The Earth is filled with remarkable creatures, some of which are lovely to look at, and others which are...shall we say, less lovely. Some even look as though they are an alien life form and belong on a completely different planet, and if an individual was to imagine what life would look like on another planet, then a rainbow-colored shrimp or a mole with a star-shaped nose would probably not be out of place.
There are creatures that are able to survive in the most extreme environments, like the dark depths of the sea, and they have adapted to their circumstances, sometimes in the strangest ways. Take the goblin shark as an example, a shark that will not be winning any awards as the most beautiful shark in the world, although it is able to extend its jaw three-inches to catch its prey.
There are other creatures which are mesmerizingly beautiful, but also pose a threat. Like the sea slug, Glaucus Atlanticus, whose name may be hard to pronounce, but it’s one of the prettiest creatures in the sea. It’s also not one to be messed with because it eats poisonous jellyfish, and can use this poison to unleash a sting that is more potent than the jellyfish that they ate. Below are 25 of the strangest animals in the world.
25 The Peacock Spider Is One Of The Most Unexpectedly Beautiful Creatures In The World
If you don’t like spiders and think they are creepy looking, the peacock spider may make you change your mind because it’s beautiful. Or at the very least, it’s extremely colorful and unlike any other spider, you’ve ever seen. According to CBS News, there are more than 40 species of these spiders, which are native to Australia, and although their striking patterns and coloring make them hard to miss, they are very small, measuring around 3-5 mm in size.
This particular one is the Maratus bubo.
24 The Glaucus Atlanticus May Look Pretty, But It's Also Harmful
The Glaucus Atlanticus has a name that’s hard to pronounce and that’s not the only thing that’s unusual about this little blue species of sea slug. According to All That’s Interesting, the Glaucus Atlanticus is not a sea slug to be messed with; they eat poisonous jellyfish and when they come into contact with humans they are able to unleash a sting that is more potent than the jellyfish that they ate.
And if no poisonous jellyfish are available, the creatures will feast upon each other.
23 The Panda Ant Is Not An Ant At All, But A Wasp With A Painful Sting
Another creature that may look cute and harmless is the Panda ant, but this panda-patterned creature is not an ant at all, it’s a wasp (the females are wingless though, giving them the appearance of an ant). And it’s a wasp that can deliver a seriously painful sting, although it is not considered to be deadly, Bored Panda reports.
The publication notes that although these wasps can be found in Argentina and Chile, they keep to themselves and do not live in colonies.
22 The Pink Fairy Armadillo Has The Cutest Name And The Strangest Appearance
The name of the Pink Fairy Armadillo doesn’t get much cuter (or girlier) but this small species of armadillo is definitely strange looking. According to The Dodo, the species is native to central Argentina and can only be found here. It is also the smallest of all armadillos and is about 6 inches long.
It’s an elusive mammal, only coming out to feed at night and remaining solitary, but, as noted by the publication, the strangest thing about this armadillo is its pale shade of pink armor (which sort of looks like it's wearing a sweater).
21 The Waters Of The Deep Sea Are Home To Unusual Creatures, Including The Red-Lipped Batfish
And just like that, we go from cute pink armadillos to the far less cute, red-lipped batfish. This species looks as though it’s taken a tube of red lipstick and smeared it across its mouth, and it’s this feature that makes it look as though it’s an alien creature.
According to The Verge, the fish can be found in deep waters near the Galapagos Islands. So, why the big red lips? The publication notes that although scientists seem to be baffled by the lips, they do believe that it could be an attempt for the batfish to attract a mate.
20 The Deep Hue Of The Blue Parrotfish Makes It Stand Out Among The Rest
The blue parrotfish spends around 80 percent of its time looking for food, and according to Marine Bio, that food is mostly algae or other small organisms it finds in the sand. The strangest thing about this fish is obviously its deep blue coloring, but the publication notes that they also have a yellow spot on their head which fades as the fish ages.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of this species, then they live in western Atlantic “from Maryland in the US to Bermuda, the Bahamas and south to Brazil.”
19 The Bright Colors Of The Halitrephes Jelly Make It Look Like A Underwater Firework Display
TreeHugger has compared the Halitrephes Jelly to deep sea fireworks, and a more accurate description of this jellyfish would be hard to come by. The Halitrephes Jelly was first spotted by scientists during an exploration mission on the E/V Nautilus, when they came across this brightly colored species 4,019 feet below sea level, in the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico.
According to the publication, the jelly only looks this beautiful because of the lights of the underwater vehicle, and without them, it would be “unseen in the dark.”
18 The Goblin Shark Can Extend Its Jaw By Three Inches
The goblin shark is not going to be winning any awards for its looks, and it is arguably the ugliest shark on the planet -- it looks as though it doesn’t even belong on this planet. It lives in the deep sea, and although its appearance may evoke nightmares, they are sluggish animals that are seldom seen, and scientists do not know much about their behavior, National Geographic reports.
The goblin shark can grow up to 12 feet and weigh as much as 460 pounds, but the most remarkable thing about it is its jaw, which it is able to extend three inches out of its mouth to catch prey.
17 The Collection Of Colors On The Peacock Mantis Shrimp Make It Look Almost Alien
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and otherworldly-looking shrimps is the peacock mantis shrimp. According to Mental Floss, there are many interesting facts to know about this species, and for starters, it’s not a shrimp, instead, it is a stomatopods (a distant relative to a shrimp).
There are hundreds of different species of mantis shrimp, but the peacock mantis shrimp is the most eye-catching. They also pack a punch and can use their dactyl clubs to punch so fast that it accelerates faster than a .22-caliber bullet, the publication notes.
