Animals are indeed awesome. Obviously the domestic breeds that number the earth have become humanity’s trusted friends. Those of us who are animal lovers cannot live a day without our pets and that’s for very good reason. They fill us with love and really, they’re there for us when no one else is.
There’s nothing like going home on a bad day and having Rex, your Golden Retriever run to the door, running around your legs and wanting nothing more than a little affection, and by the same token, a little affection is all you’re looking for too, and when he looks up at you with those big brown eyes, you just know that whatever happened during the day is over and now things will be alright.
And the same goes for cats. Those adorable little fur balls can fill you with love and their adorable nature is enough to make your heart melt.
And of course let’s not forget the wonderful and powerful animals of the wild. There are indeed many breeds and species found in the forests, jungles and rainforests of the world—not to mention in the vast seas. They fill us with wonder and we hope to learn about them more and more.
But what of the animals out there that cause us to perform double-takes when we see them? What of the creatures that look like they were mistakenly shaped from the get-go, the odd creatures that really look like something gone wrong in a science lab? We’ve got quite a few of these weird but awesome creatures in this article and we too were surprised at what we found.
30 AMAZON GIANT FISHING SPIDER - SOUTH AMERICA
Interestingly enough, these spiders are semi-aquatic so they can be found next to bodies of water in the rainforests of South America and in other parts of the continent as well.
According to greenglobaltravel.com, these creepy crawlers can get up the eight inches and they hunt tadpoles, smaller insects and even fish.
They wait by the side of the pond and when they see ripples in the water, they pounce. Astonishingly, they can even enclose themselves in a web bubble of sorts and submerge themselves into the water in search of their prey. Talk about sub-aquatic exploration.
29 THE KING COBRA - INDIA TO SOUTHEAST ASIA
Probably one of the most ferocious of reptiles, this is none other than the King Cobra. Often featured in film and television as a relentless predatory machine, the depictions aren't far from the truth. No, they aren't innately bad, really, no animals are, but they do instill a specific amount of fear in people, as they definitely should. They are indeed venomous and if their bites aren't treated quickly and efficiently, they may be fatal.
Just try to stay away from these bad boys at all costs. Someone should have told the dude in the picture that.
All kidding aside, Vava Suresh, pictured here, is a wildlife conservationist and he has saved a total of 100 Cobras or more, according to indiatimes.com.
28 GLAUCUS ATLANTICUS - SOUTH AMERICAN SHORES, AUSTRALIAN SHORES, AFRICAN SHORES, EVEN EUROPE
These are also known as the Blue Dragon or Sea Slugs. They're popping up everywhere as of late, as they can be found in multiple shores around the globe, including Europe.
They prey specifically on the Portuguese Man o' war. Interestingly enough, they float upside-down on the surface of the water and trust the wind and currents to carry them where they need to go. Looks like it's worked out well for them seeing that they've spread to many waters.
They are poisonous and their sting can lead to severe fever and they can even be fatal, according to greenglobaltravel.com.
27 PURPLE FROG / PIG NOSED FROG - WEST INDIA
Well, looking at this species of frog, you'd think it was a normal frog, only on performance enhancing narcotics. Look at it, for crying out loud, it's jacked! It looks like it has spent countless hours at the bench, pressing nothing but twigs with heavy earthworms hanging on both ends!
But no, this frog is known as a Purple Frog and hails from West India where it dwells primarily underground.
It only comes to the surface once or twice a year.
It feeds on termites of all things. Personally though, we would have named this one "The Ripped Frog," but that's just us.
26 JAPANESE SPIDER CRABS
For some of these amazingly large creatures, their legs can stretch out to be about 12 feet in length!
If they sound like something out of a horror movie, we more than understand. These mammoths of the sea weigh up to about 45 pounds and spend their time at the bottom of the sea foraging for food, crawling around like an insect.
But apparently, these crabs are actually gentler than their smaller counterparts and are amazingly approachable. Still, they're pretty creepy if you ask us.
25 RATTLESNAKES - CANADA, USA, CENTRAL AMERICA
Perhaps the most disturbing and unsettling thing about this bad boy here is the sound it makes.
You're walking in the forest, your day is fine, when all of a sudden, you hear it. It sounds like a rattle, the one your nephew plays with, but you know it isn't. You know exactly what that sound means when surrounded by all those trees.
