Weird, Wacky, & Wonderful Animals That Seem Too Weird to Be Real

By Yuri S.

The world is an amazing place. When you really stop and look around, it’s extraordinary to think about all of the different things that exist in nature, from little bugs burrowing away beneath our feet to colorful birds flying through the trees.

And if you really look far and wide in the animal kingdom, you can discover some truly outrageous animals. You might think that you already know all the weirdest creatures on Earth, but we’re sure that this list will have a few surprises in store for you.

The Shoebill

Behold the shoebill, a big, stork-like bird that is named for the fact that its big, chunky beak looks quite like a shoe. These birds have been around since ancient times in Egypt and Arabia but had to wait until the 19th century to get their name.

Photo by Andrew Woodley/Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

It was John Gould, an English ornithologist, who decided on the name. Gould, like everyone else who sees the shoebill up close, was struck by the distinctive bill of the bird, which is used to catch fish. Since the bill is so big, shoebills are able to catch some very large fish.

The Raccoon Dog

In the world of science fiction, it’s quite common for writers to create “hybrid creatures,” blending together the characteristics of two existing animals to create something that has the best, or worst, of both species. But these kinds of funky hybrids can occur in reality, too.

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The raccoon dog is an amazing example of this, looking just like a perfect mix between a raccoon and a dog. They’re found in forests around Asia and Europe, and, unlike regular raccoons and dogs, they’re rarely spotted in urban areas, preferring to do most of their scavenging in the forests at night.

The Giant Isopod

You might already know what an isopod is. The term is used to cover a group of crustaceans, including woodlice. They’re usually pretty small, but there are also giant isopods out there, like this one, which looks like something that sprang out of an alien sea.

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20 different kinds of giant isopods, and fortunately, they’re mostly found in the depths of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, where many other creatures grow to extraordinary sizes. It’s like a whole other world down there in the murky deep.

The Pacu Fish

If you open the mouth of most fish, you’ll see pretty small and pointy teeth that they can use for chewing up prey or aquatic plants. But the pacu fish is a little different; the most distinctive characteristic of this fish is its human-like set of teeth.

Source: Imgur

There’s something truly bizarre about seeing human-style teeth in the head of a fish. These creatures are found in Papua New Guinea, and they’re related to piranhas, so they can be pretty vicious but mostly eat plants and use their teeth to grind through tough plant matter.

The Mantis Shrimp

When you go deep down below the ocean depths, you start to find some truly amazing, colorful creatures. The mantis shrimp is one of them, and it’s quite a beautiful but very bizarre creature, with its rainbow-like exoskeleton and strange face.

Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images

Also known as sea locusts and prawn killers, mantis shrimps are predators, using their fists to hunt their prey. They’re able to punch with incredible force, creating little bubbles that collapse around the creatures they intend to eat. Pound for pound, they’re some of the toughest undersea predators around.

The Hummingbird Hawk Moth

This creature is named after three other animals, so you can imagine that it’s quite a unique mishmash of characteristics and features. It’s technically a moth, but it looks a lot like a hummingbird, with its fluffy body and tendency to hover around plants and flowers.

Photo by BORIS ROESSLER/DPA/AFP/Getty Images

These moths can be found in various places around the globe, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and even the Arctic Circle. They’re very good at recognizing colors and picking the perfect plants to feed on, using their long snouts to suck up nectar.

The Umbonia Spinosa

Say hello to the umbonia spinosa. At first glance, you might not even be able to tell what this creature is and where its body ends or begins. If you look closely, you can start to make out its shape, and these bugs are quite closely related to cicadas.

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They use their beaks to dig little holes in plant stems so that they can suck out the nutrients from inside. They also stand out due to their big, colorful horns, and if you visit South America, you might even see some of the locals eating these creatures.

The Goblin Shark

The goblins hark is what is known as a “living fossil.” This is a term used to refer to creatures that have been around for many years and closely resemble creatures that walked (or swam) the Earth millions of years ago.

Source: Wikimedia

In fact, the goblin shark is the only extant member of the Mitsukurinidae family, which dates back around 125 million years. They’re pretty creepy-looking, but they don’t actually pose any threat to humans, as they mostly live in very deep, dark waters where people rarely roam.

The Gobi Jerboa

The Gobi jerboa is named due to the fact that it comes from the Gobi desert, which extends across parts of China and Mongolia. And funnily enough, this species was unknown until about 100 years ago, when it was first identified by Glover Morrill Allen.

Photo by Visual China Group/Getty Images

Since these little guys are so small and rapid, often diving into little tunnels and holes underground, it’s hard for researchers to estimate how many there actually are. For now, they’re in the “Least Concerned” status category, so they shouldn’t be at risk of extinction any time soon, unlike some of the other creatures in this list.

