Mother Nature is absolutely incredible. The vastly impressive amount of plants, insects, and animals is astounding. In fact, it’s hard to wrap your head around just how many species of animals there really are on this incredible planet.
According to Science Daily, there are approximately 8.7 million different animal species on Earth – 6.5 million on land and 2.2 million in oceans.
With so many creatures wandering this planet, it’s impossible to know about or to have seen them all. In fact, in reality, you probably only know a fraction of them!
Here are 20 animal species that are so strange they seem fake.
Nature is so cool.
1. Barreleye Fish
View this post on Instagram
Ever seen this fish before??? 🐟🐠🐟 This exotic creature is called the Barreleye fish and unlike most fish, this little guy’s eyes face the exact same direction… giving it amazing binocular vision down below in those pitch black parts of the ocean! Keep your eyes on the prize today and just keep swimming! 🌊🌊🌊 🎥 : unknown 🔱 Follow @sallyzseashore for more! ⛓ ⛓ ⛓ ⛓ ⚓️ #fish #fishes #exotic #transparent #downbelow #pitchblack #black #binocular #rare #prize #eyes #brain #barreleye #justkeepswimming #waves #vision #ocean #swim #swimming #head #clear #weird #unknown #facts #themoreyouknow #Eye #weird #marine #aquatic
Barreleyes are also known as ‘spook fish,’ and you can see why! They’re quite scary looking with their transparent heads. They can be found in the deep tropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
This startled-looking creature is called an Aye-Aye – a long-fingered type of lemur that is the largest nocturnal primate. These crazy critters can be found on the lemur-filled island of Madagascar. They have perpetually-growing front teeth and a long, thin middle finger to help forage food.
3. Venezuelan Poodle Moth
The Venezuelan Poodle Moth is a fuzzy species of moth that was only discovered in 2009! It gets its name from its unique physical appearance being a cross between a moth and a poodle.
4. Mata Mata Turtle
This bizarre-looking turtle lives in South America in the fresh waters of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. Its strange flat head, triangle head, and shell are made to be camouflaged as bark. The Mata Mata turtle can weigh up to 30 pounds!
The Shoebill is also known as a whalehead or a whale-headed stork. These strange birds live in the swamps of Africa and produce a very loud and unique sound. They’re known to eat fish, turtles, and even young crocodiles.
Known as the national animal of Pakistan, the markhor is also known as the screw horn or screw-horned goat. This interesting animal lives in the woodlands of Central Asia and the Western Himalayas. They can weigh nearly 250 pounds!
7. Glaucus Atlanticus
Believe it or not – this brightly-colored critter is actually a type of sea slug! They are also known as a sea swallow, blue angel, or dragon slug. They get around by floating upside down using the surface tension of the water to stay up. Then, they are carried by ocean currents.
8. Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Living on the island of Madagascar, the lowland streaked tenrec resembles a cross between a hedgehog and a shrew. The tiny little creature has an average length of about 5.5 inches and weighs around 7 ounces. According to Animalia, “The streaked tenrec is the only mammal species, practicing stridulation – this is when an animal rubs together parts of its body to give out sound.”
9. Philippine Flying Lemur
This animal is actually neither a lemur nor can it fly. It’s actually a type of colugo and it glides as it leaps gracefully between trees. You can find these ‘flying lemurs’ in the Philippines, as well as in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
10. Saiga Antelope
This critically endangered species can be found in the semi-desert grasslands of Central Asia. The unusual antelope has a distinctive large, bulbous nose that is thought to filter out dust in the summers. “Saiga herds once numbered in their millions, but the global population has declined rapidly to just thousands,” says Fauna-Flora.
11. Dumbo Octopus
Looking like an adorable little cartoon character, the Dumbo Octopus is the deepest-living genus of all known octopuses. The largest one ever found was 5 feet 10 inches long! Unlike most octopods, they do not have an ink sac as they do not need it for a defense mechanism – the waters in which they live are so deep, there are little to no predators.
12. Honduran White Bat
Also known as the Caribbean white tent-making bat, this species was founded in the late 19th century. They live in the lowland rainforests of eastern Honduras, northern Nicaragua, eastern Costa Rica, and western Panama. “They live in rainforests that have heliconia plants. By cutting along the veins of heliconia leaves, these bats force the leaves to collapse into upside-down V-shaped “tents” that might shelter only one bat or as many as twelve bats,” says Rainforest Alliance.
13. Umbonia Spinosa
View this post on Instagram
Umbonia Spinosa #lovely #pets #pet #animals #animal #animalkingdom #animalsofinstagram #animallove #animalselfie #animallover #animalplanet #animalsofthisplanet #endangered #endangeredanimals #rareanimals #photography #photo #pic #focus #hd #hdphoto #adorableanimals #cuteanimals #mammals #mammal #babyanimals #babyanimal #umboniaspinosa
Native to South America, these alien-looking bugs are also called thorn bugs and can be found also in Central America, Mexico, and even southern Florida. They are thought to be closely related to the cicada.
A fossa is a cat-like mammal that is native to Madagascar. Although it’s not a cat, it’s actually most closely related to the mongoose! They can grow up to 6-feet long and weigh up to 26 pounds.
15. Irrawaddy Dolphin
These adorable dolphins live in a 118-mile stretch of Mekong River between Cambodia and Laos. Sadly, the Irrawaddy dolphin is on the brink of extinction, with only 92 of them left in existence. “The Irrawaddy dolphin is also regarded as a sacred animal by both Khmer and Lao people,” says the WWF.
17. Long-beaked Echidna
This long-nose, funny-looking creature lays eggs (like a platypus) that incubate and hatch in a pouch (like a marsupial)! They do not produce milk from breasts for their babies, but instead, they secrete milk from glands. They can be found in New Guinea’s very remote and rugged mountains.
18. Bald Uakari
These sweet South American primates are known for their very distinctive bright right faces and bald heads. They also have a thick, long coat! They live in the forests near the Amazon River in Brazil and Peru.
19. Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko
This very camouflaged gecko is native to the island of Madagascar and looks very much like a leaf! The males will sometimes have notches in their tails to resemble a decaying leaf. You’ll find them in a variety of colors including brown, purple, yellow, and orange.
20. Pink Fairy Armadillo
Pink Fairy Armadillos are absolutely fascinating creatures! These burrowing, nocturnal animals can only be found in Central Argentina and live in the grasslands. It’s the smallest of armadillos and averages around 5 inches long, weighing around a quarter pound.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.