This species of snake can be found as far north as Alberta, Canada, and are very prevalent in Texas and certain countries in Central America as well.
Interestingly enough, these snakes very rarely bite unless they feel threatened, so steer clear.
24 GLASS FROG - CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
This tiny frog's skin is in fact so transparent, all his inner workings are in plain sight. In fact, it's only the abdominal area that is see-through, but still, isn't that enough?
It may in fact be enough to make some lose their lunch over, but ecologically speaking it is rather interesting. Let's face it, if Kermit was indeed a Glass Frog, at least he'd never need X-Rays!
These amphibians can be found in Central and South America, so watch your step, as that's not an empty Pepsi bottle!
23 NEW WORLD VULTURES - THE AMERICAS (GENERAL)
Now, we know that animals aren't inherently bad, as it were. We know that they act on instinct and that instinct is survival at all costs. They don't have a malicious thought pattern like, say humans do, they just do what comes naturally.
But in the case of this bird and the plethora of Disney movies we've watched where animals talk and sing and dance, this dude looks downright devilish, doesn't he?
This newer bread looks a lot more ferocious than the Old World scavenger, but this one teaches us a lesson in the adaptation of a species. After spending centuries with their heads buried in their meals, these newer versions of the species have adapted and lost all, if not most, of the feathers on their heads.
22 Cottonmouth - Southern United States
Generally found in the Southern States, this snake is definitely one you want to stay away from. It's considered one of the most temperamental snakes you could find and is likely to bite if it senses danger or if it's handled badly.
The bites are extremely venomous and may be fatal if not treated on time.
It is the only snake in its species (the viper) that is considered to be both aquatic and found on dry land. So be wary of this bad boy when fishing down in the south.
21 BED BUGS - WORLDWIDE
Now this entry will be enough to make you itch all over. Probably the bane of existence for many here on this earth, this insect is probably the most incessant reminder of all that is dirty and unwashed and what can be lurking beneath those bed sheets. It is also the most difficult to get rid of, as normal bug spray just won't do it, and if something does finally work, this bug lays multiple eggs and when we say multiple, we mean a whole lot, and those new spawns actually become immune to the bug spray that took down previous generations, so it's a horrible unending cycle of pain and frustration.
How many mattresses have been thrown to the curb because of their reign?
Travelers especially need to watch out for these when staying at hotels, and maybe always pack a sleeping bag that's lined with plastic, as these critters hate plastic.
20 SEA PIG - ATLANTIC, PACIFIC & INDIAN OCEANS
Nope, that sure isn't the lovable pig that you grew up with on your family's farm. This particular pig makes its home on the seafloor where it scavenges for its food.
According to blazepress.com, they feed of deep sea vegetation, organic particles and even mud found in the dark depths of the ocean.
It is a rather unsettling sight to see and truthfully, the nomenclature doesn't make much sense to us because pigs are oh-so-cute, especially when they're little, and this thing, well, it looks like something out of this world.
19 THE MEXICAN WALKING FISH - AZTEC / MEXICO
The official name for this little critter is: Axolotl, and according to greenglobaltravel.com, they were once the cornerstone of the Aztec diet.
It's classified as an amphibian because of its legs and genetic make-up, and is further considered a relative of the Salamander.
This species too, like the salamander, is capable of growing back severed limbs. These days, this creature is considered endangered and conservationists are trying to learn more about this critter. Found primarily in the waters of Central America, this little bugger sure is weird to look at, eh?
18 LOWLAND STREAKED TENREC - THE RAINFOREST OF MADAGASCAR
No, it isn't a porcupine and you won't find it in the local barrens in your hometown. This bad boy makes his home in the rainforest and is, interestingly, very similar to insects and snakes in the region. Of course it doesn't look like any of those aforementioned creatures, but it shares one glaring similarity: It stridulates to formulate its sound.
Stridulation is the act of producing sound by rubbing together certain parts of the body.
It's coat and quills act as protection against predators, as it moves them when danger is present.
17 VENEZUELAN POODLE MOTH - VENEZUELA REGION OF GRAN SABANA
Now we're sure there are many of you out there that would think this little critter is quite adorable and you wouldn't be wrong. But at the same time isn't there something innately creepy about this little thing at the same time? Maybe it's all the furriness, maybe it's those eyes that seem all seeing and all knowing.