The Cantor’s Giant Soft Shelled Turtle

When you think about turtles, you usually imagine them with big, strong shells on their backs. However, there are certain types of turtle that look very different from the norm, and this is one of them: the Cantor’s giant soft-shelled turtle.

Source: WWF

Looking flat, soft, and squishy to the touch, this is one of the biggest extant freshwater turtle species on the planet. They can allegedly grow up to six feet in length, and the heaviest specimen ever found tipped the scales at over 500 lbs.

The Yeti Crab

The yeti may be a mythological creature, but the yeti crab is very much a real thing. It almost looks like what would happen if you tried to dress a regular crab up to look like a big fluffy snowman, and these creatures can also be referred to as yeti lobsters.

Source: Pinterest

The yeti crab has its own family classification, being part of the exclusive Kiwaidae family. Even though they look like they might live in cold climates, they actually are most often found near hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. The hairs on their forearms are mainly used for protection and finding food.

The Zebra Duiker

What do you get if you cross a zebra and an antelope? You get the zebra duiker. These creatures are technically part of the antelope family but stand out from other antelope due to the presence of black stripes or bands along with their bodies.

Source: Imgur

The zebra duiker is one of the earliest members of the duiker family, according to scientific research, and the stripes on their bodies can help them go unnoticed when walking in tall grasses. They’re also quite small and light, allowing them to be pretty agile and escape predators with rapid running skills.

The Lamprey

There are plenty of cute and cuddly creatures on this list, but the lamprey most certainly is not one of them. In fact, it looks like something plucked from your worst nightmares, basically resembling a big tentacle filled up with sharp, pointy teeth.

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These jawless fish are part of the petromyzontiformes order, and their name comes from a Latin word meaning “stone licker.” There are dozens of types of lampreys, and they’re almost all parasitic carnivores that feed on the flesh of other fish.

The Babirusa

The babirusa, also known as the deer pig, is a strange-looking animal that can be found in certain Indonesian islands, namely Buru, Sula, Togian, and Sulawesi. There are a few different types of these pigs, but they all look pretty alike.

Source: Reddit

The most distinctive feature of the babirusa is its long, curved tusks. The tusks jut out from the sides of the creature’s mouth, and some of them actually cut right through the top of the mouth, making them look like horns. In some cases, the tusks grow so long that they can start curving back, almost into the animal’s eyes.

The Dugong

Pokemon fans might be familiar with this creature, as the design of the Pokemon named Dewgong was inspired by it. Well, in the real world, dugongs are marine mammals that are pretty rare nowadays. In fact, they’re classed as “Vulnerable” and could go extinct unless steps are taken to protect them.

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Part of the Sirenia family, dugongs, don’t have any dorsal fins or hind limbs. They look like big soft sea cows, similar to manatees in many ways, and they feed with the help of their downturned snouts, which suck up grasses and other plant matter from the seafloor.

The Gerenuk

The gerenuk can be found in the Horn of Africa, in the eastern section of the continent. It’s the only member of the Litocranis family and can also be called the giraffe gazelle. From this picture, you can probably guess how it got such a name!

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Gerenuks stand out for their long necks and have the ability to stand up on their hind legs to reach leaves and foliage in high and hard-to-reach places. Interestingly, this species is sexually dimorphic, which means that the males and females look very different, with males being bigger and having horns.

The Naked Mole Rat

Anyone who grew up with the classic kids cartoon “Kim Possible” may instantly recognize this funny little creature, as there was a naked mole-rat named Rufus in the show. Well, Rufus was based on a real-world creature that is naturally born with no hair on its body.

Photo by Astrid Riecken/The Washington Post/Getty Images

These creatures are part of the Heterocephalus genus in the rodent family. As well as being hairless, they’re insensitive to pain, allowing them to dig and burrow around in rough ground without really feeling any pain or discomfort on their bodies. They’re also eusocial creatures, like bees, which means that they live together in big clusters, all working together for a common goal.

The Patagonian Mara

As the name suggests, the Patagonian mara is found in the Patagonian region of South America, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking places on the planet. They closely resemble beavers and hares, and they’re closely related to these creatures from a genetic point of view, too.

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Exclusively found in Argentina, Patagonian maras are able to grow to a maximum size of approximately 30″. They have flat, compressed feet, almost like hoofs, and they’re always easy to spot with their white bellies and orange flanks. They live in warrens, typically in large groups.

The Maned Wolf

At first glance, you might think that this creature is a fox due to its red coat. Then, you might think it’s actually a wolf due to its long lists, pointy ears, and the fact that it’s called a “maned wolf.” In reality, it’s neither.

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They’re actually part of the Chrysocyon genus, which translates to “Golden Dog.” They’re the biggest canines in the whole of South America, measuring up to 35″ tall, and they’re also very important for the local environment, as they help to spread seeds around by eating fruit and excreting the seeds in different locations.

