We share this planet with millions of amazing creatures. We are familiar with many of them, but there are many others we have never seen. New species are discovered every day, and many go extinct, as well.
The more we know about these strange animals, the better we can protect them. Some of them may look scary, and others are beautiful. We know a lot of about many of them, and some of them are mysterious and rarely seen.
Some of these animals are so good at hiding that they could live in our backyards and we wouldn’t even know it. Some of them live in deserts, forests, or even the deepest parts of the ocean. They are all unique and fascinating in their own ways.
Scientists and photographers have made it possible for us to learn more about these amazing animals. Here are 35 strange animals that you might not have ever seen. You even might not have known some of them existed.
1. Pink Fairy Armadillo
You may have seen a regular armadillo before, but you probably haven’t seen one like this. This species prefers to stay buried in dry dirt. When it rains, they come to the surface. They are the smallest type of armadillo and they have sharp claws that allow them to burrow into the dirt.
Is it a Chupacabra? Is it a baby werewolf? No, it’s an Aye-Aye. This strange animal lives in Madagascar and is related to lemurs. Aye-ayes have large teeth, and their eyes are so big because they are nocturnal and need to see at night. Some people find them cute, and others find them hideous.
3. Maned Wolf
This long-legged and skinny wolf can be found in South America. It’s the largest canine in South America, and it looks a lot like a fox. These wolves aren’t related to foxes, though. They might look scary, but they don’t attack humans. They eat fruits, vegetables, and small animals.
4. Tufted Deer
This deer might look a little scary with those long fangs, but it’s actually harmless. This species lives in China and is a close relative of the muntjac. The numbers are dwindling due to hunting and habitat loss.
5. Dumbo Octopus
This cute little guy is a dumbo octopus. It has large fins that look like elephant ears. These help it get around and are the reason for the name. These octopuses live in warm oceans and eat crustaceans, bivalves, worms, and copepods.
6. Patagonian Mara
This big rodent is exactly that, a big rodent. It is related to capybaras and looks similar to rabbits. These rodents can be found in open and semi-open habitats in Argentina. They eat plants and spend long periods basking in the sun.
7. Naked Mole Rat
You may have heard of naked mole rats, but have you ever seen one? They are blind and completely hairless. They have large sharp teeth and claws. These rats prefer to stay buried underground and eat grubs and other insects.
8. Irrawaddy Dolphin
This dolphin looks like something out of a video game. It’s a rather small dolphin and found in Asia. Most are found along sea coasts and in estuaries and rivers in parts of the Bay of Bengal. They are endangered, and less than 100 are believed to exist.
This animal looks like it has the wrong head for its body. It’s actually supposed to look this way, though. That little head and long neck allow it to eat from tall trees and tight spaces. These animals are found in the Horn of Africa and the drier parts of East Africa.
This animal has a strange name and an even stranger appearance. It’s large and gray and has a round trunk. It can be found in the waters of more than 40 countries and territories throughout the Indo-West Pacific. It’s also a relative of the manatee.
This scary-looking creature is part of the swine family. It lives in Indonesia. The strange appearance allows the swine to eat and defend themselves successfully. The upward-curving canine tusks of the males actually pierce the flesh in the snout.
The lamprey might look like something from a horror movie, but it’s actually a living creature. There are 38 known species of lampreys. Some are carnivorous, and others are not. Many are also parasitic. They have rounds mouths full of tiny teeth.
This critter looks like a cross between a cat and a weasel. It has a cat-like head and a long, skinny body. The fossa lives in Madagascar and is closely related to the mongoose. It is a carnivore that eats rodents and other small mammals.
14. Star-Nosed Mole
The star-nosed mole is rarely seen but very strange looking. It has sharp claws that it uses to claw its way through the dirt and mud. These moles live underground and are completely blind. They eat worms and bugs.
15. Sunda colugo
The sunda colugo is a type of flying lemur. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts, such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits. It is a protected species, and habitat loss has caused the numbers to dwindle.
16. Zebra Duiker
The zebra duiker is a small deer-like creature. It has stripes like a zebra and the body of a deer. However, it’s actually a small antelope. These animals live primarily in Liberia, as well as the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and occasionally Guinea.
17. Yeti Crab
This strange crab is covered in fuzzy white hair. No wonder it’s called the Yeti crab. These crabs are rarely seen because they live in deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. They have only recently been discovered.
