29 Fascinatingly Weird Animals From Around The World

Some glide through the dark abyss of the ocean depths while others hang from trees in dark jungle canopies. Some sport enormous eyes while others have horned flesh or bubble gum pink skin. Some skirt the line between gorgeous and terrifying, and all are absolutely fascinating. These are 29 of the most incredibly weird animals on Earth:

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Axolotl

Axolotl

Wikimedia CommonsNative to Mexico, this aquatic salamander retains its frilled gills and fins into adulthood; it’s considered rare to see one fully mature and emerge onto dry land.

Glass Frog

Glass Frog

Wikimedia CommonsThis bizarre frog’s eerily transparent skin allows it to blend seamlessly with its leafy surroundings.

Thorny Dragon

Thorny Dragon

Wikimedia CommonsThorny dragons have a false head on the back of their neck to throw off predators.

Aye-Aye

Aye Aye

Wikimedia CommonsThese bizarre primates are most easily recognized by their enormous eyes and long, spindly fingers, both of which allow this animal to easily inhabit treetops at night.

Cape Rain Frog

Cape Rain Frog

Wikimedia CommonsThis animal's rotund shape allows it to inflate itself with air and puff up when danger comes near.

Cassowary

Cassowary

Wikimedia CommonsDon’t let the feathery exterior fool you. This giant bird is known to be notoriously aggressive, eviscerating any creature that comes too close with its dagger-like talons.

Tree Kangaroo

Weird Animals Tree Kangaroo

Wikimedia CommonsNot all animals from Australia are killers; case in point, the tree kangaroo, which looks more like a stuffed animal than a living. breathing creature.

Tufted Deer

Weird Animals Tufted Deer

Wikimedia CommonsThis deer’s striking tusks may raise some eyebrows, especially considering that it’s an herbivorous animal; male tufted deer actually use their fangs to resolve territorial disputes with their own kind in lieu of antlers.

Star-Nosed Mole

Two Star Nosed Moles

This strange creature, found in North America, is distinguished by its bizarre, fleshy nose. Used as feelers, the mole’s nose has twenty-two mobile, pink tentacles at the end of its snout that are extremely sensitive.

Image Sources: Flickr (left), Flickr (right).

Angora Rabbit

Angora Rabbit Buck Furry

Wikimedia CommonsOne of the oldest types of rabbit, Angoras appear as veritable clouds with ears, marked by their intense amounts of fur. They were once popular pets of 18th century French royalty.

Chinese White Dolphin

Weird Animals White Dolphin

FlickrDespite being referred to as a “white” dolphin, these ocean dwellers are actually well known for sporting a curious shade of pink.

Proboscis (Long-Nosed) Monkey

Long Nosed Proboscis Monkey

Wikimedia CommonsAs the name suggests, these exotic creatures have extremely long noses that are believed to be the result of sexual selection.

Fossa

Fossa

Wikimedia CommonsWhile feline-like in appearance, this carnivorous Madagascar native is close relative of the mongoose family.

Tarsier

Tarsier

Wikimedia CommonsThis tiny, bizarre primate may have once inhabited mainland Asia, Europe, and North America, but can now only be found on a handful of Malaysian islands.

Florida Softshelled Turtle

Soft Shelled

Wikimedia CommonsInstead of a turtle's typically hard, dome-like shell, this bizarre animal sports a shell that resembles a flat slab of leather.

Hummingbird Moth

Hummingbird Moth

Wikimedia CommonsWith a confusing name and an equally as confusing appearance, this moth is able to hover over flowers to drink nectar, much like its equally tiny avian counterpart.

Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp

Wikimedia CommonsThe mantis shrimp is one of nature’s most talented pugilists; cocking its club-like hand back as if it were a spring-loaded weapon, this shrimp is able to shatter shells and even aquarium glass with the force of a .22 caliber bullet.

Maribou Stork

Maribou Stork

FlickrDue to its ominous appearance and the fact that it's a scavenger, this bizarre stork is often referred to as “the undertaker bird.”

Mouse-Deer

Mouse Deer

Wikimedia CommonsDespite its names, this tiny animal isn’t actually a deer and in fact shares a closer relation to donkeys and pigs.

Sloane's Viperfish

Two Sloanes Viperfish

As the species holds the world record for largest teeth relative to head size in a fish, the nightmarish viperfish is obviously distinguished by its menacing fangs. Even with its mouth closed, the Sloane viperfish’s teeth overlap and are able to impale prey.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Flickr (right)

Lowland Streaked Tenrec

Lowland Streaked Tenrec Leaves

Wikimedia CommonsIf a bumblebee and a hedgehog mated, the lowland streaked tenrec would be its rather bizarre spawn. Found in Madagascar, these bristly creatures are covered in yellow and brown striped quills, which they use to attack their enemies.

Blobfish

Blobfish Face Mouth Slime

FlickrNative to Australia and parts of Tasmania, the blobfish is a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water. Now facing extinction due to deep sea fishing, it will eat any organic matter that passes in front of it and only expends a small amount of energy when swimming.

Shoebill

Shoe Billed

Wikimedia CommonsThis enormous African bird with a shoe-shaped bill can grow up to five feet tall with a wingspan of over eight feet.

Silkie Chicken

Silkie Chicken

Wikimedia CommonsWhile some seek out these chickens as a unique pet, others are more interested in the jet black meat that lies beneath its fluffy exterior.

