

So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting and unusual animals for you to explore without having to spend a decade doing it yourself. Our selection includes a diverse range of creatures, from land and sea animals, to mammals, reptiles and insects. You’ll see animals that defy description, like the okapi, which looks like a cross between a zebra, giraffe and moose, the blobfish, a fish that looks like a blob, and the thorny devil, an animal that looks strange but is quite fascinating.

You’ll be amazed to see that these often unappealing creatures call the same planet as us home!

1. Capybara

Capybaras are the largest living rodents and are found across much of Latin America. They tend to live near bodies of water in large social groups, which can reach up to 100 individuals during the dry season. Capybaras are incredibly fast and are capable of running as quickly as a horse if they need to. They can also stay underwater for up to five minutes, and have been seen using this trick to avoid predators.

Capybara

2. Venezuelan Poodle Moth

Discovered in Venezuela in 2009, this new species of alien-looking moth has poodle-like fur covering its head, thorax, abdomen, and even its wings. There has only ever been one single photo of the unidentified Venezuelan poodle moth, which is shown below.

Venezuelan Poodle Moth

3. Proboscis Monkey

Discovered in Venezuela in 2009, this new species of alien-looking moth has poodle-like fur covering its head, thorax, abdomen, and even its wings. There has only ever been one single photo of the unidentified Venezuelan poodle moth, which is shown below.

Proboscis Monkey

4. Glaucus Atlanticus

Also known as the blue dragon, this creature 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 sack in its stomach.

Glaucus Atlanticus

5. Parrotfish

This bright blue fish can be found in shallow water in the tropical and subtropical parts of the western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They spend 80 percent of their time searching for food and eat small organisms found in the sand and algae that they scrape off rocks. They use their external teeth to break algae off rocks, coral and other hardened substrates. This ability allows them to carve out a living in places where many other species cannot survive.

Another fun fact about Parrotfish is that they defecate sand. As it turns out, many of the sand grains found on white-sand beaches are actually parrotfish poop.

Parrotfish

6. Dumbo Octopus

Dumbo octopus is an umbrella octopus found all around the world. Its name comes from Disney’s “Dumbo” because of the creature’s ears bearing similarity to the movies’ title character.

Dumbo Octopus

7. Stoat

The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the ermine or short-tailed weasel, is a species of Mustelidae native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip.

Stoat

8. Macropinna Microstoma

Macropinna microstoma is a species of fish that lives at a depth of about 600 metres (2,000 ft) to 800 metres (2,600 ft), hanging nearly motionless in the water. It is quite unusual with a transparent, fluid-filled dome on its head, through which the lenses of its eyes can be seen.

Macropinna Microstoma

9. Magnificent frigatebird

These incredible birds, endemic to the Galapagos Islands, boast wingspans of nearly two and a half metres and have been spotted flying as high as 2,500 metres above sea level.

They are sometimes called ‘man-o’-war’ birds, because they like to attack other birds while they’re flying and even try to steal their food on occasion.

What makes these birds truly strange, though, is the big red sac the males have on their chests, which they balloon up to try to attract a mate.

Magnificent frigatebird

10. Lowland Streaked Tenrec

Found in Madagascar, Africa, this small tenrec is the only mammal known to use stridulation for generating sound – something that’s usually associated with snakes and insects.

Lowland Streaked Tenrec

11. Panda Ant

Despite looking like an ant and being referred as such, it is in fact a form of wingless wasp. This insect is also known as cow-killer. Females possess thicker fur but lack wings. The furry panda ant lives for about 2 years.

Panda Ant

12. Honduran White Bat

The Honduran white bat has distinctive white fur, with tips of individual hairs being gray as well as a leaf-shaped nose. They live in leaf ‘tents’ that they ‘build’ by cutting the side veins extending out from the midrib of large leaves.

Honduran White Bat

13. Mantis Shrimp

Also called the “sea locusts“, “prawn killers” and even “thumb splitters”, this is one of the most common predators in tropical and sub-tropical waters. They have powerful claws that are used to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning, or dismembering. Some larger species could even break through aquarium glass.

Mantis Shrimp

14. Yeti Crab

Kiwa hirsuta, or “yeti crab” is a crustacean notable for the quantity of silky blond setae covering its thoracic legs, including claws. It lacks pigment and has reduced eyes, which is why it’s thought to be blind.

Yeti Crab

15. Sea Lamprey

The sea lamprey is a parasitic lamprey that lives in the Northern Hemisphere. Its mouth is jawless, round and sucker-like, with sharp teeth arranged in many circular rows.

Sea Lamprey

16. Umbonia Spinosa

Umbonia spinosa is a type of thorn bug, native to South America. They use their beaks to pierce plant stems to feed upon their sap.

Umbonia Spinosa

17. Axolotl

Also known as a Mexican salamander, the axolotl is a critically endangered salamander. They are used extensively for research because of their regenerative qualities.

Axolotl

18. Star-Nosed Mole

A small mole found in wet low areas in the northern parts of North America, Star-nosed mole is easily identifiable by its snout which is used as a touch organ with more than 25,000-minute sensory receptors. Named Eimer’s organs, the receptors are great at deteting seismic waves.

Star-Nosed Mole

19. Okapi

This mammal is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Despite the zebra-like stripes, it is actually more closely related to giraffes. Okapi’s coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs and white ankles.

Okapi

20. Halitrephes Jelly

Halitrephes is a type of deep sea hydrozoan that lives at a depth of 4,000-5,000 feet.

Halitrephes Jelly

21. Sea Pig

Scotoplanes are sea cucumbers that live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, typically at depths of over 1000 meters. They are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud.

Sea Pig

22. Atretochoana Eiselti Or ‘Penis Snake’

Atretochoana eiselti is a species of caecilian with a broad, flat head and a fleshy dorsal fin on the body. Although it is not a snake, it’s been called a ‘penis snake’ in the media.

Atretochoana Eiselti Or 'Penis Snake'

23. Leafy Seadragon

Found along the southern and western coasts of Australia, the leafy seadragon is a marine fish with long leaf-like protrusions coming from all over the body, that serves as camouflage.

Leafy Seadragon

24. Japanese Spider Crab

The Japanese spider crab lives in the waters near Japan and has the largest leg span of any arthropod, reaching up to 5.5 metres (18 ft). Despite looking ferocious, the crab has been reported to have a gentle disposition.

Japanese Spider Crab

25. Glass Frog

Found in South America, the glass frog is a family of amphibians with some specimens exhibiting an outstanding feature — transparent abdomens. Because the internal viscera is visible through the skin, the common name they are given is glass frogs.

Glass Frog