The world is full of mysterious things, and the creatures that fill this planet are no less mysterious. We may think that we know exactly what flies in our skies or swims in our waters or roams our lands, but the truth is that there are so many species out there that most people have never even heard of. As scientists get better and better technology and get further into the depths of the rainforest and the oceans, we're finding more and more things that we've never seen before! Sure, most of them are just sub-species of the animals that we already know and love, but there are also a lot of things out there that our wildest imaginations could never have invented on our own. Side note, I wish that I could be the person who names these new discoveries. I mean, some of these names are really clever, but some of these names are just plain lazy.
This list is full of the cute, the fuzzy, and the fugly. Some of these creatures you will hope to never encounter in your lifetime. Some of these creatures you will probably want to keep as a pet (although I strongly recommend against trying to go that route. They never make as good of a pet as you would hope). Some of these creatures you will wish that you never laid eyes on. So read on and enjoy the strangest and weirdest creatures that the world has to offer and see where on earth you could actually find them.
25 The Angora Rabbit
This massively fluffy bunny comes from Ankara, Turkey. Not only is this rabbit fluffier than your slippers, but their coats are actually often used to make wool products. So not only are these hilariously absurd creatures, they're also super useful. Plus, just imagine cuddling with something as fluffy as that.
24 The Maned Wolf
The maned wolf looks like a mix between a fox, a wolf, and a Victoria's Secret supermodel with legs for days. They can be found in South America. Even though they look like a wolf and kind of like a fox, genetically, they're actually not from either family. It's the only member of its type of species, which is both cool, and also kind of sad. These cuties are usually around 3 feet long, not including the tail, and they usually weigh in around 50 pounds.
While these oddly cute creatures look like they are always in a constant state of shock, they're actually quite an interesting breed. Found in the islands of Southeast Asia, they're known for being crazy ninjas that can catch birds mid-flight as they leap around in the treetops. They look like someone tried to make a cute and cuddly stuffed animal but something went horribly wrong and it turned out to be more akin to something from a nightmare.
22 Thorny Devil
This lizard is found in Australia and is not to be messed with. It has two heads—one real, and one fake—to distract and confuse predators. And its entire body is covered in armored spikes to keep it safe. If this lizard were to have a Disney movie, all of the other lizards would be scared of it because it looked mean, but he would really have a heart of gold and would just want to be friends. At the end of the movie, the Thorny Devil would somehow save the day with his pointy armor.
21 Star-nosed Mole
This is found in the northeastern parts of the United States, but is also found in my nightmares. This mole has had the unfortunate luck to get the “octopus nose” on the front of its face which has been both incredibly helpful for its general life, but also really unhelpful for making friends with other species. The feelers are incredibly sensitive and help the mole make its way through the undergrounds (not to be confused with the Underworld, although I could see how someone might make that mistake).
20 Uakari Monkey
This quirky fellow lives in the tropical rainforests of South America. He looks like he had a 2007 Britney Spears meltdown (still love you, Britney), and then fell asleep in the sun. But while the red faces may look sore and sunburnt to us, the redder the face, the more desirable of a mate that monkey is. The paler faced monkeys may be less healthy, which is why they’re less likely to be chosen for dodgeball teams and as a mate.
19 Hooded Seal
First and foremost, I want one. Second, this little cutie pie is found in the North Atlantic area. It has spotted fur that Cruella would die for. They have this giant bladder thing on their heads that they can inflate. The idea behind this is to attract females, because apparently female hooded seals find giant inflated bladders as an appealing aspect. The bladders also send signals underwater that shows their dominance and scares away predators, which is both amazingly strange and cool.
18 Proboscis Monkey
You’ll be able to find this monkey in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Borneo. Its defining feature is its long, prominent nose, which means that it should really just embrace the look, or stay away from all caricature artists. The males have the longer, larger noses that hang down past their mouths, whereas the females have shorter and more pointy noses (although still long for a monkey nose), so you would easily be able to tell the difference between a male proboscis monkey and a female one.
17 Elephant Shrew
The elephant shrew is an African mammal that, despite its name, is very small. It has a long pointy nose, that looks like a trunk, which is where I assume it gets its name. It looks like a mouse gone wrong, but also looks super cute. They carry food in their cheeks like hamsters. Interestingly, these are neither a mouse, hamster, or a shrew. They are actually their own species. Their young are weaned within only five days of being alive, which is insanely quick.
16 Long-eared Jerboa
These adorable weirdos are in the rodent family and are found in the Palearctic region. Their giant ears are one third longer than their heads and have long tails. Their tails are actually twice as long as their body. They can jump up to 9.8 feet. That is taller than people. But seriously, how cute is this little thing? This little guy reminds me of Lily Collins. She has those super thick and amazing eyebrows that set her apart from other women. Though you might look surprised when you first see them because you’re not used to them, you definitely end up falling in love with them.
The blobfish is quite easily the ugliest fish in the world. Actually, after a second look, it might be the ugliest creature, ever, in the entire world. Like, I really, really hope that the blobfish has a nice personality. It can be found in the deep sea of Tasmania and Australia. Blobfish are actually endangered, but not because people are hunting them or killing them, it’s because they easily get trapped in trolling nets, which is just really sad.
14 Bergamasco Shepherd
This pupper originated in the Italian Alps and Bergamo. It was bred to be a herding dog, but this doggo looks more like it should be hanging out with the buddies. This dog has the kind of dreadlocks that people can only dream of. The best part about having a dog like this is that you have a buddy who will help you do the work of herding sheep, you get a cute dog to play with, and you have a living mop! Just get it wet and pour some soap on the floor and let him go!