The Australian Peacock Spider

If you want to see weird creatures, the best place to be is Australia. The Land Down Under is home to some of the weirdest and wackiest animals around; the Australian peacock spider is the perfect example of that.

Source: YouTube

This spider only measures 5mm across, but it’s simply spectacular to look at. Just like a peacock, it has a colorful body. Males show off their colors and lift their back legs in the air to try and attract females as part of a mating ritual.

The Golden Tortoise Beetle

This incredible little creature is so shimmery and shiny that you might actually think it’s a piece of gold if you spot one out in the wild. They’re found in the Americas and can actually come in various colors, ranging from red to brown to bright gold.

Photo by Andreas Kay/Flickr

They’re actually able to change color, too. A typical golden tortoise beetle will have different colors throughout the year, depending on the season and conditions around it. Even when they get touched, they can change color slightly, making them quite miraculous little things.

The Blobfish

When it comes to weird creatures, the blobfish is king. It’s one of the best-known ugly animals of them all, even becoming a meme on the internet after photos of one particular blobfish were widely shared online on social media.

Source: Tumblr

The blobfish is found in the waters of Oceania, around countries like Australia and New Zealand. It’s a big, jelly-like mass that is essentially able to float along above the seafloor without needing to use up too much energy to actually swim. Underwater, they actually look pretty normal, but when you take them out of the water, they change appearance quite dramatically.

The Okapi

The okapi is a very rare mammal that looks like a cross between an antelope, a zebra, and a horse. In reality, from a genetic point of view, these African creatures most closely resemble giraffes, and they’re even sometimes known as forest giraffes or zebra giraffes.

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You can mostly find okapi in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other Central African countries. They have chocolate brown coats and white horizontal stripes running along their legs, all the way to the ankles, which are usually plain white.

The Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Many of the creatures on this list have unusual looks and odd names, but the satanic leaf-tailed gecko definitely has one of the weirdest names of them all. The name was given to this creature by a Belgian biologist called George Boulenger back in 1888.

Photo by DEA/V. GIANNELLA/Getty Images

The most interesting aspect of these creatures is their leaf-like camouflaged bodies. Their tails are even naturally flat, looking just like leaves from a distance, so they’re really good at blending in with the environment and not being seen by predators in the area.

The Lilac Breasted Roller

If you head on down to sub-Saharan Africa and keep your eyes on the skies, you might be able to spot some of these colorful birds flying around. They spend most of their time up high in the trees, looking down to seek out prey on the ground level.

Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket/Getty Images

The most interesting thing about lilac-breasted rollers is the beautiful colors of their feathers. They can have blue, green, and other shades along with their wings but always have a lilac breast, which makes it easy to tell them apart from other, similarly-sized colorful birds in the area.

The Dik-Dik

There’s something so incredibly adorable about the dik-dik. They look like deer that have been shrunk down to resemble babies for the whole of their lives, and the name dik-dik actually refers to four different species of small African antelope.

Photo by Eric DRAGESCO/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The dik-dik can be found foraging among bushes and grasses in eastern and southern Africa. They’re herbivores, so they’re totally harmless to other animals, and the reason they’re called dik-dik is because of the funny sound that the females sometimes make.

Leafy Seadragon

At first glance, you might just assume that this creature is a piece of seaweed floating on by or another aquatic plant carried along by the current. However, they’re actually animals with unique appearances, found in the waters off the coast of Australia.

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Part of the seahorse family, these creatures have long, leaf-like protrusions all over their bodies, helping them blend in with the environment and not be seen by predators beneath the waves. Unlike other seahorses, male leafy seadragons don’t carry eggs in a pouch. Instead, the eggs are kept safe in a space beneath the tail.

The Spiny Bush Viper

The spiny bush viper, also known as Atheris hispida, is a venomous snake found in certain countries in the African continent, like Congo, Uganda, and Kenya. They stand out due to their spiny, spiky bodies, also known as rough-scaled bush vipers.

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Not only do they look tough and resistant, but these vipers are definitely not to be messed with. They have very strong, dangerous venom that can lead to severe internal bleeding. This allows these snakes to make short work of their prey and defend themselves against different predators, too.

The Honduran White Bat

When you think about bats, you probably picture them as having dark fur, being black or brown in color. But these are white bats out there, too, like the Honduran white bat found in the beautiful Central American nation of Honduras.

Source: Reddit

These creatures stand out due to that distinctive white fur, and if you look closely, the very ends of their hairs tend to have a slight greyish hue. These bats also have leaf-shaped noses and ears, and they live in little leaf tents that they make by cutting through the side veins of big leaves.

