The Ultimate List Of The 66 Weirdest Animals In The World

Nature has always found a way to surprise us. Sometimes we go “aww”, especially when we come across cute and fluffy animals and other times we’re equal parts disgusted and disturbed. Regardless of how they make us react, these weird animals have a purpose in the animal world so they make the most of what they have.

1. Red-lipped batfish

weirdest animals in the world: red-liped batfish

Resident to the Galapagos Islands, this little guy is a mix of “Look at me, I’m glamorous” and “Don’t you dareeee touch me”.

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2. Sunda Colugo

Sunda ColugoThe eyes, the nose, the little round ears, this looks like a cartoon character and we’re here for all of it. For the record, you’re looking at a flying lemur.

3. Lyrebird

Lyrebird

Yeah, sure, this is not what you might have in mind when you’re thinking about weird birds but here’s the catch: it can mimic almost every sound it hears. From chainsaws and drills, when we’re talking about a lyrebird in captivity to prey animals in the wild, there’s no end to what this Houdini can pull out of its hat.

4. Umbonia Spinosa

Umbonia SpinosaThe little South African bug that could! Aka the treehopper or thorn bug native, you gotta hand it to him for being one odd fellow. The dorsal pin? To pierce plants in order to reach the yummy sap. The coloring? To better blend in the environment.

5. Glass Frog

Glass frogPerhaps you might have eyed this transparent Central America frog until now, it’s a frequent mention on weird animals lists and you can easily see why. Come on, what better way to study anatomy than this? Circulatory system? Check. Digestive system? Check.

6. Bombyx Mori Mothweirdest animals in the world: bombyx mori moth

A mix of fluff and angry looks, just like a raging fluffy doggo. It’s an insect that both asks you to come in for a look and to keep your distance.

7. Star-Nosed Mole

star-nosed moleA semiaquatic mole from North America, Fun fact: apparently thai guy is the world’s fastest eater. His diet includes anything from small earthworms and whatever insects he may find in the water to snails, crayfish and fish.

8. Dumbo Octopus

dumbo octopusGuuuuuys, he even got his name from the Disney cartoon! The fact that you could only bump into him at over 13,000 feet below the surface is a huge bummer. Also, his scientific name is even funnier than its looks, Grimpoteuthis.

9. Blobfish

blobfish

No surprise here, of course Australia had to check this guy on the list of indigenous species, it goes just perfect with its reputation of being the continent with the world’s deadliest and creepiest animals.

10. Shoebill

shoebillAn African bird that is usually referred to as the most terrifying bird in the world. Its pet names include “Monsterface” and even “Death Pelican.” #surreal

11. Ghost Shark

ghost shark

It’s like the underwater creatures are doing their best to keep people at bay. The fish itself is scary rough but if you wanna see something really scary, see how its baby looks.

12. Halitrephes Jelly

halitrphes jelly

Appropriately named firework jellyfish, we wouldn’t mind seeing one in its natural habitat, it would make for a surreal view.

13. Panda Ant

weirdest animals in the world: panda ant

It may look adorable but its sting could lead to much pain and quite possibly an allergic reaction so take a picture and leave it be.

14. Pacu Fish

pacu fishYes, we have a fish with almost human teeth. It may be related to piranhas but they’re the “vegetarian” type, all those teeth are just for show. It survives on vegetation, insects and random seeds that end up in the water.

15. Tufted Deer

tufted deerFrom a certain angle you would give it a second glimpse but from the right one you will check your prescription for sure. A deer sporting 1 inch (2.54 cm) fangs is surely not a common sight.

16. Sea Lamprey

weirdest animals in the world: sea lampreyA jawless fish that looks okish until it opens its mouth and you are left with that horror show view. Found in the Northern Hemisphere, you could refer to them as “vampire fish” because that’s what they do, they attach themselves to their prey and feed on it.

17. Dugong

dugong

A marine mammal that you have very few chances of meeting in real life, the dugong is vulnerable to extinction. Descended from land mammals, they’re more closely related to elephants than whales.

18. Blue Parrotfish

blue parrotfish

The fish that was blessed in the teeth department, being the proud owner of no less than 1,000 teeth. However, neither its color or number of teeth are the reason we decided to feature this blue guy. Some blue parrotfishes have the ability to create a transparent mucus cocoon every night before going to bed, as a way to keep predators at bay.

19. Echidnas

echidnas

The male echidna has a bright pink penis with four heads – trust us, you have to google it. There, we said it. The weirdness doesn’t stop here, echidnas looks like it was put together by a child: spines like a hedgehog, a pouch like a kangaroo, a beak like a bird and claws that allow them to dig in order to take cover from predators.

20. Lowland Streaked Tenrec

lowland streaked tenrec

Or how most of us look when we get out of bed after a long night of tossing and turning. Found in Madagascar, we have a feeling this might be a great starting point for a new fun Pokemon.