13 Venezuelan Poodle Moth
Unsurprisingly based on the name, you'll be able to find this fluffy guy in Venezuela. This species of moth was only discovered in 2009, which has some people speculating that it is, in fact, a newly created species. It looks so fluffy that you would just want to cuddle it. But seeing as it's a moth and not actually that big, your cuddles would probably just mean squashing for the moth. So let this be a public service announcement: do not cuddle the poodle moths. It will only result in most certain squishing.
12 Pygmy Marmoset
This tiny little creature can be found in the rainforests of South America. It is the smallest of the monkey family. It only weighs 100 grams. It's seriously small. Like, it's going to fit in your hand. I cannot express enough how tiny this creature is. And now look at it again knowing how small it is. It just got a thousand times cuter, didn't it? It's just a matter of fact. Tiny things are automatically that much cuter than non-tiny things.
11 African Civet
Africa, Somalia, and Ethiopia are all home to the African Civet. These civets are most known for the powerful musk that is secreted from their glands, which is basically the last thing in the world that anyone wants to be known for. It's almost as bad as being known as that guy who wears way too much cologne to parties. FYI, do not be that guy. It kind of looks like an otter, a leopard, and a raccoon had a love baby.
10 Dumbo Octopus
They live off the coast of California, Oregon, New Zealand, and the Philippines. If you didn't guess it (and shame on you if you didn't), they're named off the adorable baby elephant in that Disney movie. They're small, usually only 8 inches in length, and unfortunately only live for around 5 years. You can tell the difference between male and females from the length of their sucker, which is not a sentence I thought I would ever say. Males have a longer sucker than females do.
9 Madagascar Sucker-Footed Bat
This is a creature that was literally named after its appearance. The Madagascar Sucker-footed bat comes from Madagascar, which I'm sure was a big shocker for you. Now for the "sucker-footed" part of the name, these bats actually have these little suction cup things on their wrists and ankles. They also have giant ears, which is all the better to hear you with, my dear. But I do have to say that no matter how weird bats look, I still secretly think that they are cute. Look at that face.
8 Frill-Necked Lizard
I don't know about anyone else, but this totally reminds me of those dinosaurs that spit that venom in the Jurassic Park movies. Those things were scary. This lizard actually is known by a couple of names, including the frilled dragon, which sounds absolutely absurd. I can't help but picture a giant, fire-breathing dragon with lace ruffles around its neck. Although maybe a frilled dragon is a cooler sounding name than a frill-neck lizard. Either way, this fancy lizard is located in Australia and New Guinea.
This is a forest creature that can be found in America and Southern Asia. They use their tiny trunk to grip things, much like an elephant. It can also use that odd trunk of theirs as a snorkel when they move through water, which is really cool. It looks like mutt mix of several kinds of animals, including a pig, an anteater, and an elephant, but it's none of those things. I don't know about you, but to me, this animals looks like it would be the helpful best friend in a Disney movie.
6 Australian Peacock Spider
The Australian Peacock spider lives in Australia. The males have bright colors on this flap. When it's mating time and they're trying to get a lady friend to notice them, they put their colorful flaps on display and jump around, doing flips. I feel like humans are really missing out on this aspect of the animal kingdom. Tinder has ruined dating for us. Don't message me with cheesy pickup lines and photos I don't want to see, wear something colorful and start doing tricks to win my affection.
The name so nice you say it twice, except, not really. This strange looking creature looks like it got in a fight with its finger and a light socket. It's giant eyes also make it look like it's in a permanent state of surprise. It would be the perfect kind of friend to throw a surprise birthday for, because no matter how many people spoiled the surprise, you would still think you pulled it off successfully. This lemur is found in Madagascar in the rainforests.
4 Pinocchio Frog
This amphibian has told one too many tall tales in its lifetime. The frog was discovered in Indonesia in 2008. It's distinguished by its long and pointy nose. It also goes by the name of spike-nosed tree frog by those who have had life strip them of their imagination. Although I suppose that the name Pinocchio is probably problematic for those tree frogs who want to get away from the whole "liar" stereotype that the name brings.
Tardigrades are a micro-animal that live in the water and were first discovered in Japan. These only measure in at 0.5mm. They have eight legs and their faces look more akin to a science fiction space suit, than an actual face. They're known as mighty little things because they can withstand the most extreme conditions. In fact, if it gets way too hot and dry out, it can get to a "lifeless" state where it looks dead, and can last there for years, while it waits for dry conditions to change. Then they'll just come back to full life.
The Babirusa are rainforest dwellers in Indonesia. They're also known as pig-deer because of their resemblance to a pig with antlers growing out of its snout. The babies look pretty darn cute, but as it ages the tusks start growing and curling upwards. It might be just me, but doesn't it look like those tusks might just keep growing and curling and could poke its eye! This seems like a real hazard and although I'm sure that those tusks are very useful, I can't help but think that they must also be a pain.
1 Red-lipped Batfish
Once again we have creative geniuses coming up with these names. This fish lives over 30.5 meters deep in the ocean, which they are only able to do because of their compressed bodies. They, as their incredibly literal name indicates, are shaped much like a bat and have very prominent lips that look like half a tube of lipstick was applied to them. They feed on other small fish and shrimps. You can usually find them off the Galapagos Islands and close to Peru.