18. Superb Bird Of Paradise
This beautiful bird isn’t easily noticed at first, but when it puts on a show, it’s breathtaking. Its features are brightly colored, and the spots look like eyes. The bird can spread its wings to display these spots whenever it feels threatened or wants to attract a mate.
19. Blob Fish
This fish looks like a man that melted on the sidewalk. It has two small eyes and a large nose. It even has a mean smirk on its face. It’s a rather large fish and looks just like a giant blob. These fish are found off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, as well as the waters of New Zealand.
20. Cantor’s Giant Soft Shelled Turtle
Soft-shelled turtles are common, but most are not this big. This is a species of freshwater turtle native to Southeast Asia. These turtles can grow to be 5 feet long and weigh more than 550 pounds. They are often caught by fishermen.
21. Gobi Jerboa
The Gobi jerboa is a small rodent that is found in China and Mongolia. Its natural habitats are temperate grassland and temperate desert. These rodents prefer dry areas with lots of vegetation, so they can hide if needed. They usually breed twice a year.
22. Japanese Spider Crab
If you are afraid of spiders, you might want to look away. This monster is found in Japan. It’s not a spider, though; it’s a species of crab. It can grow to be over 5 feet wide, and it uses its long legs to get around and catch prey.
23. Red-lipped Batfish
This weird fish is found on the Galapagos Islands. Its bright red lips attract prey right to its mouth, so it can eat them. It’s not a particularly good swimmer, so it uses its fins to walk on the bottom of the seabed. It’s creepy looking.
24. Goblin Shark
This thing is the stuff that nightmares are made of. It has large teeth that stick out and are very sharp. It also has a horn that sticks out from its head and a big eye that makes it a cyclops. Luckily, these sharks live in the deeper parts of the sea. Imagine running into this while scuba diving.
25. Panda Ant
This insect is almost cute. It’s an ant, but it’s colored like a panda. These insects are found in Chile and have been known to deliver extremely painful stings. Not all ants of this family are black and white, but the ones that are, get their name because they resemble pandas.
26. Penis Snake
Yes, this is a real animal, and it’s easy to see how it got its name. It looks just like a penis. The penis snake is actually called Atretochoana eiselti. It’s an aquatic snake that lives in the Brazilian rainforest. This would be a very strange creature to encounter.
27. Umbonia Spinose
The Umbonia spinose is a type of treehopper. It lives in South America and has a large horn on its back. It is brightly colored — usually black and yellow but may also be green or red. This insect can be found in Colombia, Venezuela, Dutch Guiana, British Guiana, and Ecuador.
28. Lowland Streaked Tenrec
The lowland streaked tenrec is a small mammal found in Madagascar. These animals live on the floor of the rainforest. They are often found digging underground or splashing around in pools of water to stay cool. Their bright colors help protect them.
29. Hummingbird Hawk Moth
This moth looks just like a hummingbird. It even acts like one. These moths feed on nectar and make a similar humming sound. They memorize the colors of flowers and learn to navigate this way. They are fascinating creatures.
30. Glaucus Atlanticus
The Glaucus Atlanticus is beautiful. It’s a type of sea slug that is found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. The blue color acts as camouflage. Although these slugs are adorable and can be tempting to touch, they can produce a powerful and painful sting.
31. Mantis Shrimp
You probably haven’t seen a shrimp like this before. They are found in tropical and subtropical waters. They spend most of their time burrowed deep in the sand, so not much is known about them. Their bright colors are certainly beautiful.
32. Poodle Moth
This moth is fancy. It has fluffy white hairs all over its body, and it looks like a poodle. It even has big dark eyes that make it seem cute. This moth was discovered in Venezuela in 2009.
33. Pacu Fish
This fish has a mouthful of teeth. The strange thing is, they look like human teeth. This large fish uses them to grind smaller fish and mollusks. Many fishermen worry about being bitten by the Pacu, as it has such a large mouth.
34. Giant Isopod
You have probably never seen anything like this monster. It’s not from a horror movie; it comes from warm waters. It can be found from Georgia to the Caribbean and can grow to be 20 inches long. These crustaceans have tough shells to help protect them, and they eat smaller crustaceans.
35. The Bush Viper
This snake is beautiful but deadly. Its bright colors help it hide from prey and predators. It lives up in the trees of the tropical forests of Africa. This snake does most of its hunting at night and is not often seen by humans.
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