Whether they live in the tops of rain forest trees or the depths of the ocean, Earth’s creatures come in all shapes and sizes. But for every normal-looking animal, there are some so bizarre they’re hard to put into words.
From the ocean’s giant tailless sunfish to the Pokémon-looking lowland streaked tenrec, the world is full of amazingly strange creatures. Get ready; there are some animals on this list that don’t look like they live on this planet.
Aye-Aye Looks Like Something Out Of Goosebumps
Yes, we realize this animal looks like something out of a Goosebumps movie. But, no, it is not fake or a puppet. This strange-looking animal is actually called an aye-aye, and it is a long-fingered lemur native to Madagascar, primarily living in the tree canopies.
These creatures are technically part of the primate family and are considered to be the world’s largest nocturnal primate. We’re not sure about you, but we wouldn’t want to see those yellow eyes staring at us in the middle of the night!
Sunfish Look Like Floating Fish Heads
We’re not sure about you, but if we were scuba diving and this gigantic fish swam up next to us, we’re not sure what we would do! This prehistoric-looking animal is actually called a mola mola, or sunfish.
They are deepwater fish that are characterized by their flat body, tiny fins, and lack of a normal tail. Pretty much, they look like strange fish heads. They are also known to be the heaviest bony fish in the entire world, weighing upwards to 2,000 pounds!
The Sacs On Greater Sage-Grouse Males Are Used For Mating
This strange-looking bird is called the greater sage-grouse, or, more typically, a sagehen. These animals wouldn’t look quite so alien, if not for the two air sacs located on the chest of each male.
The good news is that these sacs actually serve a purpose. They produce a popping sound which males use to attract potential female mates. These yellow gular sacs only inflate during mating rituals.
The Japanese Spider Crab Is A Huge No No
The Japanese spider crab is the textbook definition of the word “nope.” This marine species is native to the waters surrounding Japan, so we don’t recommend swimming there unless you want to come into contact with this up to almost 12-foot creepy crab!
Yup, these marine creatures have the longest leg-span of any other living arthropod in the world. Unfortunately for these crabs, their numbers are dwindling due to overfishing and their status as a delicacy.
Pink River Dolphin’s Are Nothing Like Flipper
Pink river dolphins are no Flipper, that’s for sure! For one, their cervical vertebrae aren’t connected, allowing them to turn their heads a solid 90 degrees, horrifying. But when you’re native to the Amazon, we guess you have to have some strange characteristics!
Aside from the owl-like head rotation, this species is known for its pink-tinged skin and its long thin bill that has 25 to 28 pairs of teeth running down each jaw.
Mouse? Rabbit? T-Rex? Nope, It’s A Jerboa
It’s hard to believe that this bizarre creature actually lives in the world, but it does. With the long ears of a rabbit, the body of a mouse, and the arms and legs of a t-rex, this creature is the Jerboa, a creature native to Arabia, Asia, and Northern Africa.
The Jerboa is nocturnal, typically seen scurrying around at night. And when we say scurrying, we mean this animal can actually run up to 15 mph.
The Axolotl Is Known As The “Walking Fish”
While these animals look like tadpoles that never fully matured into frogs, they’re actually something else altogether. Known as the “walking fish,” these amphibious creatures are axolotl, a type of aquatic salamander.
Unlike others of its kind, the axolotl never fully metamorphizes. In simple terms, these walking fish grow legs but never take to land because they never form lungs, keeping their gills into adulthood. Unfortunately, due to water pollution, these creatures are critically endangered.
The Purple Nose Frog Is Aptly Nicknamed The Pig-Nosed Frog
This slimy and squishy looking guy is the purple frog, also known as the pig-nosed frog. With its beady eyes, tiny head, pointed snout, and large body, it is arguably one of the stranger-looking frogs on the planet.
Native to India, this particular species is endangered for many different reasons: the adult frogs are used in medicines, the tadpoles are actually eaten, and the frogs are used as a type of amulet to help children conquer their fear of storms.
The Blue Dragon Is Unworldly Looking
Perhaps one of the most unworldly looking sea creatures is the blue dragon, aka the floating sea slug. Unlike other marine animals, the blue dragon floats upside down, being carried along by the winds and currents of the water.
Don’t let their striking blue color and crazy-looking extremities fool you, though. This otherworldly looking slug hides stinging cells within its tissue to ward off predators, including humans! Their sting is potentially very dangerous, so its best to steer clear.
Pink Fairy Armadillos Look Like They’re Wearing Back Armor
Although this creature looks like something more suited for the fictional story of Snow White, the Pink Fairy Armadillo is very much real. Unlike your typical armadillo, the pink fairies have body armor covering the length of their back, their forehead, and nose, while the rest of their body is covered in yellowish fur.
