Nature is full of marvels. In many ways it is just miraculous. Be it the vibrant colors we see around or be it the vast flowing oceans; nature seems to leave us speechless every time. There are so many living creatures around us. Scientist and researchers have found over millions of species and the search for new ones is still going on. It is therefore impossible for us to know all about nature. If we talk about animals that co exist with us how many of them do you know? I am sure we know largely only about the animals that we see in zoos and aquariums. But beyond the human reach hundreds of animals have existed and their discovery leaves the mankind simply astonished. Fishes inhabiting the ocean floor where even sun light cannot penetrate was a true moment of shock for mankind which kept on thinking that without sun life cannot exist. These animals with extreme features just leave one word for us and that is “WEIRD”. I too was taken aback when I found about these animals. It just left me with the feeling that we know nothing about our planet. I could not believe that here are such creatures as well on Earth. Here are the 10 weirdest creatures you will come across in the animal kingdom. Most of these animals are not easy to find and therefore it took many years for people to find out about them. I am sure after reading this list you too will say just one thing- yes they are indeed weird.
10. Aye Aye
Aye Aye was once thought to have gone extinct. But in the year 1955 they were found again and are still a threatened species. Aye Aye is similar to a woodpecker with its hunting habits. It has a big middle finger and sharp teeth. When it sets out hunting in the night it looks along the trunk by tapping them. The corresponding echo tells the aye aye of the location of the prey. It then drills hole in the trunk with its sharp teeth and then using its middle finger drags the tiny invertebrates out. It is largely found in Madagascar. Sad thing is that it is killed by the people due to an old believe that it brings bad luck.
9. Yeti crab
Yeti crab is a very unusual species of crabs. It is a very recent entry in the animal kingdom. It was first spotted in the year 2006 at an astonishing depth of 7200 feet and since then has been one of the weirdest crabs. The weirdest thing about it is that it has a lot of hair like or rather silk like outgrowths called setae. These setae are home to a class of bacteria that helps yeti to detox the water that reaches its body as it dwells in hydro thermal vents. It is commonly called a hairy lobster but it is biologically more related to crabs.
This is a Mexican Salamander found in many lakes all over Mexico. The Axolotl is completely aquatic. It has gills and almost no teeth. It mode of obtaining food is suction. One very interesting thing about Axolotl is that it can regenerate almost all its body parts and hence is very valuable for scientists. A sad thing is that Axolotl is at present a critically endangered species due to pollution of water and arrival of new predators. Various new fishes have entered the Mexican waters that consume Axolotl and its eggs.
7. Viper fish
Viper fish is a very deep sea fish and in day time can be found at depths of 5000 feet. It might travel upward during the night. They are considered as one of the most dangerous fishes of the deep sea. It has long sharp upper teeth and a broad hinge like lower jaw. A very peculiar feature of viper fish is the presence of a photophore at the edge of its dorsal spine. It remains completely still in the dark water while waiting for its prey and moves its dorsal spine giving the perception of a moving light which attracts its prey. It is said that viper fish can leave for 30 to 40 years in the wild.
6. Leafy seadragon
This is a truly weird animal as it is next to impossible to locate its presence even when it is right there in front of you. This sea horse or dragon resembles in every way a floating weed. Its tiny body has projections all over it that look like leaves and weeds. One very unique feature is the presence of transparent fins which are almost invisible when it’s moving slowly in the water swaying them. It’s only through its moving eyes that you can differentiate between a leafy sea horse and an actual floating sea weed. Depending upon the location and diet it can also change color.
5. Proboscis monkey
Proboscis monkey is largely found in Asia. It gets its name from the long nose that gives the look of a proboscis. These monkeys are have pink face with an unusually long nose that can grow up to 10 cm and even get below the mouth. The body is shaded the fur on the back being bright while lower body being grey. Another funny feature is the bulging belly resembling a pot belly. Males have noses outgrowing females and it is said that females prefer long noses for mating. This species at present is marked endangered on the IUCN list.
4. Gulper eel
Gulper eel is one of the weirdest fish in the deep sea. It can survive the depths of 10000 feet. It is also called as Pelican eel due to the pouch like lower jaw. It has an unusually huge mouth that is hinged. It allows the eel to swallow meals much larger in size. Another great adaptation is bio luminescence. Its long tail at its end has a photophore that glows and attracts its meal. The glowing light in the dark waters is perfect bait for other fishes. It moves its tail while remaining stationary. It is also called Umbrella mouth eel.
3. Hag fish
Hag fish looks like an eel due to its long slender body but is far different from an eel. It has a long body and some hag fish species can grow up to 4 feet in length. The most outstanding thing about hag fish which is also considered by some as the most disgusting is its ability to secrete slime. Its slime has an astonishing ability to expand on combining with water and can produce 20 liters of gelatin with one secretion. This it uses to free itself from its captors. It ties its slender body in knots that runs all over thus freeing it from its own secretion. Due to the gill blocking ability of this slime hag fish has very few marine predators.
2. Star nosed mole
Star nosed mole is truly a bizarre looking animal. This mole is blind and uses its rose like projection to sense and identify food around. In all there are 22 appendages on this projection having a total of 25000 of highly sensitive receptors. It is said that this mole is the fastest when it comes to eating. It identifies different foods and chooses the edible one in a mere 8 ms. It can sense the seismic waves through these receptors. It has sharp paws that are used for burrowing.
1. Blob fish
Take a look at the picture above. Do you recall where have you seen this? The first time I saw this I immediately said Men in Black 3. It was shown as an alien fish and I believed them. It was only when I read about it I found out that this truly weird animal is actually an Earth fish. Blob fish’s body is simply a skeleton less gelatin like mass. It lives almost at the bottom of the ocean. The gelatin makes it buoyant enough just to keep it naturally floating above the ocean floor. It does not any need direction and eats tiny creatures that come on its way.