Then again, maybe it's the fact that this species is and can be considered a relatively new arrival?
It's true, it was only first discovered in 2009 by Dr. Arthur Anker in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela. Photos of the critter have been making the rounds online for years.
16 THE OLD WORLD VULTURE - AFRICA
Vultures are categorized in two distinct categories: 1) New World Vultures and 2) Old World Vultures, like the one pictured here. The Old World variety are found primarily in Africa and are known to feed on the remains of animals.
What bothers us so much about these birds is hard to put a finger on exactly, but we'll venture a suggestion here.
Perhaps these birds remind us of the end, of what becomes of all the animals of the wild after the end has come and this is something that many don't like to think about. And the vulture--the supreme and eternal bottom-feeder is there to remind us of that end.
15 AYE-AYE - MADAGASCAR
This one too sure is a creepy little bugger, isn't it? Indeed. Found off the Coast of Africa in Madagascar, this creature nestles himself in the darkest corners of the rainforest there.
They eat insects, primarily, and their mode of hunting is quite peculiar to watch. They climb a tree and first start knocking on the trunks. They follow this by chewing a small hole where they feel they will find food and proceed to reach in and see what they've caught. Pretty smart.
But according to reports made by greenglobaltravel.com, locals of Madagascar believe that these Lemurs bring with them only bad omens, and these animals are actually severely endangered in the area.
14 THE CLAWED FROG - SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
There's just something really disturbing about this little creature, isn't there? There's just something very unnatural about it. And probably, that's what's collectively turning us off. They primarily dwell at the bottom of lakes and ponds in Africa--particularly below the Sahara Desert.
But they can surface, but what makes this breed that much more interesting is the fact that it cannot hop and needs to crawl, hence the claws.
Also, these frogs are capable of lying dormant in wait for up to a year waiting for rain and moisture in case of a drought.
13 BACTRIAN CAMEL - CENTRAL ASIA
So, what's wrong with this picture? Look closely. Did you notice? The humps, there's two of them.
Most camels, especially the ones found in the beautiful Middle East have one hump, these camels here have two.
That means a multitude of things, but one glaring fact is that you can't really ride these camels. After all, where would you sit?
Found primarily in Central Asia, these camels are accustomed to cold weather and snow, which also differentiates them from their Arabia counterparts.
12 THE HISSING COCKROACH - WORLDWIDE
And like the bed bug in general, travel is what has made this bug readily found in most parts of the world--even in cold climates, they nestle into the warmth of buildings and their moist basements and baseboards.
Now cockroaches are bad in any shape, way, or form, but the hissing cockroach is one creepy crawler you do not want to encounter--ever!
A cockroach infestation is just as bad as a bed bug infestation, as they are pretty hard to get rid of with simple run-of-the-mill bug sprays. But they are easier to get rid of, as they don't adapt to the sprays like bed bugs do.
11 PANGOLIN - ASIA & AFRICA
Related to it's Texan cousin, the Armadillo, the Pangolin calls home the continents of Africa and Asia. There are in fact eight different species that can be found but some are endangered due to poachers in the area.
Interestingly enough they are also connected on some plain to the North American Skunk, as these animals too have what you would call "stink glands".
Furthermore, they curl up into spheres when threatened and their scale-like coat is impenetrable by most teeth in the jungles and territories. Even the teeth of a tiger is not enough to penetrate the armor.
10 THE MARABOU STORK - SOUTH OF THE SAHARA IN AFRICA
If when I was a little kid and was waiting for my baby sister to arrive in this world and my mother told me that the "Stork" was bringing her--the rather popular old wives tale--and I happened to see an image of this particular Stork, I'd have been terrified. No way is that thing going to bring us my little sister! No way, no how!
Weighing in at about 18 pounds, these birds are often called "The Undertaker Bird."
It's funny to think of the etymology of such myths and sayings. Did they truly come from "old wives?" Or were they thought up by someone intent on freaking out the impressionable youth of the world, because so many of these stories scare rather than educate.
9 THE MOUNTAIN COW - CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
And moving right along with our list of bizarre creatures, we introduce to you, The Mountain Cow, or rather Baird's Tapir, as it's also known.
It is apparently the size of a cow and forages in the vegetation and wild of the Central American and South American regions.
