20 Strangest Looking Animals You Never Knew Existed


1False zokor

False zokor

The False zokor (Myospalax aspalax) is a species of rodents that are found in China and Russia. It leads to a very secretive life, spending all of its time underground where it zipps through its intricate maze-like burrows. For this reason, very little is known about its behavior. It’s about 19-26 cm in length with a gray/dirty cream velvety coat. It's not blind but relies more on its well-developed senses of smell and hearing to navigate its dark habitat. The zokor is built to dig with large claws (up to 3 cm in length) that it uses much like shovels to clear a path in the dirt.

2Lake Titicaca water frog

Lake Titicaca water frog

The Lake Titicaca water frog is the largest truly aquatic frog in the world. It has a broad, flattened head with a round snout and large eyes. The most distinctive feature of the Titicaca water frog is the extremely loose skin which hangs from its neck, legs, and stomach, giving it a rather ugly appearance.

3Lowland streaked tenrec

Lowland streaked tenrec

With their spiky bristles between their fur and distinct black and yellowish stripes, the lowland streaked tenrec mostly resembles a cross between a hedgehog and an oversized bee. Its appearance is even more unusual because of the spiky yellow bristles around their head but gives them great camouflage while foraging on the forest floor. When a predator is foolish enough to go for the tenrec, it will be sure it gets a mouthful of spiky spines that detach from the tenrec's body. Interestingly, these little mammals have such a low body temperature that they do not require a scrotum to cool their sperm, as is very common in mammals.

4Miniature Melo

Miniature Melo

Miniature Melo is actually a species of bubble snail which looks like something that fell from the heavens and landed in the ocean. The oval bubble-shaped shell is thin and fragile and is actually too small to contain the soft body of the snail. Therefore, the colorful snail has to rely on swimming and camouflage to avoid being eaten. It does have one other trick up its sleeve though… the Miniature Melo eats small little (we must be talking really little) toxic worms and incorporates the poison into their tissues as a defense mechanism. It only grows to be about 1/2 an inch in length.

5Panda Ant

Panda Ant

The Panda Ant an unusual species of insect. Their name derives from the obvious resemblance to a panda in its markings. This remarkable insect is not even an ant. The Panda Ant is actually a variety of wingless wasp. They were first discovered in 1938. Very little is known of this little-seen insect. They are only known to exist in coastal regions of Chile. Their sting is exceptionally powerful for their size. They have been seen to bring down animals as large as cows with only a few dozen stings.

6Patagonian Maras

Patagonian Maras

Patagonian Maras may look more like giant rabbits or small deer, but they are rodents. They are endemic to the open grasslands and shrubland steppes of Argentina. They have small, compressed feet that make them resemble hooves from a distance, and longer ears resembling those of a rabbit.

7Picasso Bug

Picasso Bug

The Picasso Bug is one of the approximately 450 known species of shield-backed bug. They are a medium-sized species of shield-backed bug. They are generally oval shaped. Though sometimes mistaken for a beetle, the Picasso Bug is actually a true bug. This dazzlingly patterned insect is distinguished from beetles by their extended thorax. This effectively forms a shield over their abdomen and wings. They feed on the nectar and fluids of a wide variety of plants within their endemic range.

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8Red Gurnards

Red Gurnards

The Red Gurnards are distinctive looking fish, with big heads and large side fins that look like wings. They have a firm white flesh that holds together well in cooking, so they are well suited to soups and stews. Gurnards are often caught in British waters as a bycatch and discarded, but are becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable choice of fish.

9Malayan colugo

Malayan colugo

The Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), also known as the Malayan flying lemur or Malayan colugo, is a species of colugo. It was thought to be one of only two species of flying lemur, the other being the Philippine flying lemur which is found only in the Philippines. The Sunda flying lemur is found throughout Southeast Asia. The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly. Instead, it glides as it leaps among trees. It is strictly arboreal (living in or among trees), is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits.

10Thysanostoma Jellyfish

Thysanostoma Jellyfish

Thysanostoma Jellyfish has a dome-shaped bell with fine purple lining and purple fringes at the bottom of the bell. Its tentacles are also purple and can be withdrawn, or extruded, measuring up to half a meter long. It can be found in the Red Sea, on the Eastern coast of Africa to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Fiji. There is no information on habitat or depth ranges other than it was seen several times on shallow reefs. It has been measured up to 60cm in length (with extruded tentacles). Sightings have been reported from East Africa to Fiji, but it is not a common species of jellyfish.


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