The Tufted Deer

The tufted deer is one of the funniest-looking deer in the world. It almost looks like a vampire deer, with those little fangs peeking out from the sides of its mouth. Those “fangs” are actually tusk-like teeth used for fighting between males.

Source: Pinterest

Tufted deer are found across central China. As well as the tusks, their other distinguishing characteristic is the presence of a tuft of black hair on their heads. These creatures are quite independent and often found wandering around alone or in pairs in dark patches of the forest.

The Panda Ant

Imagine a panda crossed with an ant. It’s quite a frightening thought, but the result might look a little something like this! The panda ant is actually a type of wasp, not an ant at all. And it got its name due to its black and white appearance, just like a panda.

Source: Wikimedia

Panda ants may be small, but they’re actually very tough, nicknamed “cow killers” due to their ability to bring down big beasts whenever they work together in large numbers. They’re able to live for up to two years, too, and the females are different from the males, with much thicker fur on their bodies.

The Fossa

The fossa is an intriguing little character, somewhere between a cat and a squirrel. They’re found in Madagascar, which is also the home of many other unique, special, and rare creatures. And there’s a bit of controversy around these animals among scientists, as nobody is quite sure how to classify them.

Photo by Sylvain CORDIER/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

If you look at their physical characteristics, these animals seem to belong to the cat family, but they also bear many similarities to members of the viverrid family due to their medium-sized bodies and relatively short legs. In actuality, despite having lots in common with various creatures, they’re their own unique species.

The Glass Frog

There are lots of strange little frogs out there, found in all kinds of colors, sizes, and styles. The glass frog is one of the most unique and interesting varieties, native to the countries of South America and part of the amphibian family.

Source: Facebook

The fascinating thing about glass frogs is that they have transparent abdomens. This means that you can see right through the center of their bodies, and it’s actually possible to see their interior organs. This is how they earned the nickname “glass frog.”

The Blue Parrotfish

A lot of the world’s strangest creatures are found in the seas and oceans, and it’s not uncommon to see fish in all kinds of colors and shapes as you start to dive deep down beneath the waves. This glowing bluefish is one such example found in the warmer sections of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo by Wild Horizons/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

These types of fish are known as anemonefish, which means that they’re technically able to live periods of their lives as both male and female, switching gender according to their needs and surroundings. They spend most of their time scavenging the seafloor for food.

The Sunda Colugo

If you’re looking for another cute creature, say hi to the utterly adorable sunda colugo, also known as the sunda flying lemur. These creatures are native to the island nation of Indonesia but can also be spotted in places around Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, too.

Photo by Jerry Redfern/LightRocket/Getty Images

These lovely lemurs aren’t just cute to look at; they’re also very smart, agile, and active creatures that can learn all kinds of skills. They’re able to glide around from tree to tree with the help of their flappy, thin skin and tend to be most active in the evenings, gliding about in search of plants to eat.

The Irrawaddy Dolphin

The Irrawaddy is a river in Southeast Asia, and that’s exactly where you’ll find these adorable dolphins. Most dolphins live in seas and oceans, but the Irrawaddy dolphins are river-dwellers, which makes them pretty unique. They’re also notable for the fact that there aren’t many of them left, unfortunately.

Photo by Xinhua/WWF-Cambodia/Getty Images

These dolphins make use of sonar to track down their prey, feeding mostly on small fish that they find along the river between Cambodia and Laos. They also have cute round heads, with no distinct beaks, unlike many other types of dolphins.

The Macropinna Microstoma

This weird-looking species of fish can be found deep down in the oceans. To be more precise, you can usually find them if you dive about 600 to 800 meters down, and they’re often seen floating still in the water, making use of their highly sensitive eyes to look for prey in the surrounding area.

Source: Imgur

One of the most amazing things about these fish is that their heads are transparent. You can see right through them, as this picture shows. It’s possible to see the stems and lenses of their eyes, as well as parts of their brain, and this is just another example of an odd-looking animal that lives deep down below the waves.

The Dumbo Octopus

Let’s remain in the water with another abnormal aquatic animal: the Dumbo octopus. This animal was named in honor of the Disney elephant, Dumbo, and is so-called due to its funny-shaped ears that are just like those of the cartoon character.

Source: YouTube

The Dumbo octopus’ ears aren’t just for show. It uses them to swim around, flapping the ears back and forth to push itself along through the water. They’re actually quite fast movers, which can be helpful when they need to evade predators in the area.

The Venezuelan Poodle Moth

As the name implies, this little moth is native to the nation of Venezuela. It was only discovered in 2009, which just goes to show that there are animals out there that we still don’t know about, with new species being found and classified all the time.

Source: Reddit

The Venezuelan poodle moth can grow to about an inch in length and stands out due to its bright yellow body and fluffy wings. It also has big, bulging eyes and spiky antennae, making it quite a unique-looking little thing.