21. Glaucus Atlanticus

glaucus atlanticusA sea slug or how a lot of tattoos looked in the early and mid 90’s. The kicker? If they eat a poisonous animal they store the poison for their own defensive purposes.

22. Markhor

markhorThe national animal of Pakistan is all shades of cool. You’re looking at a wild goat with drill-like horns, horns that could reach up to 60 inches (160 cm), an inch taller than Kevin Hart.

23. Satanic Leaf-Tailed Gecko

satanic leaf-tailed gecko

A gecko from Madagascar that looks just like its name implies, an angry leaf creature. But the danger ends here, this little guy poses no threat and he knows it, that’s why he relies on having a mad scientist look.

24. Saiga Antelope

An antelope with a built-in air filter, so necessary in the dry open grasslands and semi-arid deserts where it resides. The males have ridged, carrot-shaped horns that unfortunately are very popular with amazon poachers.

25. Japanese Spider Crab

weirdest animals in the world: Japanese spider crab

Here we have the stuff nightmares are made of and it’s all due to its insanely long and freakish legs that can go as high as 12 feet (3.8 meters).

26. Turritopsis Nutricula

The Benjamin Button of the water world. Why so? This amazing creature can revert back to its earlier stage, sometimes even its juvenile colonial stage. An awesome party trick if you ask us!

27. Sea Pen

sea penIt may look like your old fashioned quill but this is a real life, soft coral that feeds on plankton.

28. Pangolin

pangolinHere we have the only mammal covered in scales, top to bottom. Its name literally means ‘one who rolls up’ because that’s what they do when they sense danger, they roll up like a ball.

29. Macropinna Microstoma

macropinna microsctoma

This is the kind of fish you expect to be fake news, an AI generated image that makes the internet go wild but rest assured, this is a real, living and breathing fish. With a transparent head and weird, lazy eyes, this fish resides in dark ocean waters.

30. Irrawaddy Dolphin

irrawaddy dolphin
Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) jumping from water. Captive, Thailand.

They might look like a baby beluga whale but it has nothing in common with it. With short noises and an appetite to spit water into the air when they’re socializing or fishing.

31. Dik-Dik

dik-dik

This is more than just a small and cute antelope. However, it has one kick-ass ability: it marks its territory with a black liquid secreted by the glands near its eyes.

32. Buff-Tip Moth

buff-tip moth

It may look like a birch twig but it’s a regular, simple moth. A moth that causes insane damage to the tree it lands on, ravaging the green leaves and leaving disasters behind.

33. Komondor Dog

komondor dog

Part of the world’s most recognizable breeds, the Komondor is quite a stand out animal with long, white strands that make up his coat.

34. Axolotl

axolotl

A tiny salamander that can easily regroup, it can regrow each limb up to 5 times. And those feather-like head accessories? The gills.

35. Indian Purple Frog

Indian purple frogIf you were to travel to India and then came face to face with this fella, would you say right away that this was a frog? It looks like a tortoise without a shell and it could scare everyone it meets.

36. Bird-Dropping Spider

bird-dropping spider

Who knew that mimicking bird drooping might keep you safe from predators. It appears that this spider, found both in Australia and New Zealand, patented this defense strategy and it seems to work well for him so far.

37. Great Potoo

weirdest animals in the world: great potooThey have excellent night vision, which explains the beady, big eyes. Another notable mention is their ability to stay completely still, with closed eyes, thus totally blending in their surroundings.

38. Mata Mata

Mata Mata

A strange creature indeed! With warts and ridges all over his body, you might have the impression this is the outlook of a devious spell.

39. Gerenuk

Gerenuk

A long-necked antelope that prefers to enjoy its dinner standing up, a sight that is quite rare in the animal world. Another fun fact: no water needed, the antelope gets all the fluids it needs from plants.

40. Pink Fairy Armadillo

pink fairy armadillo

Found only in central Argentina, this looks like an animal that’s ready for battle, on one side. On the other hand, you feel like a kid dressed up his pet. The color pink is due to blood vessels being very close to the shell’s surface.

41. Leafy Seadragon

You could easily confuse this fish – yes, this is considered a fish – with plant waste floating in the water. Add the ability to change color and to sway just like plants and you will understand why this one is a master of disguise.

42. Bilby

Bilby

Also called rabbit-eared bandicoots, these Australian marsupials are all that, and more. With long ears borrowed from rabbits, kangaroo legs and bandicoot snouts, thai is a very cuddleable animal.

43. Magnificent Frigatebird

This bright red pouch is a magnet for the females of this species because yes, it has just one purpose: to attract females during mating season.

44. Vietnamese Long-Nosed Snake

Rhinoceros ratsnake by its original name, you will see it from northern Vietnam to southern China.

45. Scotoplanes

The deep-sea sea cucumber looks like it’s constantly vacuuming or looking for stuff on the ocean’s floor. Be cautious though: their near-transparent bodies will disintegrate if taken out of water.

