Top 10 Surreal Looking Animals That Really Exist

Top 10 Surreal Looking Animals That Really Exist

Surrounded by beautiful and surreal creatures, planet Earth is an incredible place. The fascinating looking creatures roam both our oceans and lands, yet we rarely see them. Mystified by the beauty of mother nature and the animals that look like they are something out of a science fiction movie, we have gathered a list of surreal animals that really exist. Some of the animals who roam the deep seas and the deep corners of our forests will make you fall in love with nature once again, while others will make you understand how little we know about our planet.

1. Glaucus atlanticus or the blue dragon

Glaucus Atlanticus, surreal, animals, life, facts, nature, Earth
Image: Sylke Rohrlach/Wikimedia

The Glaucus atlanticus or the blue dragon is one of the most surreal looking creatures in the ocean. When they first washed up on the beaches of Australia, locals were amazed by the sheer beauty of a tiny creature that resembled a dragon. Also known as blue angels and sea swallows, they are technically called Glaucus atlanticus, and grow no longer than an inch. They are usually found in warm ocean currents and feed on jellyfish. Although tiny, they are extremely dangerous and biologists report that after feeding on poisonous jellyfish, the little creature is capable of concentrating that poison and unleash a sting more powerful than the jellyfish. (source)

2. Leaf-tailed gecko

Leaf-tailed gecko, facts, animals, surreal, life, people, Earth
Image: Rod Waddington/Wikimedia

Uroplatus phantasticus or the Leaf-tailed Gecko was first discovered in 1888, in Mantadia-Zahamena corridor of Madagascar. The odd yet surreal looking creature is a rare lizard species and is also the smallest of 12 species of bizarre looking Leaf-tailed geckos. These nocturnal animals are known for their long, flat tail, which resembles a leaf. The scientific name of this species, phantasticus, is Latin for “imaginary”, and naturalist George Albert Boulenger described the lizards as “mythical creatures”. Scientists have an extremely hard time studying the critters since they have the ability to perfectly blend in with their surroundings. (source)

3. Blue lobster

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Image: David Clode

Every now and then, fishermen around the world have been lucky enough to catch a blue lobster. Scientists estimate that the chances of a lobster being blue is one in 2 million. The bright-blue coloration is due to a genetic abnormality that causes them to produce more of a certain protein than others. The pigment, called astaxanthin, is an antioxidant and changes the color depending on how it’s contorted. When lobsters are fed a completely different diet that deprives them of astaxanthin, scientists noticed that the lobsters turned white. (source)

4. Goblin shark

Goblin shark, deep sea, nature, Earth, facts, life, people, science
Image: Dianne Bray/Wikimedia

Mitsukurina owstoni, a.k.a. the goblin shark, is one of the scariest looking sharks that roam the deep sea. The fish that resembles a prehistoric creature is not the world’s fastest, biggest or the most powerful shark. Not much is known about the mysterious looking creature since they are usually found at depths of 900 to 4300 feet. Younger goblin sharks sometimes venture close to the surface but adults usually prefer the deep sea. They have relatively small eyes, compared to other sharks but scientists believe that they rely on other senses rather than their eyes since they live most of their lives in total darkness. (source)

5. Bunny Harvestman

Bunny Harvestman, Metagryne bicolumnata, Opiliones, animal, surreal, facts, nature, Earth
Image: Andreas Kay

In 2017, in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, scientist Andreas Kay discovered an arachnid with a black bunny head. While some say its resemblance is closer to a black wolf than a bunny, despite its cute appearance, it’s a spider. The surreal creature is known as a bunny harvestman or Metagryne bicolumnata, a type of arachnid better known as daddy longlegs. Although scientists aren’t sure as to why the spider evolved to have such characteristics on its body, they do have some theories. According to one popular theory, the unique body shape makes the creature appear bigger and more fearsome to potential predators. (source)

6. Fennec fox

Fennec fox, animals, life, people, weird, nature
Image: Anass/Orest

Among the fox species, the Fennec fox stands out. Native to the Sahara Desert of northern Africa, the species is uniquely adapted for the harsh desert life. Despite its small size, weighing just 1.5 to 3.5 pounds and standing only 8 inches tall, they are capable of jumping 2 feet high and 4 feet forward. They are also extremely fast in the wild, making them difficult for predators to catch. Their big ears also play a key role in their survival, as they are capable of pinpointing sounds to the exact location of insects, rodents, reptiles and other animals. The large ears also allows the Fennec fox to dissipate heat and keep cool in the desert.. (source)

7. Basking shark

Basking shark, sea, animals, life, people, facts, nature, Earth
Image: yohancha

The basking shark is the second largest shark in the world. Despite its size and the impressive mouth that it possesses, they are kind to humans. One of the most impressive features of the basking shark is its mouth, which opens up to 1 meter wide. The basking shark is also one of the only three sharks that eat plankton. With the help of its gigantic mouth, the shark sucks water in and filters the plankton. The animals are also extremely social and are known to travel in pairs or groups. For over two centuries, humans have been taking advantage of their friendliness, causing their population to steadily decline. Today, the species is on the most vulnerable list and many organizations are working towards reviving the numbers. (source)

8. Rainbow Squirrel or Malabar giant squirrel

Malabar giant squirrel, facts, life, people, weird, nature, Earth
Image: Rison/Vinod

The Malabar giant squirrel, also known as an Indian giant squirrel, looks very different from the squirrels we’re used to seeing in North America. They’re larger than the other squirrel species and have colorful fur. Scientists have observed the Malabar giant squirrel to have black, brown and orange, as well as maroon and purple colored fur. According to Koprowski, professor and associate director at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, the fur helps them survive in the wild by camouflaging them in the dense patchy forest. (source)

9. Scaleless blackfish

Scaleless blackfish, volcano, Australia, nature, Earth, facts
Image: CSIRO

In 2015, a CSIRO research team conducting surveys off the Australian coast discovered the species. Researchers were mapping the sea floor in their new ocean explorer, RV Investigator, when they discovered the creature lurking next to an underwater volcano. According to chief scientist for the voyage, UNSW marine biologist professor Iain Suthers, “We had thought fish only developed in coastal estuaries, and that once larvae were swept out to sea, that was end of them. But in fact, these eddies are nursery grounds for commercial fisheries along the east coast of Australia”. The scaleless fish is extremely small but also possesses fangs. (source)

10. Okapi

Okapi, nature, Earth, facts, life, people, animals, surreal
Image: Flickr

The okapi is an unusual looking animal that has white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs. It looks like it’s closely related to the zebra, but it is actually the only living relative of the giraffe. Like a giraffe, the okapi has very large, upright ears, that help them distinguish sounds and the direction they are coming from. Although they are rarely spotted in the wild, they are found in the Ituri Forest, a dense rain forest in central Africa.. Until the 1900’s, scientists were unaware of the animal and today, it is estimated that there are currently about 25,000 okapis in the wild. (source)

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