The diversity of the animal world never ceases to amaze us. From peculiar looking-birds to deep-sea monsters, here are 10 weird animals from all over the world that you probably haven’t seen before!
1. Shoebill stork
This bird lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps. Its name comes from the shoe-shaped beak, which is its most prominent feature and the reason why I included it in the list of weir animals. Although this species is a symbol dating back to Ancient Egypt, the first live specimens arrived in Europe around 1850.
The Shoebill Stork can reach up to 152 cm (60 in) in height, and the males can weigh up to 7 kg (15.4 lb), so it’s one of the largest birds. The storks are solitary animals, easily startled by humans, so they prefer to keep their distance. These animals usually feed with fishes, frogs, and snakes.
2. Goblin Shark
I know this sounds made up, but I promise you this is a real animal. The Goblin Shark reams the depths, meaning up to 270–960 m (890–3,150 ft) under the sea level and even deeper. The Goblin Sharks can measure up to 3 to 4 meters (10 and 13 ft); specimens have been found in all the major oceans. The most recent sighting took place in 2014, in Sri Lanka, when a fisherman caught a Goblin Shark 4 ft (1.2 m) long.
As you can see, these animals look like a thing out of nightmares, with their long snout and large mouth. The Goblin Shark preys upon fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Scientists believe that Goblin Sharks can live up to 60 years, but no specimen has survived in captivity for longer than a few weeks. Since this species poses no threat to humans, it’s better to be left alone.
If you want to know more about what creatures lurk in the deep sea, check out this article!
3. Komodo Dragon
This is my favorite entry in this list of weird animals. Although it looks pretty ordinary compared to the others, its apex predator status makes the Komodo Dragon stand out.
The Komodo Dragons inhabit a few Indonesian islands, such as the Komodo islands, where the dragons live just outside human villages. The Dragon is the largest lizard species, reaching up to 3 meters (100 feet) and 70 kilograms (150 lbs). Its diet consists of deer, birds, small mammals, and dead carcasses. Komodo Dragon occasionally attacks humans, too, sometimes killing them. Scientists have long believed that the Komodo Dragons have toxic saliva which paralyzes the prey, which proved to be wrong.
4. Sunda Colugo
This flying lemur lives throughout Southeast Asia. Despite its name, it can’t actually fly; it glides down the trees, where it spends most of its life. These animals are nocturnal and herbivores. The cute and weird thing about them is that they sleep throughout the day with all their four legs clinging to the tree trunk. Isn’t that a lovely image?
5. Venezuelan Poodle Moth
Look at this fuzzy moth. Look at it and tell me you don’t suddenly feel better. It’s so cute you can’t resist it.
This species was photographed in Venezuela in 2009 by Dr. Arthur Anker. We don’t know much about the Poodle Moth, but who needs words to describe the mini version of the Mighty Mothra?
Nicknamed the Mexican walking fish, the Axolotl is an amphibian who remains aquatic their entire life. What’s interesting about them is that they can regenerate their severed limbs and organs, making them an essential asset in research. Due to the damage to their natural habitat, these animals became an endangered species. As a result, many live and breed in captivity.
7. Japanese Spider Crab
These weird animals are not for the faint of heart. As the name suggests, they are a mix between a crustacean and an arachnid. The marine crab has a leg span that can reach up to 3.7 meters (12.1 ft) from claw to claw. If they ever decide to replace Godzilla, they can choose the Japanese Spider Crab as their next radioactive giant. They are omnivores, consuming both plant matter and (dead) animals.
Crowley, my favorite Good Omens character, said this memorable line: ‘Still a demon? What else am I going to be, an Aardvark?’ Due to its SF-sounding name, it never crossed my mind that he spoke about a real animal. But lo and behold, the aardvark is real!
Native to Africa, the aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal. His diet consists of and termites, which he digs up at night using his claws and legs. These animals usually live in burrows, and their name means “earth pig” in Afrikaans. Mystery solved!
The Narwhal is a whale species whose peculiarity is that the males have a large “tusk”; think of a water unicorn, and that’s basically it. These animals roam the Canadian, Greenlandic and Russian waters, migrating from bays into the ocean every summer. The Narwhal is a predator which can live up to 50 years.
The long tusk is, in fact, an upper canine tooth that protrudes through the lip. It can reach a length of about 1.5 to 3.1 m (4.9 to 10.2 ft). Recent research revealed that the tusk is highly sensitive, serving as a way to explore the environment, connecting stimuli with the brain.
This fellow looks like he’s been partying too much. That’s what the nocturnal lifestyle does to you. Yes, I included the Aye-aye on the list of weird animals only because of its looks.
All jokes aside, the Aye-Aye is the worlds’ largest nocturnal primate. Its feeding method resembles the woodpecker: it pulls out larvae from inside the bark using his elongated middle finger (pun intended?). Native to Madagascar, this animals’ diet is omnivorous, consuming seeds, fruits, nectar, and fungi.