The most bizarre animals on our planet

NatureUnited Kingdom

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Our world is a crazy place. It's inhabited by creatures that never cease to surprise, shock and inspire us. Here's our list of the good, the bad and the ugly of planet Earth.

Axolotl - Mexico

Axolotl - Mexico
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Despite Axolotl being sometimes called a 'walking fish' it is not a fish at all, but rather a type of Mexican Mole Salamander that doesn't grow up. Unlike regular salamanders the Axolotl does not undergo complete metamorphoses when it reaches adulthood and instead keeps its guiles and remains fully aquatic. Axolotl are the subject of much scientific research thanks to their incredible ability of regenerating themselves when injured.

Babirusa - Indonesia

Babirusa - Indonesia
©Jit Pin Lim/123RF

The Babirusa is a pig with a difference - that difference being two intimidating looking tusks. The tusks are so big in fact that the babirusa has to file them thus preventing them penetrating its skull! They also have complex, two-chambered stomachs, which are much more similar to those of sheep rather than other pigs.

Aye-Aye - Madagascar

Aye-Aye - Madagascar
© Konstantin Kalishko/123RF

The Aye-Aye is a wiry-looking bald lemur that looks a bit like a distressed baby; this creature looks pretty well at home on our weird animals list. Found in the forests of Madagascar, it is the world's largest nocturnal primate, and possesses an especially narrow middle finger, which it uses to tap on trees to find grubs, before gnawing holes in the wood and using the same finger to pull out its tasty meal.

Shoebill - East Africa

Shoebill - East Africa
©bee32/123RF

Also known as the whalehead, the Shoebill is related to storks and can grow to a height of 1m. It spends long periods of time standing as still as a statue, and is attracted to deoxygenated waters where fish will often surface for air.

Komondor - Hungary

Komondor - Hungary
© evdoha/123RF

This great dreadlocked dog has the heaviest fur out of all of its canine friends. Komondors have been brought to Europe by the Cumans with its first official mention coming from a 16th century Hungarian codex. The komondor is so beloved in its adoptive homeland that it has been declared a Hungarian national treasure, which protects it from being crossbred with any other species.

Soft Shell Turtle

Let's be honest this Chinese white turtle looks a bit like a plucked turkey. It's characterized by its creamy color, offset with suggestions of pink, and is very much celebrated - or rather derided - in Chinese culture. In the classic tale Journey to the West, a character is transformed into one as punishment for his evil ways.

The Yeti Lobster

Also known as the 'yeti crab,' or Kiwa hirsute, this crustacean is covered with silky blonde fur that sets it apart from its relatives. It was first discovered only in 2005, living in hydrothermal vents. Its 'hairy' pincers contain bacteria which scientists have speculated could possibly be used to neutralize toxic materials in the vents where the creature lives.

Seapig - Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans

A scotoplane, or seapig as it's more colloquially known, is a type of sea cucumber that moves around the sea floor with the help of tentacles that cover its face. They're a bit like living vacuum cleaners, and enjoy hoovering up decaying flesh, whether it be whales, crabs or other seapigs.

Star-nosed mole - North America

Look this tunneling mammal in the face and you might have the impression of looking at some kind of tentacled crustacean. In reality these are not tentacles but rather a set of feelers that it uses to navigate. The feelers, which incidentally have more than 100,000 nerve endings, also help this mole hunt; by tapping them against the ground it can locate its prey faster.

Blobfish - Australia

This unfortunate creature had the misfortune to be declared the world's ugliest animal by the Ugly Animal Conservation Society. Although to be fair we can see why they made that call. They owe their appearances to their natural habitat which is located deep on the ocean floor. Due to the depth the pressure is incredibly high, however that poses no problem to the blob fish because of its rather unfortunate form. They also have very little muscle which is due to a fairly relaxed lifestyle of sitting on the ocean floor and eating anything that floats past.

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Chris Sargent
Posted on 11/10/2017 Modified on 12/10/2017
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