The Amazon Giant Fishing Spider

Many fascinating creatures can be found in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, including these huge spiders, which are able to grow to terrifying sizes of up to eight inches long. This means that they’re a whole lot bigger than many of the usual house spiders people have to deal with at home.

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As you can guess from their name, these spiders are really good at fishing. They spend a lot of time sitting on the surface of the water, waiting and watching for passing creatures and suddenly lashing out to catch little fish swimming by.

The Hairy Frog

Hairy frogs have been the subject of debate on the internet, with many people not even believing that such strange creatures could actually exist. In reality, hairy frogs do exist and have been found, recorded, and documented, mostly spotted in the nations of Central Africa.

Source: Imgur

The name of the hairy frog comes from the fact that these frogs have hair-like spines along the sides of their bodies and down the tops of their legs, too. These hairs actually help the frog absorb more oxygen from its surroundings. What’s more, these frogs have sharp claws on their back feet, which can be used to defend themselves.

The Remora

In a lineup of fish, it would be quite easy to identify the remora, as these aquatic creatures have very flat heads with distinctive markings. It almost looks like a big tire has rolled right over them, leaving a print behind.

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So what is that weird head all about? Well, the remora actually uses this part of its head to suck onto other creatures and hitch a ride. In some cases, they even stick to the undersides of boats, and even though they may seem like parasites, they don’t actually feed off the things they attach to.

The Portuguese Man O’ War

The Portuguese Man O’ War may just have the most dramatic sounding name of any creature on the planet, and it also happens to be one of the weirdest marine animals ever discovered by man. They were named after 18th-century sailing ships due to their big fins, which look like sails.

Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images

These weird creatures have long, venomous tentacles that are strong enough to kill both big fish and humans, too, so you definitely don’t want to get up close and personal with one of these guys. They’re found near the surface of the world’s oceans, including the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

The Hammer Headed Bat

There are many different kinds of bats out there, including the hammer-headed bat, which is actually the biggest bat in the whole of Africa. These odd-looking guys can weigh in at around 450g when fully grown, have wingspans of up to three feet, and are also known for their super-strong jaws.

Source: Wikimedia

You might think that those strong jaws are for fighting or biting, but they’re actually designed for mating purposes. Male hammer-headed bats use their big heads and jaws to emit loud mating calls, which can attract any females that are in the area.

The Purple Frog

Also known as the pig-nosed frog, the purple frog is one of the strangest frog species of them all. These squidgy little guys are mostly found in the Western Ghats region of India and spend most of their time underground but come up to the surface during certain times of year to mate.

Source: Twitter

As the name suggests, purple frogs have purple bodies and also stand out due to their bloated shape. The sides of their bodies look all puffed up, while their arms and legs look super small in comparison. Unfortunately, those big bodies make these frogs pretty slow and awkward, and they’re easy prey for local hunters.

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock

The Guianan Cock-of-the-rock is another creature with a strange name and an even stranger look. You can instantly spot these guys due to their bright orange plumage and the stunning crest on the top of their heads. They’re some of the prettiest birds around.

Source: Pinterest

The males of this beautiful bird species make use of their bright colors and fancy crests to attract females, but those same colors can also make them stand out and become easy targets for predators like jaguars and other big cats. Fortunately, this pretty species isn’t on the endangered list for now.

The Bigfin Squid

Also known as the long-arm squid, the bigfin squid looks like something from a horror story or sci-fi movie rather than a real-world creature. It’s yet another one of those strange deep-sea creatures that most people will never see in real life.

Source: Twitter

These squids are super rare, too, so very few have ever been spotted. In fact, scientists aren’t even sure if this is a true species or just some mutation of another kind of squid. Either way, the specimens that have been found have very long bodies and totally unique, bizarre appearances.

The Helmeted Hornbill

We’ve seen some strange birds so far on this list, and the helmeted hornbill is one of the weirdest of them all. It’s also quite a striking creature, with an appearance that demands attention and respect from anyone or anything in the area.

Source: Reddit

The defining characteristic of this bird is the big bulge that sits on top of its head. It’s so big that it accounts for about 1/10 of the bird’s entire body weight. Sadly, that bulge also makes these birds a prime target for hunters, and the helmeted hornbill is currently on the critically endangered list.

The Lowland Streaked Tenrec

Here’s another one for all the Pokemon fans out there, as many people say that if Pikachu was a real creature, it would look something like this! This yellow and black rodent is found in Madagascar and looks a little like a hedgehog, with spikes across its body.

Source: Imgur

Those spikes are very sharp and serve as a super form of self-defense for the tenrec against potential predators. They also have a nasty set of teeth too and can do some damage if they bite, so it’s best to stay away from these little guys in general.

