Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.
What Are Some of the Weirdest Animals?
The world is a big place that is filled with a lot of animals, and not all are as cute as others. Some animals can only be described as "weird," looking like randomized creations on a monster-making video game, while others simply look like the crossbreed of two animals that could not, or should not, have bred.
If like me, you have a soft spot in your heart for the guy left out, then you're going to enjoy this list of ten weird animals from around the world. So sit back and get ready to see some weird animals. In this article, I'll be covering these 10 extraordinarily strange creatures:
- Maned Wolf
- Tufted Deer
- Patagonian Mara
- Star-Nosed Mole
- Superb Bird of Paradise
- Red-lipped Batfish
- Goblin Shark
- Blue Glaucus
1. Maned Wolf
What makes the maned wolf so weird is its long legs. In fact, the maned wolf is the tallest of all the wild canids in the world. This is likely an evolutionary trait to adapt to the tall grasslands of Brazil, its natural homeland. The maned wolf's fur is the same color as a red fox, and like the fox is thought to have the potential of being a chicken thief.
Maned wolves are omnivorous and eat a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and small mammals such as rodents and rabbits. One staple of their diet is the lobeira berry, which makes up about 50% of their total diet. Interestingly, these wolves do not travel in packs but live in monogamous pairs. The maned wolf is not of any threat to humans but it is still not advised to keep them as pets.
2. Tufted Deer
The tufted deer is quite possibly the scariest looking deer, ever. When looking at this animal, the first thing you notice is the pair of vampire-like fangs protruding from both sides of its mouth. Although it's sometimes difficult to tell because of the fur on its head, the tufted deer has small horns on the top of its head that it uses for headbutting in self-defense.
The tufted deer is mainly found throughout mainland China all the way to Tibet and northeastern Burma (Myanmar). They are somewhat shy during the day and become more active at night. They dislike humans so much, that ones that experience regular contact with us often die far sooner due to stress.
3. Patagonian Mara
Patagonian maras can easily be identified by their long ears and long limbs, making them look like a jackrabbit crossed with a donkey. These little guys are herbivorous and known to inhabit parts of Argentina and Patagonia.
What makes these rodents so weird is their unique way of mating. They remain in monogamous pairs throughout life but often sleep in warrens with several other pairs where they give birth. They will keep the offspring in the warren and pairs will come in and out in shifts to attend to young, with the majority of males acting as sentries at the entry of the warren.
4. Star-Nosed Mole
I'm going to start off by saying I hate these things. They are ugly, weird, ugly and uglier. They just freak me out in ways I can't describe in words. The weirdest thing about this little creature is the 22 disgusting little fleshy tentacles at the end of its hideous little snout. In total, these tentacles have over 25,000 tiny sensory receptors, that are referred to as "Eimer’s organs."
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Interestingly enough, not only are these tentacles used to figure out if what it's touching is edible, but they can also detect seismic wave vibrations. It has been said that it only takes the star-nosed mole 8 milliseconds to decide whether or not something is edible. Other than its weird little face, this monster has scaled feet and an extra thick tail used to store extra fat for the winter months.
5. Superb Bird of Paradise
A superb bird of paradise looks like a small crow with an iridescent green crown and a small blue-green, eclipse-shaped breast shield. Furthermore, they have feathers on their back that are long and velvety. These interesting-looking birds are found primarily across central and eastern New Guinea.
Video of a Superb Bird of Paradise Mating Dance
What makes them so weird is what happens when they see a member of the opposite sex. The male will stick up all the feathers around its head like an umbrella creating a kind of black-hole-looking shape in the middle of the jungle, and then it will dance. Watching this bird in action is something that will leave you scratching your head.
The Blobfish is a deep-sea fish that I would imagine is the last tier of the reincarnation chain because it is one sad-looking creature. This fish looks like it was once a human that underwent a tragic scientific accident turning it into a pile of yuck. This mushy face of a fish lives in the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and New Zealand, at depths of 2,000 to 3,900 feet.
In 2013, the blobfish was voted the world's ugliest animal because of the way it looks when it's out of the water. In the movie Men In Black 3, it was suggested to be from outer space, which is very believable.
Maybe I'm being too hard on the blobfish though. It seems the popular conception of this fish as being fat, bulging, and covered in slime is at least partially due to what's known as decompression damage. This damage occurs when they are brought to the surface from the extreme depths in which they live.
