It is easy for humanity living in its little bubble of self-importance to assume that there is very little in the world that would shock it. However, if one were to pay attention to all of the incredible things that the world has to offer, one would be stunned by the variety of fauna that this planet contains.
There are many creatures out there that you would be amazed to see. They range from curiosities to comical oddities as well as the odd horrifying monstrosity, but each and every one of the creatures included in this list will make you rub your eyes in amazement and disbelief as you try to understand how such amazing creatures could actually be possible.
Prepare to be amazed at the immense variety this world has to offer!
15 The Axolotl
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="620"] Via: mentalfloss.com[/caption]
The axolotl looks like something out of a cartoon. It is possibly what the works of Pixar might look like after a decade or two of advancing their animation technology! However, this animal is most certainly real, although people do tend to do a double take whenever they see it for the first time.
The axolotl is essentially a salamander, and is native to Mexico and its outlying regions. Its odd appearance is probably the result of an evolutionary defense mechanism. Its bland and featureless face would allow the Axolotl to camouflage itself quite easily, allowing it to escape the prowling eyes of some of its predators.
Conversely, its neutral expression may come from its isolation from other types of salamanders. A limited gene pool would mean that the axolotl was unable to diversify its outer appearance on a genetic level, leading to every member of the species having the same, rather meme-worthy, face.
14 Zeus the Great Dane
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="636"] Via: metro.co.uk[/caption]
A Great Dane is an excellent dog. It’s friendly and loyal to a fault, and it does not display the territorial aggression of a lot of other dogs, which makes it safe to leave around children. A great number of people own this breed and enjoy its presence, with the vast majority of pet owners seeing no significant difference between Great Danes and other dogs.
However, Zeus the Great Dane is the exception to the rule, and is a rather big exception at that. Towering at 44 inches tall on four legs, this Great Dane is tall enough to almost see an average-sized human eye to eye. Sadly, Zeus passed away two years ago at the age of five from natural causes.
13 The Helicoprion
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="900"] Via: karencarr.com[/caption]
Well, we cheated, kinda. This animal used to exist, but it's so exciting that we couldn't help but share it with you.
The world used to be a very different place not too long ago, and the animals of that time reflect this fact. Over three hundred million years ago, in the Permian Era, the Helicoprion swam the seas. It was one of the many sharks that populated the ocean during that era, but it is singular in its appearance for one reason: the shape of its lower jaw.
The Helicoprion’s lower jaw was shaped like a spiral, with its teeth jutting out. This made the lower half of this shark’s mouth look like an actual saw!
It is unknown why the Helicoprion possessed such an odd bodily feature. Perhaps it had a very specific prey that has not yet been discovered, or perhaps it used this jaw for reasons other than eating. Whatever the case may be, the Helicoprion remains the only vertebrate mammal to have such an odd jaw formation.
12 The Pink Fairy Armadillo
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="660"] Via: wired.com[/caption]
When one thinks of an armadillo, one does not imagine them to be very cuddly. After all, an armadillo is usually covered in a hard protective shell, and when we think of something cuddly, we tend to think of animals that have fur on their skin.
However, what if there was such a thing as a furry armadillo? This is not a joke—there actually is something like that and it’s called the pink fairy armadillo. This animal has a hard shell just like any other armadillo, but the rest of its body is furry and fuzzy, which makes it look very cute indeed!
These animals were starting to become fairly popular pets for the rich until government restrictions were put into place in order to preserve the population. If the government had not intervened, there might not have been any of these cute little critters left in the world!
11 The Tufted Deer
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="460"] Via: psu.edu[/caption]
A deer is usually a loveable and gentle creature, and for the most part, so is the Tufted Deer. However, there is one very obvious difference between this deer and other types of deer, and you can probably see it before your very eyes. The Tufted Deer has vampire teeth!
Most people, when faced with their first online glimpse of this animal, search the internet for proof that this is a hoax. After all, how could this not be a hoax? But rest assured, we have done our research and can say without a shadow of a doubt that this vampire-toothed deer is completely real! Though only the male deer possess the fangs.
10 The Maned Wolf
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="480"] Via: factzoo.com[/caption]
Yet again, we see an animal that is almost too weird to be real. Most people assume that photos of this animal are a photoshop job. What else could anyone think when looking at pictures of a wolf with deer legs! Or, would it be fairer to call it a deer with a wolf’s head?
This animal is perhaps nature’s version of a practical joke, because even if you see it in the wild, you are going to start wondering what was in that water you drank just a few moments ago. This animal is completely real, however, and is usually not all that dangerous. Maned wolves are shy creatures. Perhaps, that’s the deer part of their brain showing dominance, and when they see humans coming along, they usually hide. If you see one in the wild, it would be a good idea to just leave it alone.
9 The Naked Mole-Rat
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="992"] Via: abcnews.go.com[/caption]
There are a few creatures on this list that you might just feel sorry for when you look at them. The naked mole-rat is one of these creatures.
When you first look at a naked mole-rat, perhaps the first thing that would go through your mind would be thoughts of just how utterly ugly this creature is. It is called a naked mole-rat because of the fact that it does not have a fur coat unlike pretty much every other species of mole or rat. This gives it a rather unpleasant appearance, particularly due to the fact that its skin often hangs loose and is very wrinkly to boot!