The Red Lipped Batfish

The red-lipped batfish almost looks like it’s wearing lipstick. It has bright red, plump lips that really stand out when compared to its mostly grey, bland body. It’s a funny-looking marine creature that can mostly be found in the waters around the Galapagos Islands.

Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild/Getty Images

These fish spend most of their time near the seafloor at depths of around 250 feet. They’re also known for being really bad swimmers, which is probably why they have to spend most of their time so close to the floor, looking for any food that happens to be floating by in the area.

The Star Nosed Mole

There are no prizes for guessing how the star-nosed mole got its name. This mole has a fascinating face, with a distinctive star-shaped nose right in the center. It’s quite a creepy-looking creature, in many ways, and that nose is actually a very sensitive organ.

Source: Reddit

The nose of the star-nosed mole has 25,000 sensitive nerve endings on it that can detect movement and even seismic activity in the surrounding area, and it’s very valuable to the mole itself, as they’re completely blind and rely on their other senses to get around, avoid predators, and find food, too.

The Japanese Spider Crab

If you want another reason to stay out of the water, take a look at the Japanese spider crab. These incredible creatures are technically crabs but have super long legs, making them look a lot like oversized underwater spiders.

Photo by Db Sea Life/picture alliance/Getty Images

The legs of the Japanese spider crab can extend up to 12 feet in length, and the crab’s body can weigh over 40 pounds when fully grown. They live in the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean, creeping along the floor in search of food. In Japan, they’re considered a delicacy but are quite hard to catch, so they aren’t found on too many menus.

The Blue Dragon

We all know that dragons aren’t real, but the blue dragon, also known as glaucus atlanticus, most certainly is real! Luckily for us, it’s not a giant, flying, fire-breathing monster. It’s actually a very small kind of sea slug that only measures about an inch in length.

Source: Twitter

These colorful creatures are quite rare and hard to find, generally spotted in a few specific areas around India. They feed on very small sea creatures and make use of their venomous stingers to hunt down prey and defend themselves from attacking predators.

The African Clawed Frog

This guy looks ready for a fight, and with those tough claws, it’s more than capable of defending itself! Indeed, the African clawed frog stands out for the fact that it has those claws and uses them to tear apart its food.

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These little critters are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in Sudan and Nigeria. They tend to dwell around ponds and rivers, and, according to scientists, they don’t have any tongues, teeth, or ears. In spite of that, they’re still pretty efficient hunters.

The Hoatzin

Here’s another entry into the “weird birds” part of our list: the hoatzin. This creature can measure up to 26″ in length and is remarkable due to the fact that it has a very strange feathery crest across its head that almost looks like a mohawk.

Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

That mohawk is actually a defense mechanism that the hoatzin can use to scare off predators, making itself look tougher and scarier than it actually is. Scientists still don’t know too much about these birds or how they evolved over time, but they’re definitely very interesting creatures with highly unique appearances.

Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise

The Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise has an amazing name and an equally amazing appearance. Like many birds, it has colorful feathers and unique physical features that are basically designed to make the males more attractive to the females, helping them find a mate and pass on their genes to the next generation.

Source: YouTube

These birds look black at first glance but have shimmering blue feathers below their necks that they can lift up and display in an arch-like shape around their heads. The males do this as part of a mating dance to attract the ladies.

The Axolotl

The axolotl, like the blobfish, is another strange-looking creature that has become famous on the internet due to various memes and jokes. It’s a fascinating creature that is also known as the Mexican walking fish, despite actually being part of the amphibian family rather than a fish.

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The first axolotl was discovered in a lake near Mexico City, and these creatures can be spotted in various water sources around Mexico and beyond. They’re very interesting to look at, with pink protrusions on the sides of their heads. Sadly, excessive hunting of these creatures has put the species in a critical state.

Sri Lankan Frogmouth

Opinions are divided on this intriguing bird; some people think they’re super cute, while others say that they’re scary? No matter what you think, it’s fair to say that the Sri Lankan frogmouth is certainly an interesting species with a striking appearance.

Source: Reddit

Found in various places around Asia, these birds stand out for their uniquely-shaped heads. They look quite like owls, and the curved nature of their beaks gives them a friendly, smiling look. They also have a very special mating call that you might hear if ever you’re out after dark among the forests of India.

The Mexican Mole Lizard

A very strange creature indeed, the Mexican mole lizard has a very long body and tiny little arms. It’s one of just four amphisbaenians in the world with legs, and it lives in the Baja California region, with a body that is well-suited for the hot, dry climate of that part of the world.

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Even though these creatures may look a little creepy, they’re perfectly harmless to humans. In fact, they’re harmless to most things, except ants, termites, and other little bugs that they feast upon each day and night. They also have the unique ability to be able to shed their skin.

