Scientists estimate that there may be as many as 10 million species in the world. Of these, only 1.3 million have been identified and cataloged. We sure still are a long way off from knowing everything about our planet. And it is not for lack of trying. Every year, up to 15,000 new species are identified. Some are totally new and, had they not been discovered, would have been totally unimaginable to the human mind. Others, on the other hand, are variations of species that we already know of.
Here is a list of the top 10 weirdest species in the world.
1. Pelodiscus Sinensis
With a quick glance, it looks like a turtle. If you take a look for a longer time, it still looks like a turtle. As a matter of fact, any angle you look at it, it looks like your garden-variety turtle. But if you observe its strange behavior, you will notice that this turtle found in China has a sharp snout that it often puts in puddles when in dry land. This is strange because this animal needs air to breathe. Scientists have discovered however that because this turtle cannot get enough fresh water to wash urea out through their urine. So what it does is it excretes urea through the gills in its mouth. As a result, it dips its head into water regularly to rinse its mouth of excrements. This just takes the meaning of potty mouth into a whole new level.
2. Zombie Worm
This animal is weird in so many levels. It does not have a mouth, but they feed off the bones of sea creatures like whales. Instead, it excretes acid to break down the bone and absorb it as its meal. Females are also much larger, perhaps as much as 20 times bigger than male worms. And the male worms are content to live inside the gelatinous tubes that cover the females. In other words, the only aim in life of the male is to provide sex and fertilize the eggs of the female. Hmm, sounds like a lot of men. Maybe, it is not that weird after all.
3. Chondrocladia Lyra
Also called the harp sponge, this animal is shaped like a harp and feeds on the meat of crustaceans. It was only discovered in 2000 and for good reason. It lives in waters at a depth of 3.5 kilometers off the central coast of California. And it is not easy to spot as it clings to the ocean floor. Its harp-like limbs then capture tiny crustacean animals that are washed to its vicinity by the underwater current.
4. Phallostethus Cuulong
Take a closer look at this fish’s scientific name. Yes, that’s a phallus in there and that is because this fish has a head that is shaped just like a penis. It also has a jagged hook to help grab females during the mating process. It is one of the few fish species that fertilizes eggs inside the female’s body. The shape probably evolved to ensure that the male’s sperm gets to the right place. With a shape like that, it probably would not get mad if it gets called a dick!
5. Erpeton Tentaculatus
As if snakes were not scary enough, imagine a snake with tentacles. It is a good thing that this is just a small snake that primarily lives in the waters of South East Asia. The snake has two small tentacles on its snout. Scientists believe the snake uses the tentacles to sense vibrations from fishes swimming in the area.
6. Pilosaurus Funkei
It actually existed more than 150 million years ago but this animal only got its scientific name recently. This sea creature looked like a flower, but do not let that soft look deceive you. It was actually at the top of the food chain during its prime, measuring 12 meters long and with teeth that outclassed that of the T-rex.
7. Illacme Plenipes
It is a white millipede not measuring more than 1.2 inches long. It is also limited to a 4.5 square kilometer area in northern California. So what makes it weird? Two things…the first is that within that 1.2-inch body are 750 legs, making it the leggiest creature in the entire world. The second is that it actually has a relative half a world away located in South Africa.
8. Microcebus Murinus
This is a small gray mouse lemur living in Madagascar. It is actually an adorable animal if you simply look at it. Just do not mind its behavior because you definitely will find it weird, or even scary. This lemur that roams in the night engages in cannibalism. When scientists discovered the animal, it noticed a male of the species devouring on the flesh of a dead female. Sure, there are other animals that engage in this practice, including man. But if Hannibal Lecter is considered creepy and weird, so is this animal species.
9. Vorticella Creature
It does not have a species name yet, though scientists believe it comes from the genus Vorticella. The soft-bodied animal with no bones was preserved completely inside a cocoon from 200 million years ago after a leech had secreted the cocoon under water. Its width has been measured as equivalent to a few human hairs. It has a tail that looks like a spring. And this animal can move at a speed of eight centimeters per second. How fast is that? That’s like a human being running 300 yards in a second. Putting it another way, that’s like crossing three football fields in one second. To put it in perspective, Usain Bolt can probably run 100 yards in around nine seconds.
10. Siphusauctum Gregarium
It is actually 500 million years old and scientists are not even sure where it fits in the evolution timeline. This animal looked like a tulip with its bulb head that contained a feeding system. It captured any food particles that passed through and it digested its prey through a filter feeder that was as long as a dinner knife.