Remember the days before the world was connected like it is now? Those were the days, right? One reason is because people didn’t know as much as they do now. The world was perfectly comfortable believing that a dog is just a dog, a cat a cat, a bird a bird. Sure, there were some variations. Some dogs were big. Some small. Some cats were gray. Others yellow. The world was much simpler.
The problem is that over time, people have become more connected. This connectedness has opened doors for understanding other people and cultures. This is usually a good thing because how else would a guy be able to order a bride with the click of a button? Depending on how you look at it, the troubling (or amazing) part about the world’s connectedness is that animals that have evolved over millions of billions of years are no longer hidden far at the bottom of the ocean, high in the trees, or on unexplored lands. The world can now see what evolution has been up to with the click of a button and, fair warning, evolution has not taken its lunch break.
Check 10 of the weirdest animals ever found.
10. Giant Isopod
Holy moly! Did scientists really need to put the word “giant” in the official name? That’s a fact that could probably be assumed. Like most weird animals, this one lives at the bottom of the ocean. They can grow to over a foot long and scientists believe that, even though they are related to lobsters, they grew that large to handle the pressures of the deep sea.
The weirdest part is that giant isopods will gorge themselves when they eat and their only food of choice is meat. They even have eyes that are similar to a cat’s which helps them see at night. And they bite. With this new info, go ahead and cancel that next beach trip.
9. Giant Leaf-Tailed Gecko
Terrifying other creatures along Madagascar’s east coast, the leaf-tailed gecko’s claim to fame is, of course, at the end of its tail. The world’s best hide-and-seek player avoids predators because its tail and overall color tend to blend in with the foliage in its habitat.
They’re not small either, like their more recognizable cousins, because they grow up to be about a foot long. Also, people often keep smaller geckos as pets, but with this bad boy, the scariest part is that wild animal experts recommend that people don’t even handle these things because they can get jumpy and bite.
No word on what kind of car insurance savings they offer like its Australian cousin, the GEICO gecko. Chances are the rates are as frightening as they are.
Forget a guard dog, alarm, or a gun for protection. For true safety from others, just show them a picture of an aye-aye and they will learn their lesson. Hailing again from that vortex called Madagascar, the aye-aye kind of looks like a rodent, but is actually related to primates like chimps and apes.
It spends its entire life in the trees, never actually coming down to earth. By looking at it, that is probably the least weird thing about it. Like all horrifying creatures, it only comes out at night. It also has claws on almost all of its fingers and toes except for the ones to help it balance in the trees. Thankfully, when it is not eating souls, it eats insect larvae. Locals in Madagascar even consider the animal to be bad luck.
7. Tufted Deer
Who knew Bambi had a gangster cousin with fangs? Surprisingly, this animal is not from outer space, but is actually from the mountains of India, China, and Burma. They’re not native to Transylvania, but that is probably what these deer want people to think.
The deer’s diet consists entirely of grass and leaves and don’t weigh any more than about 100 pounds. Males and females are also roughly the same size and they only use their fangs during mating season and to defend their territories. To prove that God just wanted to see what would happen if he mixed animals together, the tufted deer not only has the jumping ability of a cat, but also barks like a dog, too.
6. Naked Mole Rat
Don’t make fun of the naked mole rat by its appearance. Sure, it’s naked, but the reasons to make fun of it are much more than skin deep. First, it doesn’t have the mating habits of other similar creatures like the meerkat (who tend to be highly social). Like bees, there is one queen and then several breeding males in their groups. The remaining 300 or so just serve as workers to bring resources into their habitat. They have trouble seeing and their teeth can work completely independent of each other. This thing is truly odd. The weirdest part? It’s one of the few species that have evolved to never get cancer.
5. Blob Fish
It is strongly recommended that before continuing with this list that it be after meal time. Crowned the world’s ugliest animal, the blob fish is native to the waters in Australia. Likely not to be featured in the sequel to Finding Nemo, this extremely odd looking fish is very harmless. The fish only picks up certain crustaceans by scooping them up into their mouths near the ocean floor. Not much is known about how many exist in the wild.
The weirdest part is that this fish is becoming increasingly popular. In London, there is a cafe set to open that will put three of these things on display. Curious onlookers can enjoy a meal (somehow) while watching them float in their aquarium.
4. Japanese Spider Crab
In the Little Mermaid, Ariel and her friends did not mention that they shared an environment where some of the weirdest creatures the world has ever seen called home. The Japanese spider crab could give Godzilla a run for its money in Japan because of its size. It grows up to about 16 inches and has the largest span of any arthropod in the sea.
What’s even weirder about this animal is that some of them can live in depths to about 150 feet. This means for anyone that enjoys deep sea fishing in Japan, there’s a strong likelihood they will pull back this bizarre looking creature.
3. Goblin Shark
Comic book authors probably don’t need to look any further for inspiration on their villains than the goblin shark. Just put some rocket launchers on top of its head and give it a foreign accent and the character basically writes itself. Living in the bottom of the ocean near Australia, the goblin shark is believed to be one of the oldest living species in the world, dating back nearly 130 million years.
They actually don’t pose any physical threat to humans because they tend to only feed on small fish. The only threat they pose to people is the image they will leave in someone’s head when they try to sleep.
2. Thorny Devil
Other than fish, the one species that comes in one of the craziest varieties has to be reptiles. With millions of years of evolution, Mother Nature has slapped together some animals like an 8-year-old with a Lego set. Well, the hits continue on with the thorny devil of Australia. These lizards roam the desert with an extremely funny walk, all in an effort to ward of predators. They wait outside ant hills and use their sticky tongue to scoop them up, leaving so many ants without a father. When they get scared, they ball up, letting their spike-covered body act as a defense mechanism, reminding all of the other Pokemon characters to back off.
1. The Mexican Walking Fish
There have been enough movies about aliens that it is plausible that, when encountered, people may be able to communicate with them. It’s the things on Earth that would have most people screaming like a little girl. This is one of them.
The Mexican walking fish can be found in parts of Mexico city. As it is plain to see, it looks like a friggin’ fish that has four very visible legs. Although they look like animals after a radioactive accident, the internet says that they are amphibians, and not actually fish with legs, similar to a frog or a newt. Phew!