46. Sarcastic Fringehead

Sarcastic eyes and oh so scary mouth, used very often to keep predators at bay. It’s an aggressive and fearless fish, so no joke here.

47. Maned Wolf

weirdest animals in the world: maned wolfDespite having wolf in its name, it’s not a wolf, nor a fox, like its coloring implies. A shy creature by default, it usually flees when it gets a glimpse of a human being.

48. Giant Isopod

giant isopod

Going as high as 16 inches (40 cm), it has 14 legs and reflective eyes but zero aggressivity.

49. Gobi Jerboa

gobi jerboaA miniature kangaroo just landed! For us the tiny arms take it to level 1000 on the cuteness scale. Bonus trivia: they can leap up to 3m!

50. Aye-aye

aye-ayeAye aye, this is one scared munchkin. A long-fingered monkey with a tail longer than its body, a very unusual look, we can all agree on that.

51. Nudibranchs

A funky, bright-colored mollusk. Some poisonous, some just faking it. All brightly colored and weirdly shaped.

52. Proboscis Monkey

proboscis monkey

Endemic to Borneo, this monkey has quite a trademark nose but what you don’t see are its 9 stomachs. And get this: they are unable to eat a ripe banana. If they do so, they could die of bloat.

53. Goblin shark

goblin shark

Cuz the ocean is weird. And scary. And full of unpredictable creatures that are sure to make an impact on you.

54. Fossa

fossaClosely related to the mongoose, fossa looks and acts more like a cat. You wouldn’t believe it, but you’re looking at Madagascar’s top predator.

55. Long-Wattled Umbrellabird

The male of this species has a memorable look: a strand of feathers that hang all the way over its bill giving him quite the hairdo. Yes, this is for mating purposes only and seems to work rather well.

56. Atretochoana Eiselti

We all know why this animal, also known as Penis Snake, made its way on this list. It looks just like its nickname and it’s quite a good swimmer considering the fact the Amazon river is his home.

57. Honduran White Bat

Honduran white batYou might have seen these gold ball-sized fluffy bats around the Internet somewhere, most likely squeezed together on a leaf. That’s because that’s how they spend most of their time, snuggled up together.

58. Tarsier

tarsierThe only primate that has an 100% carnivorous diet, the tarsier will eat anything from the smallest of the smalls, like insects, going up to lizards and even snakes. Those bug eyes make it impossible to rotate them so tarsiers have to move their heads just like owls do.

59. Gharial

gharialAn off snout that gets the job done for this fish-eating crocodile. He might look like a deadly predator but when it comes to humans he usually avoids any kind of contact.

60. Mantis Shrimp

mantis shrimpA googly eye shrimp that sees the world as psychedelic as its coloring, all due to its 12 photoreceptors found in each eye. We only have 3 so scientists find it hard to pinpoint how these guys actually see the world.

61. Naked Mole Rat

naked mole rat

A rather weird fellow with an even weirder pet name: sand puppy. They can barely see, they can barely hear but somehow they thrive on the African continent.

62. Patagonian Mara

patagonian mara

A rabbit-like animal from Argentina that you could swear is a deer. It can walk like both animals, jumping like a rabbit or on all fours like a deer. This little guy also reminds us of a cute capybara.

63. Yeti Crab

yeti crab
2H8PBJW Yeti crab – Kiwa hirsuta. Realistic details. White crab with hairy body. Deep sea creature.

Nature seems to be quite fond of putting fur and fluff on animals you might not expect to have fur and fluff, like this crab. Discovered only in 2005, he makes us wonder what other undiscovered weird creatures lie beneath the ocean’s surface.

64. Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle

Rarely spotted in the wilderness of Southeast Asia due to its fondness of spending the days buried in the sand, this turtle has a grim future, being almost on the brink of extinction.

65. Flying Fish

flying fish

No, they don’t go high up in the sky. Their torpedo-like body allows them to have a massive speed while under the water, more than 35 miles (56 kilometers) at times which allows them to glide above water for up to 650 feet (200 meters).

66. Orchid Mantis

orchid mantisWe know, this looks like it came straight from a child’s imagination but it’s a real thing, trust us. Referred to as looking like an orchid, there’s very little evidence pointing in that direction since there’s very few Orchid Mantis out there.

We had our fair share of ocean weirdness, land and air craziness, and we even have some favorites. And if nature taught us something, it’s this: as years go by this list will include tens and tens of other weird animals that are on their way to being discovered.

Recommended reading next: Weird platypus facts

 

Watch The Ultimate List Of The 66 Weirdest Animals In The World

 

FAQ

What is the rarest animal in the world?

The Vaquita. It lives in the Gulf of California, Mexico and it had a population of 567 back in 1997. In 2023 their numbers have dwindled to just 18.

How many blue whales are left?

Between 10.000 and 25.000 blue whales are reportedly left in the ocean.

What species has only 1 left?

The Madhuca displostemon has just one specimen living.

What’s bigger than Megalodon?

The Blue Whale is bigger.

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