Of course, one of their other defining features is their large feet and claws, both of which help them tunnel underneath the deserts of Argentina.
The Helmeted Hornbill Looks Fake
While this creature looks more like an animatronic bird on the set of a bad jungle movie, it’s actually the helmeted hornbill. A completely real and warm-blooded animal that is not full of electronic equipment.
The unique part of these animals is the large growth or casque located at the top of the beak. As a fun fact, the Punan Bah people of Malaysia believe this bird is the guardian of the river between life and death.
Ctenophore Are Larger Than They Appear
From far away, the beautiful bioluminescent ctenophore jellyfish doesn’t look all that intimidating. Well, that is until you see the long tentacles that help the jelly swim. More commonly known as comb jellies, these creatures are the largest known to swim with the help of long cilia.
Because of the long cilia, adult comb jellies can grow to four feet and 11 inches in size! Yea, we’re going to stick with looking at these bad boys from the safety of an aquarium.
The Heikegani Crab Looks Like It Has A Face On Its Shell
Don’t worry, if you see a face that closely resembles a Samurai mask on the shell of this crab, you’re not going crazy. The Heikegani crab is thought to hold the souls of the Japanese Heike clan, hence the angry face.
Native to Japan, it is widely believed that these specific crabs are the reincarnation of Heike warriors who bravely fought and died at the Battle of Dan-no-ura, a major sea battle during the Genpei War.
Lowland Streaked Tenrecs Just Want To Be Porcupines
Now, this little guy might look like a Pokémon, porcupine, or a field mouse that woke up on the wrong side of the barn. But it’s actually an animal called a lowland streaked tenrec. Native to the island of Madagascar, this prickly creature enjoys splashing around in shallow waters and digging tunnels underground.
As you probably guessed, the quills are to protect the small five-inch-long creature from unwanted predators that roam around the same habitat.
Saiga Antelope Heads Look Photoshopped
We can’t be the only one who thinks the head of the saiga antelope looks like it was swapped out with something closely resembling an aardvark. Alas, this is just the reality for this strange-looking antelope.
While the Asian plains used to have herds of this species roaming free, recent years have not been kind to the saiga antelope. Due to various factors such as over-hunting and global warming, these creatures are critically endangered.
The Guianan Cock-Of-The-Rock Has A Vibrant Mohawk
With its bright orange plumage, covered up mouth, and stylish mohawk, the Guianan cock-of-the-rock looks like its more ready for a punk rock concert than every emo kid from the early 2000s.
But one of the most interesting and strange things about this South American bird isn’t the mohawk, but rather what looks like a lack of a beak. It’s like one of those optical illusions where you don’t know which way the bird is facing! Don’t worry, these guys love their fruit, meaning they have a beak.
Hairy Frog…Enough Said
In case you needed something else to contemplate, let us present to you the hairy frog. Yes, this frog does, in fact, have hair growing out of its sides. Why, you might ask? Because nature loves to mess with our heads, that’s why.
And if the hair wasn’t enough to make you question the entire frog species, you’ll love this little tidbit. Male hairy frogs will break their hind legs, snapping the bone, so it pierces the skin. They will use the bone as a weapon in combat!
Hammer-Headed Bats Are Strange Yet Cute
This poor little hammer-headed bat looks like it got stung in the nose multiple times by a swarm of bees! However, this is just the way they look. And that honker is put to good use, too.
Male hammer-headed bats use their enlarged nose to produce, you guessed it, actual honking noises to attack the ladies in the hopes of mating. Still, this poor thing looks very startled and not at all like a bat that has a wing-span of up to three feet.
Weirdly Enough, This Is A Lizard And Not A Snake
Unfortunately for those who don’t necessarily care for slithery and slimy creatures, there is a critter called the Mexican mole lizard. Yes, you read that correctly. This pink animal is actually a lizard, commonly known as the five-toed worm lizard.
Only found around the Baja California peninsula, these worm-like lizards can grow to be a maximum of nine and a half inches, are segmented similarly to earthworms, and only live to be one or two years old.
Ankole-Watusi Bulls Have Massive Wide-Spread Horns
While these bulls might not look strange compared to a lot of other animals on this list, they are still something to behold. Known for their long protruding horns, Ankole-Watusi bulls are a breed native to Africa.
Unlike other horned animals, Ankole-Watusi bull horns are known to be very widespread, instead of directly above their heads, with a large circumference. The Guinness Book of World Records has a bull named CT Woodie coming in as having the largest horn circumference of any Ankole-Watusi, measuring a solid 40.7 inches.