The Aye-Aye

The aye-aye is one of the strangest looking mammals out there, and there’s some pretty tough competition in that category! These creatures, which are technically a kind of lemur, are found in the forests of Madagascar, hopping about from branch to branch among the trees.

hoto by Sylvain CORDIER/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

They bear some physical similarities to chipmunks and squirrels but are definitely part of the primate family, and they’re very smart, too. They can use their human-like thumbs to hang from branches and climb trees. Unfortunately, these cute critters are in the endangered category due to deforestation.

The Ocean Sunfish

There are so many weird-looking fish, we could write an entire list just about them, and here’s one more to make you say, “Wow!” It’s the ocean sunfish, a funny-looking fish that can measure up to 14 feet long and 10 feet high.

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When fully grown, this fish can weigh close to 5,000 pounds! It’s a true goliath of the sea, and it has a really unique shape, too. In terms of behavior, ocean sunfish tend to swim about near the surface of the ocean, and much smaller fish tend to gather around them for protection.

Heikegani Crab

We’ve seen quite a few odd-looking crabs on this list, many of which tend to come from Asia. The Heikegani crab is no different. This unusual crab hails from the waters of Japan and is famed for its bizarre shell, which almost looks like an angry human face.

Source: Pinterest

Japanese people believe that the crab’s shell looks quite like a samurai, leading to its alternate name: the samurai ghost crab. In fact, some Japanese people treat these crabs with great respect and honor, believing that they are reincarnated warriors from an ancient battle.

Stargazer Fish

Introducing the stargazer fish, yet another bizarre animal that lives in the waters of our world. This fish stands out for its frankly hilarious facial expression. It looks so angry with the world and everything in it! In fact, these grumpy-looking fellows have even been nicknamed “The Meaning Thing on Earth” due to their miserable-looking faces.

Source: Wikimedia

They have pretty miserable lives, too, spending most of their time buried in sand, waiting for some food to wander along that they can gobble up into their mouths. They’re actually pretty efficient hunters but still funny-looking.

Pink Fairy Armadillo

Armadillos are pretty weird creatures in general. They’re like little rats or moles, but with their own natural armor on the outside. The pink fairy armadillo is a particularly cute and special kind of armadillo, growing to just 5 inches in length.

Source: Wikimedia

These little fellows spend a lot of their time underground, where it’s warm, and they actually have veins that pump blood into their outer shell, giving it a unique pink glow. This also helps to keep them extra warm, especially at night when the temperatures drop in the deserts of Argentina where they live.

Greater Sage-Grouse

There are certain birds out there that just seem naturally majestic and impressive, and the greater sage-grouse is one of them. This bird is native to North America, found in the western states, and it’s named due to the fact that it has a sage-like appearance, with big white feathers around the chest and neck.

Source: Twitter

This bird has two big air sacs under its neck that it can inflate at will, and this turns out to be quite useful for showing off and attracting females of the species. The greater sage grouse is also the biggest grouse in the whole of America, but there are just 1,700 of these guys left, according to recent estimates.

Wrinkle Faced Bat

There are many odd-looking kinds of bats out there, and we’ve already seen a few throughout this list. Here’s another one for you to admire: the wrinkle-faced bat found natively in the countries of Central America, where they survive on a diet of fruits.

Source: Reddit

These bats look a lot like regular bats but stand out due to their bizarre, wrinkled faces that make them look older and stranger than the rest. They also have a unique ability; the males are able to secret a smelly liquid from their chins to attract females in the area.

Eastern Long-Necked Turtle

Here’s another unique-looking turtle to admire, the eastern long-necked turtle, so-called due to its exceptionally long neck. Thanks to that super long neck, this species almost looks like a mixture between a turtle and a snake, or perhaps like a snake that has snuck into a turtle’s shell.

Source: Tumblr

The eastern long-necked turtle can bend its neck in a range of angles, and some researchers believe that it can even bend the neck a full 180 degrees back so that the turtle can see behind itself. These creatures are pretty rare, being natively found in Australia but exported around the world.

Spike-nosed Tree Frog

Here’s another intriguing frog for our ever-expanding collection. This time, it’s the spike-nosed tree frog, also known as the Pinocchio frog, due to the fact that it has an exceptionally long, pointed nose that sticks right out from the middle of its face.

Source: Wikimedia

These frogs are found among the mountains of Indonesia and were only discovered in 2008. Because of this, there’s still lots we don’t know about how these frogs live, reproduce, feed, and so on. We do know, however, that their noses are able to inflate and deflate when they emit mating calls.

Indian Gharial

There are even some crazy-looking crocodiles out there in the wild if you’re willing to look for them. This creature, for example, is called an Indian gharial. It’s a special kind of crocodile with a very uniquely shaped snout that almost looks like a duck’s beak.