16 The Leafy Seadragon Can Expertly Blend Into Its Surroundings
Only a small percentage of the oceans have been explored, so can you imagine how many more strange creatures are out there that we don’t even know of? One that we do know of though, is the leafy seadragon. According to National Geographic, their strange appearance, including their leaf-shaped appendages, help it to expertly blend in with its surroundings.
The leafy seadragon typically lives between seaweed and kelp in the waters off south and east Australia. Another interesting fact about these creatures is that, like seahorses, the males are responsible for incubating the eggs.
15 The Proboscis Monkey's Large Nose Serves Him Well When It Comes To Finding A Lady Friend
The world is filled with strange creatures, including a monkey with a long, hanging nose, aptly known as the proboscis monkey. The monkey can be found only in the jungles of Borneo, close to the islands rivers, swamps, and mangroves.
And these fleshy noses are actually extremely useful to the monkey and according to National Geographic, the males use their nose to attract mates. Scientists believe that the nose helps to amplify the monkey’s call, and the louder they are, the more attractive they will be to their female companions.
14 The Gila Monster's Markings Are Hard To Miss (If They Aren't Underground)
There are many strange lizards species in the world, but few are as unattractive as the Gila monster. The Gila monster is a type of venomous lizard (they have a mild neurotoxin) that can be found in the United States and Northwestern Mexico, and they live in the desert areas of Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan, National Geographic reports.
The publication notes that this lizard is easily identified by its body markings which are a mixture of yellow (or pink and orange) and black. Although you may not always spot them as they spend around 95 percent of their lifetime in underground burrows.
13 The Vogelkop Superb Bird Of Paradise Has A Brilliant Combination Of Black Feathers And A Blue Breastplate
If you imagine an alien-world, and the species that would live there, the Vogelkop superb bird of paradise would probably not be out of place. The males of the species have very black feathers, which they spread out to display, as well as a bright blue breastplate. They use this combination in an attempt to attract mates by performing a sort of dance, National Geographic reports.
The blackness of the feathers is of particular interest because it is one of the darkest pigments on Earth.
12 The Dumbo Octopus Almost Looks Ghostly As It Moves Through The Deep Sea
The dumbo octopus can be found in the deep sea, and the name "dumbo octopus" is given to the entire species of undersea umbrella octopuses, which according to Oceana, are named this way because they resemble the ears of Dumbo (the Disney circus elephant).
These species, of which there are at least 15, can be found at great depths, of 13,100 feet and more, below sea level, where they live in cold temperatures and complete darkness. They are very rare, but they are also specialized for survival, and the female octopuses are able to store sperm for long periods after mating with a male.
11 The Banana Slug, As The Name Suggests, Looks Like A Ripe Banana
The banana slug’s yellow coloring and shape makes it look like a banana (although some are green or brown in coloring, too). The banana slug is a mollusk and is one of the largest terrestrial mollusks in the world, as it can grow to more than 20 cm, NPS reports. These slugs can be found living together, and it is not uncommon to see multiple banana slugs at once while hiking through the redwood forest in Redwood National and State Parks.
10 Is It A Hedgehog Or A Mouse? No, It's A Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Another odd creature on our planet is the Lowland Streaked Tenrec, which is native to eastern Madagascar’s rainforests. According to Britannica, the small mammal does not grow to be more than 19 cms in length and typically weighs between 90 and 200 grams. They feed on earthworms and invertebrates which they forage from the forest floor.
They are fascinating little things, which have been the topic of documentaries because of their communication methods, specifically stridulation, but it is their appearance which is equally fascinating. They look to be a combination between a hedgehog and a mouse and have unusual yellow and black markings.
9 The Striated Frogfish Bounces Forward On The Seabed
Behold the striated frogfish, a fish that looks like a frog. This fish is odd looking, but its behavior is even more peculiar, and according to National Geographic, a diver off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, observed one of these fishes (believed to be a striated frogfish) “walking” on the bottom of the ocean floor.
It was apparently using it’s two front fins to move forward. It does this, according to the author of Frogfishes Around the World, Ted Pietsch, by using its pectoral fins (which look feet-like), and then using the water's buoyancy to effectively “bounce forward,” the publication notes.
8 The Saiga Antelope's Large Nose Is Inflatable...And Yes, That's Weird
The Saiga antelope can be identified not by distinct markings, but by its very odd shaped nose. It has a long, fleshy nose, which hangs over its mouth and has the ability to inflate. This feature helps it to breathe in the dry and dusty summers, and in the cooler temperatures, it can breathe in warm air, WWF reports.
According to WWF, there are fewer than 50,000 of this species left, and it is considered to be critically endangered and facing extinction because of a loss of habitat and threat of hunting.
7 There Are Few Crabs More Striking Than The Insulamon Palawanense Crab
Thanks to the bright purple and red coloring of the Insulamon Palawanense Crab, it is one of the most spectacular looking crabs in the world. It was discovered near the Philippine island of Palawan (where they are endemic), and according to LiveScience, researchers found several new species during an Aqua Palawana research program mission.
The Insulamon Palawanense crabs live in freshwater, and unfortunately, their numbers are being threatened due to the habitat loss in this area, brought on by mining operations.
6 Giant Neon Pink Slugs Exist On A Mountain In Australia
There are the normal garden variety slugs most of us have seen before, and then there are giant banana slugs and neon pink slugs. It seems the world is filled with slugs, but the triboniophorus aff. graeffei species is one of the more striking types.
It can grow up to 20 cm long and can be found on the Australian mountain, Mount Kaputa, National Geographic reports. The Australian government has plans to protect this slug and its habitat in New South Wales because it is considered an “endangered ecological area.”