The Tarsier Always Looks Petrified About Life
It’s hard to imagine these little guys are in the primate family, with their pin-pricked pupils and a permanently stunned expression. Native to the islands of Southeast Asia, the Tarsier’s eyes are 0.63 inches in diameter and, in some cases, are bigger than the animal’s brain.
But their eyes aren’t the only large thing on their body. From the top of its head to the bottom of its torso, the tarsier measures around 10 to 15 cm. But, believe it or not, its hind legs can measure up to double that size!
This Psychedelic Frogfish Looks Straight Out Of The 70s
This funky fish looks like it was dropped into the ocean straight out of an aquarium on That 70s Show. It even has the word “psychedelic” in its name! The psychedelic frogfish is a swirl of colors, ranging from orange, white, and even peach tones.
Native to the waters of Indonesia, specifically around Bali and Ambon Island, these fish were rediscovered back in 2008, so they’re somewhat “new” to marine biologists.
Pink Dragon Millipedes Were Discovered In Thailand
You might be familiar with centipedes and millipedes, both of which typically come in a neutral grey, black, or brown color. Well, in 2007, the pink dragon millipede was discovered in a limestone cavern located in the Uthai Thani Province of Thailand.
We’re not sure about you, but we think these insects look like something out of a sci-fi movie, and they’re the key to unlocking some miraculous cure for a zombie infection. But considering they produce hydrogen cyanide to ward off predators, we’re guessing they don’t hold a cure.
Red-Lipped Batfish Put Kylie Jenner To Shame
With full red lips like that, the red-lipped batfish even puts Kylie Jenner’s famous lips to shame! But full lips aside, this particular fish is unique for a completely different reason. Have you ever heard of a fish that doesn’t swim well?
Meet the red-lipped batfish, one of the few fish in the sea that prefers to use its fins to walk along the ocean floor instead of swimming. This strange-looking specimen is native to the waters surrounding the Galapogos Islands as well as Peru.
Silkie Chicken Has The Most Luscious Feathers
Does anyone else think this chicken looks like they got out of the shower, brushed out their feathers, and went to town with a blow dryer? It’s really the only explanation we have for the Silkie chickens’ fluffy appearance.
It’ puffy feathers aren’t the only strange thing about this otherworldly chicken, though. Oddly enough, this species of chicken has black skin and bones, as well as five toes on each of its feet. Regular chickens tend to have four toes.
Giant African Land Snail Is A Top 100 invasive Species
If we ever saw one of this gigantic snail roaming around our garden, we’re not entirely sure what we would do. For starters, we would think it time traveled from Jurassic Park or something because no snail should grow to be almost three inches in height and eight inches in length.
Oh wait, the giant African slug is just that! And surprise, this particular snail is a huge issue in agricultural areas and is listed as one of the top 100 invasive species in the world.
Eastern Long-Necked Turtle Looks Like A Baby Snake
Unfortunately, for the portion of the human race that doesn’t care for snakes, there is also this freaky-looking creature. And before you start to talk yourself into thinking it is a snake coming out of an egg, let us set the record straight.
This bizarre animal is actually an eastern long-necked turtle, and it is known for its snake-like long neck. Native to south-eastern Australia, this species has the unfortunate nickname “stinker,” due to the horrid smell it amits when feeling threatened.
Mata Mata Turtle Looks More Like A Torture Tool
While the mata mata turtle looks more like a weird torture device found in a cheesy 80s horror flick, those sharp-looking things coming out of its head are actually just flaps of skin and warty growths. Interestingly, these strange growths compliment the bark-like appearance of the turtle’s shell, making its head look like a fallen leaf.
This particular turtle is freshwater and is native to the Pico Rivera Wetlands in South America, particularly the Orinoco and Amazon basins.
Sri Lanka Frogmouths Got The Short Beak On The Evolutionary Chain
Is it just us, or does the Sri Lanka frogmouth look like a cartoon? We mean, it’s head looks way too big for its body, and then it has this tiny beak and large eyes. Well, we’re here to tell you and ourselves that this bird is not a cartoon and is a living creature.
The color of dried leaves, the frogmouth is actually a nocturnal bird that lives primarily in the wooded areas of Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of south India.
Where this bird’s feathers are lacking in color, its head and eyes make up for in pizzazz. And while the coloring on the hoatzin’s head is quite cool, it also looks a bit reptilian, a trait that’s given the bird the nickname reptile bird.
Native to the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, the hoatzin is notable for having chicks that have claws on their wing digits. Think Dracula bat but with a funky hairdo.