7. Red-lipped Batfish
The Red-Lipped Batfish is another ugly aquatic animal that looks like it was one of nature's cruel jokes. This fish has a mix between a light-brown and greyish color on its back, with a solid shade of white on its belly. One thing that makes this fish so weird is that its lips are an extremely bright shade of red.
Another unusual thing about this creature is the way it moves. Rather than swimming, this fish chooses to walk around on the floor of the ocean with its fins. It looks a lot like an underwater bat wearing lipstick. You can find these fish in the waters of the Pacific Ocean around Peru, where they stroll about eating primarily other small fish and little crustaceans.
8. Goblin Shark
The goblin shark looks like a swordfish that has some sort of alien eating its way out of its face, hence the name. These fish have been lurking around the dark parts of the ocean for millions of years, making them one of the few 'living fossils' on the planet. They are considered the last member of an ancient lineage dating back some 125 million years.
They have pale pink skin because they never come up high enough in the water to be touched by sunlight. Its bizarre snout is covered with electroreceptors (known as 'ampullae of Lorenzini') that allow it to sense its prey's electric fields. Its jaws also extend when feeding. In short, this is one creepy prehistoric animal you would never want to find swimming around in your pool.
9. Blue Glaucus
The blue glaucus looks like a tiny water dragon, which is awesome, but this unusual creature is actually just a blue pelagic sea slug. Rather than swimming around, these little guys float upside down in the water and drift around with the waves like a dragon might soar through the sky carried by the wind.
Their blue coloring provides them with camouflage from predators, allowing them to blend in with the water. These little dragon wannabes do pack a powerful sting, so it's best not to touch one.
Believe it or not, the blue glaucus actually gets its venom from its main source of food, which is the Portuguese man o’ war. It stores up stinging nematocysts that the man o' war produces and uses them later for an even more intense sting than a man o' war can produce.
Narwhals are what you get when you mix a unicorn with a whale. These massive animals are able to grow up to 18 feet in size and have extremely long spikes protruding from the center of their heads. These horn-like extremities may look like a deadly weapon but they are just the opposite.
The tusk is actually used to 'taste' the concentrations of different chemicals in the water allowing them to track food and other narwhals who are ready to mate. These underwater mystical creatures are found mainly in the Arctic Ocean around Russia.
Narwhals spend their winters under the ice in the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait, sometimes for five-month stretches. They breathe through cracks in the ice. Another amazing fact about this bizarre animal is that it sometimes performs dives of up to 1.5 miles deep.
Narwhal Song and Animation
Sources and Further Reading
- Maned wolf | Smithsonian's National Zoo
The largest canid in South America, the maned wolf looks like a fox, is called a wolf and is closely related to neither. Maned wolves primarily eat small animals, fruits and vegetables.
- Western Tufted Deer Fact Sheet | RacineZoo.org
- Tufted deer | Wikipedia
- Patagonian mara | Smithsonian's National Zoo
Patagonian maras are long-legged rodents with bodies similar to hoofed animals. They have long ears and short tails, which, along with their larger size, set Patagonian maras apart from other species within the family Caviidae.
- Star-nosed Mole | Three Rivers LandTrust
One species that is so unique in appearance that if you spot one, there will be no question that is what you’ve found, is the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata). Their nostrils are ringed by 22 rays, or fleshy tentacles.
- The Complete Guide to the Blobfish | BBC Science Focus Magazine
Strange, secretive and an internet sensation: find out why the blobfish is captivating scientists and social media audiences alike.
- Red-lipped Batfish | Galapagos Conservation Trust
A bizarre creature endemic to the reefs surrounding Galapagos, the Red-lipped Batfish walks instead of swims and looks as though it is wearing lipstick.
- Blue Glaucus | Oceana
Also known as the blue dragon, sea swallow or blue angel, the blue glaucus is a species of brightly colored sea slug (nudibranch), and can be found throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans in temperate and tropical waters.
- Narwhal - Species | WWF
Often dubbed the unicorns of the sea, narwhals have long tusks protruding from their heads. Learn about narwhals, as well as the threats this species faces, what WWF is doing to protect its future, and how you can help.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Ricky Rodson
SoCute92 on July 09, 2019:
Am I weird for wanting a Tufted Deer as a pet?
GatorDon'tPlay on July 09, 2019:
I spend a lot of time looking up strange but wonderful animals online. This list contains a lot of interesting animals I've never heard of. Way To Go.
Ricky Rodson (author) on September 22, 2015:
looks like alien ate the predator lol
peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 22, 2015:
I vote the Goblin Shark the worst looking creature on earth, it looks like alien vs predator under water