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These creatures are believed to have been around for tens of millions of years. Unfortunately, their time on this Earth could be about to end, as they’re currently on the “critically endangered” list, with very few of them left out in the wild.

Silkie Chicken

You probably wouldn’t have expected to see a chicken on this list of weird and wacky animals, but the silkie chicken definitely earns a spot in the hall of strange creatures, thanks to its fluffy feathers and strange appearance.

Source: YouTube

These cuddly, cloud-like birds are covered from top to bottom in white fur but actually have black skin underneath it all. They originate in China but are bred all over the world, and there are many people who devote their lives to breeding and looking after these calm, gentle chickens.

Marabou Stork

Many parents tell their children that babies are delivered by storks, but probably not this kind of stork! The marabou stark isn’t the cutest of birds, standing out due to the presence of a big, bulging appendage around its throat that almost looks like a tumor or growth.

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Fortunately, the big appendage is just a natural part of their bodies. They live in Africa, to the south of the Sahara, and they’re named because of their quiet, calm nature. Still, if you get too close to these guys, they can be aggressive, so it’s best to stay away.

Proboscis Monkey

The proboscis monkey definitely drew the short straw with that nose! It’s one of the weirdest noses in the animal kingdom; a big, bulbous protrusion that seems to hang off the front of the creature’s head and almost looks ready to burst at any moment.

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These monkeys are native to Indonesia and are part of the Colobinae family. They’re one of the biggest types of monkeys in all of Asia, able to weigh up to 50 lbs. So what’s the nose all about? Well, scientists say that it’s used by males to signify their fertility and attract females.

The Matamata Turtle

If you walked past this creature in the wild, you might not even notice it, as the matamata turtle’s camouflage is simply so effective. Its head and shell are specially designed to look just like leaves, allowing the turtle to blend in seamlessly with its surroundings.

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These turtles are able to grow up to two feet long and can live up to 75 years. They live in the Amazon rainforest. There, they spend most of their time around the water, waiting patiently for small fish to swim nearby before opening their mouths and sucking them in.

The Ankole-Watusi Bull

This bull looks a little too strange to be real, as its horns appear to be way too big for its body. Well, this actually isn’t a creation of nature; instead, the Ankole-Watusi has been specially bred by Americans over the years to grow in this way.

Source: Wikimedia

Breeders carefully picked the bulls with the biggest horns to breed, and those horns are the biggest of any bull in the world. In fact, the longest recorded horns on such a bull measured up at over 40″ in length and appeared in the Guinness World Records.

The Achatina Fulica

Achatina fulica, also known as the African giant snail, is the biggest type of snail known to man. It lives in warm and sunny places around Africa and can grow to a height of close to 3″ and a length of almost 8″.

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Thanks to their big size and big appetites, these snails are actually quite a big threat to humans, as they can wipe out entire fields of crops and plants in a matter of days. Some humans eat them, while others keep them as pets.

The Saiga Antelope

The saiga antelope is another bizarre antelope that looks like it crash landed on Earth from some alien planet. It has a pretty normal shape for an antelope, but its face is super strange, with a weird snout and bizarre eyes.

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These guys can be found in Mongolia, but used to live in Europe, but were hunted so severely that none are left. In fact, the species is on the brink of extinction at the moment, as a mass infection recently killed off approximately 200,000 of them.

The Casper Octopus

Scientists are always finding new creatures down in the depths of the ocean, and the casper octopus is one of their most recent findings. This funny little creature is named after the “friendly ghost” of the same name, due to its ghostly coloring.

Source: Twitter

The first casper octopus was found in the waters around Hawaii. Scientists have so far found that these creatures like to lay their eggs in dead sea sponges and then make little nests around them while waiting for the eggs to hatch and the babies to grow strong.

The Tarsier

Here’s another funny-looking animal that you might recognize from various online memes and videos. It’s the tarsier, a tiny primate that lives natively in parts of Southeast Asia, including countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Andrey Nekrasov/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

The tarsier stands out from the crowd with its enormous eyes, that almost seem to be too big for its tiny little body. A lot of people joke that it looks like an alien or even resembles Gollum from the Lord of the Rings stories. Either way, it’s a pretty useful creature for the local farmers, as it eats tons of bugs and is a natural pest-exterminator.

The Ctenophora

Nope, that’s not an alien. It’s not even a jellyfish, even though it looks like one. It’s a unique underwater creature known as a ctenophora. They do have some genetic similarities to jellyfish, but they’re a totally unique species, with history dating back hundreds of millions of years.

Source: Wikimedia

In fact, the ctenophora is one of the world’s oldest species to still be around. How did they last so long? Well, they’re pretty ruthless predators, able to eat all kinds of creatures and using its sensitive nerve endings to find and catch its prey.