There are about 8.7 million species, that we know of anyway, on planet Earth. With so many animals, it’s likely you haven’t kept track of each and every one. We all know about lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), but when you really dig deeper, you might be surprised by the strange animals roaming around out there in the wild. From weird looking amphibians to pokey mammals, the sheer amount of diversity in the animal kingdom is pretty amazing! Curious to see what oddball beasts we found? Here are 25 Bizarre Animals You Didn’t Know Exist.
Okay, maybe some of you know narwhals exist. One did make an appearance in the holiday movie favorite Elf. But perhaps for others of you, the idea of a narwhal existing is totally new. Narwhals are unicorns of the sea. Porpoises with gigantic tusks that look like a giant sword. Crazy enough, no one really knows what it’s for.
The first thing most notice about the gerenuk is its incredibly long neck. It has the longest neck in the gazelle family. A rather shy animal, it’s not very sociable and will usually run away or stand perfectly still if detected.
If you’re wondering if aliens are out there, you might want to look to the seas. The Giant Isopod is so bizarre and alien-like, it’ll probably give you the creeps. A bottom feeder, it crawls around on the ocean floor, seeking food. It becomes so big because of “deep sea gigantism,” a phenomenon where deep-sea creatures grow much larger than similar creatures in the shallow water.
The Pacu Fish
The Pacu Fish, a relative of the piranhas, have human-like teeth, and they’re much closer to home than you think. These fish are an invasive species and were recently found in New Jersey. A myth spread around that they liked to bite human male testicles, but of course, that’s a sack of lies.
The Panda Ant
Speaking of lies, the Panda Ant is neither a panda nor an ant, but a wasp with a very painful sting. It’s been called the “Cow-Killer Ant” as well. Solitary by nature, they can be found in Chile and Argentina.
Photo: 25. NOAA (Public Domain), 24. By Aaron Logan, Lightmatter gerenuk, CC BY 1.0, 23. Laika ac from USA, Laika ac Deep sea creatures (7472073020), CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. Nisamanee wanmoon, ปลาเปคู (Pacu), CC BY-SA 4.0, 21. gailhampshire via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 20. charlene mcbride via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 19. Camilousuga, Umbonia spinosa (Bicho espino), CC BY-SA 4.0, 18. Rein Ketelaars, Red-lipped Bat fish, CC BY-SA 2.0, 17. Imtorn, Glaucus atlant., CC BY-SA 3.0, 16. Ash Bowie, Silkmoth, CC BY-SA 3.0, 15. Frank Vassen, Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Mantadia, Madagascar, CC BY 2.0, 14. Navinder Singh, Saiga tartarica, CC BY-SA 4.0, 13. Bree McGhee via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 12. Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria, Mistukurina owstoni museum victoria – head detail, CC BY 3.0 AU, 11. Karthickbala at ta.wikipedia, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, CC BY-SA 3.0, 10. Raul654, Okapi2, CC BY-SA 3.0, 9. Ba’Gamnan at en.wikipedia, Hummingbird Hawk-moth, CC BY-SA 2.5, 8. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 7. Tobias von Anhalt, Atretochoana eiselti, CC BY-SA 3.0, 6. Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA, Jaguarondi portrait, CC BY-SA 2.0, 5. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 4. Bäras, Thornydevil, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. Nhobgood, Parrotfish turquoisse, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain), 1. Original: cliff1066™, Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) (cropped), CC BY 3.0