13 Strange Animals That Make Earth Look Like a Different Planet
You think you know almost all animal species that exist on our planet? Well, think again.
Statistics show that there are 1,367,555 identified, non-insect animals, and they are only one percent of all animals that have ever lived. In fact, countless animal species haven’t been discovered yet.
So, the answer to the question is no; you don’t know even half of the animals that live on the planet.
While there are some animals which take your breath away with their beauty, there are others which will catch your attention with their weird, and creepy appearance that will give you the impression as you’re on a different planet.
Here are some of the strangest animals from around the world.
You won’t see this solitary mammal during the day as it’s probably sleeping somewhere in trees and burrows.
Pangolins are nocturnal animals which are similar to scaly anteaters, being covered with scales made of the same protein that forms human hair and fingernails – keratin.
They eat mostly insect larva and insects. You might be surprised, but they are the most illegally-trafficked animal on the planet.
2. Hummingbird Hawk Moth
The name of this moth comes from its incredible resemblance to a hummingbird. Hummingbird hawk moths thrive in summer temperatures, so you can see them anywhere from Japan to Portugal.
Their nose, or proboscis, is long which enables them to collect nectar. So, you can see them hovering over flowers while humming like their namesake.
3. Star-Nosed Mole
The strangest thing about this mole is its nose in the shape of a star. But, its nose is the most sensitive of all animals, as it has more than 25,000 mechanoreceptors.
The star-nosed mole can thank its super sensitive nose which helps him for hunting, as it’s nearly blind.
4. Glaucus Atlanticus
The blue dragon, blue gaucus, or glaucus atlanticus is one of the coolest creatures you can ever see. It’s a 3cm-long type of mollusk which floats upside-down on the surface of oceans most of the time.
The blue dragon protects itself from underwater and aerial predators with “countershading” – a unique type of camouflage. They eat jellyfish, even the poisonous Man-O’-War.
What this animal does is storing the poison from the Man-O’-War jellyfish within itself, releasing it whenever it needs to defend from predators. Pretty smart, right?
5. Mantis Shrimp
This glorious looking animal is one of the deadliest undersea creatures. They use their raptorial appendages to catch and kill prey.
What’s more, their limbs can reach up to 23m/s, which means they can move so quickly the water around them boils causing an undersea shockwave.
So, even if they don’t catch the prey, this undersea shockwave will kill it. On the bright side, they have the most impressive color vision, with 16 color-receptive cones.
To understand this better, people have only 3 color-receptive cones which enable us to see numerous colors. So, imagine how a mantis shrimp sees a rainbow. It probably sees it as a thermonuclear bomb of light, color, and beauty.
Mantis shrimps are pretty awesome animals which can’t be kept in an aquarium as they will kill any other creature that lives in the tank. Plus, they can break the aquarium glass.
6. Racoon Dog
This animal is neither a dog, neither a raccoon. It’s part of the candid family which includes wolves, dogs, and foxes. Japanese have associated this animal with luck and magical folklore, and they call it Tanuki.
Unlike dogs, raccoon dogs don’t bark or wag their tails. However, they do have an incredible sense to sniff food.
7. Panda Ant
The panda ant is not an ant, and clearly not a panda. It’s actually part of the wasp family. Female panda ants don’t have wings, but all of them have extremely painful stings which can knock out even the largest animal, hence the name “cow killers.”
8. Goblin Shark
This creature may look disgusting and frightening, but it is harmless to people. Some think that’s because it lives in extreme depths, and others because they are slow.
The lineage they belong to dates back over 125 million years, so they are one weird prehistoric animal.
9. Thorny Dragon
This lizard has an appendage on the back of its neck which serves as a “false head” when it’s attacked by a predator. What it does is hiding its real head between its forelegs, leaving the false one on the place where the real head should be.
The thorny dragon may look super-stylish with its spiky ridges, but they have another more useful purpose. They help gather rainwater which is then transferred to the lizard’s mouth. Their only food is ants.
10. Red-Lipped Batfish
The first impression when you see this creature is as if it wears lipstick. But, the red lips of this batfish serve to attract mates. In fact, male red-lipped batfish have brighter lips than female. An interesting fact about this sea creature is that it can’t swim.
That’s right, they may spend their entire lives in the ocean but they spend it walking with their fins on the ocean floor.
11. Variable Neon Slug
This colorful sea slug can reach up to 120mm in length. You can see the variable neon slug in the waters of the Indo-West Pacific. The slimy mucus they release is full of toxins which helps them to catch prey, as well as to protect themselves from predators.
These long-necked antelopes live in a small region of Eastern Africa. In fact, their name means giraffe-necked in the Somali language.
Their head is smaller than average for the size of their body, and they eat while standing on two hind legs. Gerenuk is one of the rarest animal species in the world.
Does this fish look like a Pokemon to you? Well, this salamander is also known as walking fish as it has four legs. It can reach up to 30 cm length and eats worms, snails, and small fish. It may be rare in the wild, but it can live up to 20 years. Would you keep axolotl as a pet in a tank?
Have you seen some of these weird animals, and what is the strangest creature you have ever seen?