With more than 70% of our oceans yet to be explored, there is no doubt that scientists will come across thousands of new species. However, it might come as a surprise that there are species of animals that look totally bizarre or alien-like but are in fact from our very own planet. These weirdest animals are sure to make you take a second look.
Sunfish, or Mola Mola, looks like a prehistoric shark without a tail. They can weigh up to a whopping 5,000 pounds, and can reach around 10 feet in length. To put things in perspective, the average pickup truck is only 4,000 pounds. This makes them the world’s largest bony fish. Scientists have documented more than 50 species of parasites that thrive on and inside the Mola Mola.
2. Hummingbird Hawk-Moth
The hummingbird hawk-moth looks like a scarier version of the humming bird and are most frequently found in August. Just like the hummingbird, the hummingbird moth’s buzzing and humming sound is created by its rapid wing movement. They have a rapid wingbeat up to 70 beats per second, allowing them to fly up to 12 mph.
3. Pacu Fish
The pacu fish is a relative of the piranhas and is an invasive species. They are known for their teeth, which bear an eerie resemblance to human teeth. Despite their kinship with piranhas, and their creepy teeth, pacus primarily eat plants and are considered mostly harmless to people.
4. Bush Viper
The spiny bush vipers are small snakes that can reach 18 to 23.6 inches in length. They live up in the trees of the tropical forests of Africa, and are nocturnal. They are excellent climbers and are known to spend most of its day, basking in the sun on the upper part of the flowering bushy plants. They are also ambush predators and contain strong venom. So, if you see one, stay away!
The axolotl, or the Mexican walking fish, is a type of salamander known as neotenic. The species was originally found in lakes such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City and are one of the most interesting animals alive today. This species is of great interest to scientists because they are able to readily regenerate limbs throughout their lives.
The dugong, like all sea cows, is herbivorous. It spends most of its time in sea grass beds grazing on sea grasses. They can live for up to 70 years, grow to a maximum length of 13 feet (4 m) long and weight of 595 pounds (270 kg). They are referred to as sea cows because they use their strong, cleft upper lips to graze on sea grasses.
7. Spider Crab
The giant spider crab is the largest known species of crab that can live up to 100 years. Their armored exoskeletons help protect them from larger predators such as octopi, but they also utilize camouflage. They are also known to adorn their shells with sponges and other things to blend themselves into the rocky ocean floor.
8. Brookesia Micra
Unlike other chameleons, this tiny reptile wins the award for being the smallest, at about an inch long. It’s only been found on a small island off the coast of Madagascar, where it lives in leaf litter on the forest floor. Unlike larger chameleons, the Brookesia Micra uses its little tail for stability.
9. Dendrobates Tinctorius “Azureus” and Dendrobates Leucomelas
The poison dart frog might look pretty and come in a range of bright colors but they aren’t just for show. The colorful designs are in fact warning signs to remind other animals that they should stay clear. They are found in the rain forests of Central and South America and are extremely toxic.
The Jaguarundi is a small wild cat and is often described as having a weasel-like appearance. Sometimes referred to as the ‘otter-cat’, the Jaguarundi is closely related to the puma. They are very elusive animals and there is still a lot to be learnt about the cats.