According to greenglobaltravel.com, it is the celebrated National Animal for Belize, and is respected as such. Interestingly enough though, one of these actually attacked the Minister of Environment of Costa Rica back in 2006, so maybe they aren't all that friendly.
8 DRIVER ANT - CENTRAL & EAST AFRICA
It sure looks painful, doesn't it? Well that's because it is, and very much so.
Definitely not your average ant, this little bug can definitely cause some irritation if you aren't careful when walking through the beautiful African terrain.
According to reports made by greenglobaltravel.com, these ants are capable of swarming in massive teams to attack their prey. And if they are swatted and perish in the hunt, their jaws remain locked.
7 MEXICAN MOLE LIZARD - MEXICO'S BAJA CALIFORNIA
This critter's enough to cause you to spasm from chills. It sure is a weird one and one we could have done without seeing, thank you very much. But alas, he's out there and somewhere down in Mexico no less, so we figured we'd introduce it to you all, our precious readers.
And if we did cause you to chill, sorry!
Well, according to greenglobaltravel.com, this species can reach up to about 9.4 inches long, and is considered to be part earthworm, part salamander, and part mole. It only has the two forelimbs and surfaces only after a heavy rain.
6 HICKORY HORNED DEVIL - NORTH AMERICA
So, the fact that Butterflies go through the stage known as metamorphosis is pretty much common knowledge by now, they change from caterpillars into the beautiful winged creatures we love to marvel at and photograph. I believe we all learned that in grade school, or should have.
There are in fact some pretty cute caterpillars out there but this one can't be considered "cute" at all.
Regardless, this one too moves on to become a beautiful Butterfly, no matter what it looks like in the larvae stage (caterpillar phase of life). It will become the Regal Moth.
5 SHOEBILL - AFRICA: ZAMBIA & SUDAN
Look at this thing. I don't know whether we should be scared or to break out in hysterical laughter. Imagine walking through the African Jungle and happening on this thing. It's so peculiar, it looks as though it isn't real, like a hallucination of sorts. Think Hunter Thompson walking through the Safari seeing something that really wasn't there at all.
Is it just a figment of my imagination, or, is it really there? I can just see him going up to the guide: "How much for the bird?" The guide looks around puzzled: "What bird?"
But it does exist, as peculiar as it is. It is an exceptional hunter, as it can sit motionless for long periods of time, according to greenglobaltravel.com.
4 JUMPING STICK - WORLDWIDE EXCEPT ARCTIC REGIONS
There's nothing worse than walking through the forest and reaching for what you thought was a branch for support when all of a sudden, the branch starts to move against your palm. Okay, maybe there are worse things, but it's still gross.
These insects are the masters of camouflage however, and over time have adapted to look like the branches they rest on as they wait for their food.
They are quick and can jump great distances.
3 POISONOUS SCORPION - SOUTH AFRICA
Now if there's an insect out there that can make most people jump high enough that they could grasp at the overhead branches, it's these little beasts.
They've got extremely powerful stingers that contain venomous poison and although their bites aren't fatal like Hollywood would have you believe, they can cause a lot of discomfort on the way to the hospital where you can get your wound sterilized the proper way.
There is something amazing about Scorpions though, and it probably comes down to the grace they exhibit, that whole poised stance they have.
2 SCORPIONFLY - WORLDWIDE
If it wasn't bad enough that Scorpions are crawling around out there just waiting to stick you with that stinger of theirs, but there's even a breed flying around in the air around you. But perhaps things aren't as they seem and maybe these variants aren't as bad as their grounded cousins.
These flying counterparts are not poisonous at all, as the portion that looks like a stinger isn't a stinger at all, but reproductive organs used for procreation of the species.
Despite that knowledge, however, they still creep the living daylights out of many people. It's okay, we understand if you dance around swatting away at these. We won't judge you.
1 TARSIER - SOUTHEAST ASIA
Hey ... why do I feel like something's watching me?
Maybe because this little critter's got his dilated pupils on me no matter where I go. Talk about being "all eyes."
They've been on earth for the last 45 million years and according to findings, they haven't evolved at all since their first appearance here. Apparently their eyes are as large as their brains and they have extremely sensitive ears. They are in fact omnivores, but ,specifically, prefer to feed on bats, birds and insects.
Sources: greenglobaltravel.com; blazepress.com; wikipedia.org; indiatimes.com