15 Bizarre Animals You Didn’t Know Existed

You might think your cat is a little…weird. And you’re probably right. Yes, she might spazz out at every little thing. Yes, she twitches her tail funny when she’s eating. And yes, she can erupt into a fit for no apparent reason at times.

But your cat isn’t the strangest animal on the planet. Now, these 15 animals…they just might be the most bizarre animals of all. Take a look.

1. Star Nosed Mole

Image via Flickr by gordonramsaysubmissions
Image via Flickr by gordonramsaysubmissions

Was evolution drunk when it created the star nosed mole? It looks more like a tiny alien out of a really bad science fiction movie than anything, but it is real. Featuring 22 tentacles, these fleshy oddities are used by the mole to identify its food. The moles are found in wet lowlands of North America and eat worms, mollusks, and aquatic insects.

2. Pink Fairy Armadillo

Image via Flickr by TED Conference
Image via Flickr by TED Conference

I imagine this is what it would look like to see a guinea pig in an armadillo costume, but this guy is the real deal. The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest species of armadillo and is found in Argentina, where it can easily adjust to Argentina’s changing temperatures. The armadillos eat mostly ants and larva they find by digging in the dirt. Unfortunately, they are both very hard to come by and very difficult to raise in captivity, so there hasn’t been much research done on the species.

3. Blobfish

blob fish
Image via Flickr by James Joel

It looks like a sculpture of a grumpy old man, doesn’t it? Wrong again. It’s actually a fish! This guy inhabits the deep sea near Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. They’re called blobfish because…well…they’re just blobs. These fish are mainly a gelatinous mass that floats above the ocean floor and eats whatever is floating in the water. They don’t do much swimming.

4. Tarsier

Image via Flickr by Stefan Munder
Image via Flickr by Stefan Munder

This little guy has eyes as big as his brain, each measuring in around 16 mm. He’s a primate that lives in islands across Southeast Asia, although fossil records show that tarsiers once lived in other areas around the globe. Due to their long legs, these little guys are very good climbers and leapers.

5. Christmas Tree Worm

Christmas Tree Worm
Image via Flickr by LAZSLO ILYES

This is the Christmas tree worm. It’s a tube-building sea creature found in areas all throughout the earth’s tropical oceans. They get their name for their spirals, which look a lot like Christmas trees. The feather-like tentacles situated along each spiral trap food that eventually makes its way to the worm’s mouth.

6. Emperor Tamarin

Image via Flickr by Kevin Barrett
Image via Flickr by Kevin Barrett

You might call this guy the “mustache monkey,” but he got his name as the emperor tamarin from his apparent resemblance to emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. He lives in parts of the Amazon and eats fruits and flowers.

7. Patagonian Mara

Image via Flickr by M Kuhn
Image via Flickr by M Kuhn

I’m not sure which description is more accurate. Should we call this guy a small version of the antelope or some type of really large rodent? Or did they somehow crossbreed along the way? While crossbreeding certainly wasn’t the case, evolution did bring us the Patagonian Mara, which is in fact a large rodent. This animal is found in parts of Argentina, particularly the Patagonia region.

8. Saddleback Caterpillar

Image via Flickr by Lisa Brown
Image via Flickr by Lisa Brown

This strange little guy is a dangerous caterpillar with venomous spines. He’s most commonly found in eastern parts of the United States but can adapt to various temperatures. Despite this bizarre larval stage, the caterpillar grows up to become a relatively normal moth.

9. Thorn Bug

Image via Flickr by Andreas Kay
Image via Flickr by Andreas Kay

No, that’s not a festive hat on that insect’s head. It’s just Umbonia Spinosa, more commonly known as the thorn bug. They’re considered pests because they suck up tree sap and lay their eggs in the tree, often destroying it. They tend to be about a half inch in size but can vary in color.

10. Okapi

Image via Flickr by ecololo
Image via Flickr by ecololo

Is this some form of mutated zebra? Nope. It’s the okapi, sometimes called a forest zebra or zebra giraffe. This animal is native to parts of the Dominican Republic, particularly the Ituri Rainforest. While it looks somewhat like a zebra with its stripes, the okapi is a closer relative of the giraffe.

11. Saiga Antelope

Image via Flickr by Darwin Initiative
Image via Flickr by Darwin Initiative

When evolution drew straws, it looks like the saiga antelope go the short one. It’s odd nose (which looks a bit like a blunt elephant trunk if you ask me) comes in handy while migrating since it helps filter out dust. Today, the species is only found in a corner of Russia and is considered highly endangered.

12. Short-Beaked Echidnas

Image via Flickr by William Pitcher
Image via Flickr by William Pitcher

Not only does this animal look odd enough to appear as a close relative to the porcupine, but when you look at other parts of this fascinating creature, you find that it really is one-of-a-kind. Most notably, it’s one of the most genetically unique animals alive. This is a mammal that lays eggs!

13. Dugong

Image via Flickr by Hug Cirici
Image via Flickr by Hug Cirici

The dugong looks a lot like a manatee, or sea cow, only it has an odd mouth that allows it to eat off of the sea floor. (The dugong is actually a relative of the manatee.) It is a marine mammal found in areas of the Pacific Ocean all the way to the eastern coast of Africa. It is the only marine mammal that is a strict herbivore (or vegetarian).

14. Dumbo Octopus

Image via Flickr by NOAA Ocean Explorer
Image via Flickr by NOAA Ocean Explorer

The dumbo octopus gets its name from its fin-like structures that look like ears. This classification of octopus encompasses several species, so each creature may vary in size, color, and appearance. Nevertheless, all 37 species have the fun-looking ears and an umbrella-like tentacle structure.

15. Narwhal

Image via Flickr by yasa_
Image via Flickr by yasa_

Whether you’ve heard of narwhals or not, we thought they deserved a spot on this list. Often called “unicorns of the sea,” the narwhal has a large tusk that originates from its canine tooth. The animal lives in arctic waters near Russia, Canada, and Greenland. It is most closely related to the beluga whale.

 

No matter if you’ve heard of these creatures before or not, let us know which ones you think are the most bizarre in the comment section. Know of other odd creatures? Feel free to share those ideas as well.

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Written by Alicia Rades

Alicia Rades is a professional blogger and writer for hire who loves exploring new and exciting topics. Visit her at aliciarades.com to download her free blogging guide, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hitting Publish.

One Comment

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  1. The pink fairy armadillo gets my vote for the strangest. I have read that the blob fish has been voted the ugliest creature by some, but I think he’s kind of cute, actually. Isn’t Mother Nature great? Love science, evolution and how our Creator wanted to keep us entertained…

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