Red Handfish

Red Handfish Pink

Wikimedia CommonsFinding swimming a bit too common, the red handfish uses its fins to walk along the ocean floor rather than swimming like everyone else. Its even more rare pink cousin, discovered in Tasmania, Australia, has had only four specimens ever identified.

Giraffe Weevil

Giraffe Weevil

Wikimedia CommonsThis curious insect mimics its mammalian namesake, using its long neck to fight other males for the honor of mating with a female.

Ocean Sunfish

Ocean Sunfish

Wikimedia CommonsThe heaviest of all boney fish, the ocean sunfish dwarfs any divers who swim nearby, as they can grow to an astonishing 14 feet in length.

Spiny Orb-Weaver Spider

Spiny Orb Weaver Spider Web

Wikimedia CommonsKnown by some as the crab spider, the spiny orb-weaver spider can be found in various places across the globe but is known particularly for appearing in the humid gardens of Florida. It has a distinctive, colorful "shell" with "spines" running down it to ward off predators.

Leafy Sea Dragon

Sea Dragon

Wikimedia CommonsDelicate leaf-like appendages help the sea dragon to camouflage itself among kelp and seaweed.

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Venture Down Into The 21 Most Stunning Caves On Earth

At some point in their childhood, many people have gone on field trips to old mining tunnels, but only a lucky and adventurous few have ventured into the azure caverns and over the crystal-bedded subterranean lakes of the world’s most stunning caves.

These places hold a visual bounty for explorers of all stripes, be they those who actually make the descent or those who prefer the safety of photographs. Here, in photos, are 21 of the world’s most incredible caves:

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Caves Antelope Canyon

FlickrThe unique shape and color of this Navajo sandstone is the result of monsoons eroding the structure.

Phraya Nakhon Cave, Thailand

Worlds Unique Caves Phraya

Wikimedia CommonsSun beams rain down upon the cave's Kuha Karuhas pavilion, showering it in light.

Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

Worlds Unique Caves Iceland

FlickrThese spectacular tunnels only form during the winter when it’s cold enough for glacial rivers to freeze; this means the caves can reform in different locations with new paths to explore.

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Worlds Unique Caves Mammoth

Wikimedia CommonsThis behemoth is the world’s longest cave system, with over 400 miles of its tunnels and chambers explored.

Blue Lake Cave, Brazil

Worlds Unique Caves Blue

Wikimedia CommonsThis stunning underground cerulean pool plunges to a depth of 200 ft. It’s suspected that this lake is being fed by an underground river that has yet to be discovered.

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Worlds Unique Caves Carlsbad

Wikimedia CommonsThe chambers within this cavern were given quirky names such as “Chocolate High” and “Talcum Passage.”

Choranche Caves, France

Worlds Unique Caves Choranche

Wikimedia CommonsThe needle thin crystals that protrude from this unique cavern are known as soda straws.

Crystal Cave, Bermuda

Worlds Unique Caves Crystal

Wikimedia CommonsFloating pontoons allow viewers to tread across a pristine underground lake, taking in the clusters of crystals that form above and below the water’s surface.

Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria

Worlds Unique Caves Devetashka

Wikimedia CommonsArtifacts of early man have been discovered within this cave dating as far back as the Neolithic Era.

Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Worlds Unique Caves Doong

Wikimedia CommonsThis cave, the largest in the world, is so overwhelmingly massive that it has its own weather system.

Fingal's Cave Scotland

Worlds Unique Caves Fingal

FlickrThis sea cave’s unique structure is due to the hexagonal pillars of basalt that form together.

Blue Grotto, Capri

Worlds Unique Caves Grotto

FlickrPassengers have to lie on their back in order to cross through the Blue Grotto’s cave opening, which is no taller than a meter.

Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico

Worlds Unique Caves Lechuguilla

Wikimedia CommonsThough previously unexplored and thought to be insignificant, it was discovered in 1986 that this cave is actually the longest limestone cavern in the United States.

Marble Caves, Chile

Worlds Unique Caves Marble

Wikimedia CommonsWaves cast an azure light over the ocean worn marble.

Niah Caves, Malaysia

Worlds Unique Caves Niah

Wikimedia CommonsThis unique cave held telltale signs of early man’s residence, though it was only confirmed after the remains of a species of Homo sapiens was unearthed there,; dating as far back as 38,000 B.C.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Philippines

Worlds Unique Caves Princesa

Wikimedia CommonsThis stunning cave system is one of the few of its kind; with an extremely old forest growing within it and a diverse array of wildlife, it is a well protected site for biodiversity conservation.

Tadrart Acacus, Libya

Worlds Unique Caves Tadrart

Wikimedia CommonsThough its priceless cave art has been at risk due to excessive tourism and even vandalism, the unique caves within this mountain range still house art created by mankind over 12,000 years ago.

Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes, Germany

Worlds Unique Caves Saalfelder

Wikimedia CommonsThis previous slate mining pit is more commonly known in English as the “Saalfelder Fairy Grottoes.”

Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

Worlds Unique Caves Skocjan

Wikimedia CommonsThese caves are home to a handful of astounding endangered species such as the cave salamander and the long-fingered bat.

St. Michael's Cave, Gibraltar

Worlds Unique Caves Michael

Wikimedia CommonsBefore 1840, two military personnel went down into the caves for some adventure and exploration, only to vanish within its limestone halls; despite sending down additional exploration parties from 1936 to 1938, their remains were never found.

Verdes' Cave, Spain

Worlds Unique Caves Verdes

Wikimedia CommonsThis underground lava tube is best known for the concert hall set up at its entrance.

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