The naked mole-rat might just be singular among all the animals in the world in that even its babies don’t look cute! It’s a good thing these rats are tiny, because they’d be horrifying in a larger size.
8 The Gerenuk
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="642"] Via: awf.org[/caption]
Looking at the gerenuk, one would honestly have a hard time believing that this creature is real. It’s essentially a deer with the neck of a giraffe, and it looks more than a little unnatural. Perhaps the best course of action if you were to see this… majestic (?) beast in the wild would be to back away slowly, because something about it is just genuinely off-putting and disconcerting to the point where even looking at this picture gives me the creeps.
That being said, the gerenuk (awesome name once again) is a harmless herbivore, though why it would need a neck like that is utterly beyond our comprehension.
7 The Babirusa
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600"] Via: nature.org[/caption]
The Babirusa looks a great deal more believable than the Gerenuk, but its name seems to follow the same fantastical tradition as its predecessor on this list. Additionally, "believable" is a relative term because the Babirusa looks utterly weird in every sense of the word.
This animal does not have two tusks; it has four. Two of these are in the traditional location beside the mouth, and it has two additional tusks as well that jut out of its snout. The Babirusa is often hunted as its tusks are valuable, so they are heavily protected. All in all, they're not your ordinary pig.
6 The Star-Nosed Mole
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="590"] Via: animalspot.net[/caption]
The star-nosed mole is like something out of an H. P. Lovecraft novel. The star-nosed mole has the body of a regular mole and the face of… a squid? Except it has the body of a small squid on its face. Or perhaps an octopus.
The point is that the star-nosed mole has tentacles on its face. This is all anyone would need to know in order to understand just how weird this animal really is, but it’s also interesting to note that these tentacles are very sensitive to temperature and atmospheric pressure!
5 The Yeti Crab
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="520"] Via: factzoo.com[/caption]
This yeti crab (Kiwa hirsuta) was discovered just over a decade ago, and although it’s little, it is most certainly not cute OR cuddly. It grows to about half a foot long, but that's not even what's remarkable about this animal. What is truly remarkable is its claws, which grow bacteria and are covered in fur.
Its fur, or fur-like substance rather, is very creepy to look at, and even grosser to touch. The crab grows this hair as the result of a temperature stabilization technique that is the result of evolution, but that doesn’t make it any better. When you look at this crab, you get the creeps. Some people actually enjoy eating crab, but I’m sure that none of them would want to eat this thing.
4 The Blobfish
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] Via: mnn.com[/caption]
The blobfish, much like the naked mole-rat, is another one of those animals on this list that you just feel sorry for when you look at them. The blobfish is aptly named, because it literally looks like nothing more than a gelatinous blob. However, shocking as this may be, that’s not the most unnerving thing about this fish.
The blobfish, and there’s no easy way to put this in any way, has a face. Sure, all animals have faces, but the face of the blobfish is something else. Its gormless expression seems to indicate distaste to pretty much everything it looks at, or perhaps, it's just annoyed by the fact that it was born as a literal blob.
3 Superb Bird-of-Paradise
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800"] Via: amazingstuff.co.uk[/caption]
Someone was truly excited about this bird when they were thinking of a name for this creature. But when you get a look at it, you will understand why it has such a fancy name. The Super Bird-of-Paradise is a gorgeous creature that looks like something out of a science fiction movie. It’s glorious plumage is arranged in such a way that when it flares its feathers, it will look like an actual face, and one that is right in the center of the uncanny valley.
This feature probably developed in order to allow the bird to stay safe from predators, but this does not change the fact that it is utterly awesome. The bird is often hunted for its beautiful plumage as a number of rich people would very much like to keep it as a pet, and this is resulting in it becoming endangered in most of its natural habitats.
2 The Japanese Spider Crab
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="470"] Via: thenaturegeek.blogspot.com[/caption]
A lot of the creatures included in this list have been unnerving, but none of them have been outright scary. Well, to fill that void, even though no one asked for it, here comes the Japanese spider crab!
This utter monstrosity is an enormous crab. An enormous SPIDER crab. In that, it is a very large crab that looks like a spider. If you have, by this point, tossed your laptop/smartphone out of your window, I do not blame you.
Don’t worry, the Japanese spider crab does not eat humans (as far as we know) and is actually pretty safe to be around. This does not, of course, change the fact that this monstrous beast is utterly horrifying to look at, and if you ever see it in real life, I wouldn’t be surprised if you throw logic and fact out the window and run for your life.
1 Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450"] Via: ourbreathingplanet.com[/caption]
This awkward-looking beast is mostly on this list because it looks like it does not know how to manage its own body. Cantor’s giant softshell turtle doesn’t really seem like much of a turtle, owing to the fact that it does not really have the rock hard shell that we commonly associate with that particular reptile. The only thing that makes it similar to a regular turtle is its slow gait.
Additionally, its heads seems to poke out of its body in a rather awkward way. Cantor’s giant softshell turtle is obviously not dangerous, although you could probably tell that by looking at the thing. The turtle is clearly not dangerous to anyone, except maybe itself. How this animal gets around is an utter mystery, but if it has managed to survived up to this point, maybe it has an ace up its sleeve that we do not yet know about!