14 Weird Animals Waiting for You in the Wild
The earth is a big, beautiful place, full of wonders far and wide, and the best part about it all is how strange it can be. That’s what makes weird animals so wonderful. They remind us of the great mysteries we have yet to uncover and laugh at how silly they look when photographed.
Here is a list of animals that will make you say, “what?!” in the best way.
Some weird animals are unbelievably cool. Whether you can see their organs in action or they have the power to knock you senseless with one punch, here are some really cool, weird animals.
Mantis shrimp are creatures that God dressed as clowns and gave the firepower to murder any animal that chooses to bully them for it.
Their hard shell is bright, colorful, and designed to kill. To undo their victims, they spear, stun, or dismember. They also have clubs that allow them to punch their victims as powerfully as a bullet fired from a gun.
Imagine someone making fun of you and in response, you punched them so hard that it was like being shot with a fist-sized bullet.
If you’re interested in anatomy, a glass frog has to be high on your list as one of the coolest animals. Glass frogs are generally bright green, but they’re known for their translucent and sometimes completely transparent skin that allows you to see all their essential organs. The heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract are all completely visible. Kind of a weird flex on the frogs that get dissected in high school classrooms every year, but we respect it.
Antarctic Blackfin Icefish
While there’s a lot of diversity of animals on the planet, most of us probably feel like we’ve got a good handle on what an animal needs to survive. Red blood cells seem like a pretty basic building block of life.
An Antarctic blackfin icefish is here to tell you that your assumptions are incorrect.
This fish has clear blood, which allows it to live in unbelievably cold (below 0 degrees Celsius) temperatures. This blood doesn’t carry oxygen; the fish absorbs it directly through its skin, as it has no scales. It instead acts as antifreeze, attaching its proteins to ice crystals that start to develop inside the fish and reduce its internal freezing temperature. The traditional laws of water’s physics and chemistry do not apply to this fish.
So yes. This animal is literally “cool.”
While some animals make you say “wow!” some just make you say “what?” Here are some weird animals we can’t stop looking at.
Pink Fairy Armadillo
Imagine a guinea pig wearing an armadillo shell as armor to ride into battle.
You now have a good idea of what a pink fairy armadillo looks like.
It’s a bizarre-looking animal that looks like a weird crossover between a pet and a wild animal, which makes it look like a real-life Pokémon.
They live alone in the sandy plains, grasslands, and dunes of Argentina.
Ever wanted to see a fish that looked like a confusing salad? May I introduce to you the leafy seadragon?
Leafy seadragons are named for their leaf-shaped protrusions that come from their body. These features are not for movement but are solely a very elaborate source of camouflage. When they float around in the water, they want to appear as a rogue piece of seaweed to potential predators, not a funky cousin to the seahorse.
Chinese Water Deer
If you read a dystopian novel about a radioactive wasteland where deer roamed the earth with fangs, you’d probably laugh and put the book down.
How stunned will you be if we tell you these animals exist right now?
Chinese water deer, also known as “Vampire Deer” have fangs, or tusks, that protrude from either side of their mouth. They’ll use them to fight each other, just like how other deer will use their antlers to throw down.
Although we don’t think about it often since we see them all the time, birds are some of the most bizarre animals in the world. Humans have spent a large portion of recorded history attempting flight, but birds can just fly on their own. Even though we can’t survive in the ocean like fish, we at least know how to swim.
So here are some birds that push the envelope of what being a weird bird really means.
Superb Bird of Paradise
First of all, I need whoever is in charge of naming birds to run my personal PR. What a fantastic name for a creature.
Like peacocks, superb bird of paradise males are more showy and attractive. There is a great disparity in the male to female ratio, so to win over an elusive woman, a male must put on an elaborate mating dance.
Their signature move is puffing out their wings to look like a black flying saucer with eyes about to land on a tree branch.
A king vulture looks like someone chose to dress conservatively, with a classy white and black dress, and let a child, with access to 87 eye shadow palettes and prosthetic make-up, get them ready for a night out. This is the largest of the New World vultures.
Like other vultures, their faces are free from feathers for sanitary reasons. They are the first birds to dig into a fresh corpse, and any flesh that got stuck in facial feathers would become rotted and carry disease, which is why they sport their fresh, feather-free cut.
In captivity, they’ve been known to live up to 30 years.
Ever thought, “wow, birds are cool, but I wonder what they would look like with inflatable breast sacks?” The greater sage-grouse has got you covered.
Makes it obvious why they got the more impressive title over the lame plain-old sage grouses.
These are used, of course, during mating displays. However, not by who you’d expect; this feature is only seen on the adult greater sage-grouses.
While we all grow up thinking we’re truly one of a kind, these mammals are here to remind us what unique really looks like. Here are some weird animals that are truly different from the rest.
If you think you’re sensitive, you need to meet the star-nosed mole. They have what scientists call Eimer’s organs, which is an organ with more than 25,000-minute sensory receptors. And they use this intense sensitivity to feel their way around, because they are essentially blind.
They are also relatable in that they hold the title of “fastest-eating mammal.” It only takes them as little as 120 milliseconds to identify and chow down on a piece of food. They can tell in 8 milliseconds if their prey is edible or not. So if you need to figure out if the milk in your fridge has gone bad and you want a quick answer, ask a star-nosed mole.
Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me.
Unfortunately, real-life naked mole-rats are not quite as cute as the animated Rufus from Kim Possible.
However, its real-life traits would make it excellent on naked mole-rat missions. It has low pain sensitivity in its skin, has the highest class of sociality, and has the ability to thrive in harsh environments underground. They also have high resistance to cancer and oxygen deprivation.
If you’ve ever wondered, “Huh. I wonder what a fox and a wolf would look like if it were combined, but with like, really long legs,” then may I introduce you to the maned wolf.
They are neither a fox nor a wolf, but belong to the genus Chrysocyon which means ‘golden dog.’
However, this is not the good boy you want in your house. While they are cute in a wacky sort of way, they are wild animals known for “roar-barking.”
Unfortunately, not all strange animals are as populous as others. Some of the most amazingly unique animals we have on this earth are critically endangered.
Here are some weird animals who could use a boost to their conservation status.
If you’ve ever wondered what an antelope would look like with an elephant’s trunk for a nose, look for one of the last remaining saiga antelopes. These creatures are one of the few that have remained unchanged since the Ice Age. While they did survive the deep freeze, they’re having a harder time beating mass poaching due to their horn’s medical properties used commonly in China.
And what helped them survive in the Ice Age may be their downfall as the earth heats up. They can thrive in the cold, but they’re susceptible to a bacteria that multiplies in the heat. Just another reason to get climate change under control.
In addition to looking like a 40-year old that just woke up from his first rager in a decade, aye-ayes are known for their long, thin middle finger. But I know what you’re thinking; I bet I know what they use that for. They use it to pull grubs out of holes they make with their teeth in trees.
That’s what you thought we meant, right?
The Weirdest Animals Are Those We Can’t See
While it’s fun to look at pictures of weird animals, you can’t help but wonder what animals are out there that we have yet to document. In the unexplored depths of the sea and the thickest part of the rainforest, there must lie animals never before seen by the human eye.
They could be 90 feet in length, lurking in the seas like Moby-Dick, or sporting a long neck like the mythical Serpopard. Whether they’ve been around for a million years or only just recently came into existence, these animals may never be discovered. And that’s the coolest mystery of all: the possibility that the weirdest animal on earth is still undiscovered.
Do you have a favorite weird animal that we left out? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!