We live in a strange and diverse world that is absolutely teeming with life. To this point in time we know that there have been over 1.5 million different species of animals on this planet at some point in time. Studies performed by UNEP.ORG show that nearly 10,000 new species of animals are discovered every year. While the majority of these creatures are rather regular looking, in that they resemble animals you are already familiar with, some of these new animals turn out to be absolutely strange looking. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 strangest animals ever to be discovered on our planet. Keep on reading, these critters will blow your mind — just wait until you get to #4!
List of Top 10 Strange Animals in The World 2017
10. Axolotl – The Mexican Salamander.
This unusual looking water creature looks like something pulled straight from the pages of a Pokemon manga. The Axolotl, or Ambystoma Mexicanum, is a species of salamander that can be found throughout Mexico. What makes this creature so strange, besides its general mystical look, is that Axolotl is capable of regrowing damaged limbs according to the ARKIVE.ORG. The Axolotl is also profoundly unique in that it never leaves its larval stage while still becoming a fully sexually matured creature. The Axolotl lives underwater and thus are rarely seen, unlike other species of salamander which can go on land.
9. Maned Wolf – The Stilt Legged Fox.
If you were to see a Maned Wolf in the wild you would never associate it with the wolf in its namesake. The Maned Wolf looks closer to a red fox and a deer mixed together. This amazing creature stands at around 3 feet tall and it is considered the largest Canid in all of South America. What makes the Maned Wolf so special, beyond its peculiar appearance, is that it is the only member of its genus. You’ll notice a black mane that travels from the top of this animals forehead and down its back and this is where the creature received its name. When angry the black markings on the Mane Wolf will become erect.
8. Narwhal – Unicorns of the Ocean.
It took a long time to convince us that Narwhals were actual living, breathing creatures. The Narwhal is a distinct ocean faring creature that is known for its long protruding horn. The Narwhal, or Monodon Monoceros, typically stays in cold Arctic Waters while occasionally traveling down to the northern tip of the Atlantic Ocean. The Narwhal’s famous horn is actually a protruding tooth and the longest one ever measured was over seven feet in length. The Narwhal is currently being hunted, much like the elephant, so that humans can harvest the tusk of the beautiful creature.
7. The Fossa – Madagascar’s Greatest Carnivore.
When you first lay eyes upon the Fossa you will instantly take in its limber, cat-like body and peculiarly rounded face. The Fossa is known as the largest predator in all of Madagascar with a length of almost five feet when you include the elongated tail. Fossa, also known as Fosa, are capable tree climbers and they routinely feed on birds and reptiles who would otherwise be out of reach. The Fossa is an incredibly fast and talented hunter and they are considered endangered due to habitat destruction.
6. Dumbo Octopus – Disney’s Sea Creatures.
The Dumbo Octopus is a subset of creatures that is also known by their actual genus name: Grimpoteuthis. The reason that these sea creatures have garnered such an odd name is due to their distinctly Disney like proportions: an inflated body, big eyes, and a distinct fin that puts one in mind of the elephant, Dumbo. Dumbo Octopi are rare creatures that live deep within the ocean, typically hanging around hot hydrothermal vents within the ocean — according to IFLSCIENCE.COM. The Dumbo Octopus is harmless to human life and they typically feed on worms and sea crustacean.
5. Star-Nosed Mole – Ugliest Mole on Earth.
Purely from an aesthetic standpoint, the Star-Nosed Mole is the strangest singular creature that we have ever seen. Belonging to the Condylura genus and related to moles as we know them, the Star-Nosed Mole makes its distinction thanks to a hard-to-miss protruding pink snout. The Star-Nosed Mole lives throughout North America and can be foudn even up into Canada. This furry little monster is covered in water repellent fur, much like a beaver, and it is an excellent swimmer. The fleshy snout on the Star-Nosed Mole is used to identify its food. We’re not sure what evolution had in mind when it created such an ugly, fleshy appearance.
4. Sunda Colugo – Big Eyes at Night.
The Sunda Colugo looks like a bat but actually belongs to the Malayan Colugo species. Also known as the Sunda Flying Lemur, or Galeopterus Variegatus, the Sunda Colugo is well known for its large and deep black eyes. These flying animals typically range from 12 to 18 inches in length. The Sunda Colugo leaps from tree to tree, mostly at night, spreading its wing-like appendages in order to aid in its gliding. This little animal is a herbivore and largely feeds on leaves and flowers while licking tree bark in order to get important nutrients that are essential to its overall health. The Sunda Colugo is currently protected by the government in the Philipines where the animal has only been known to be found. These are one of the world’s most strange animals 2017.
3. Egyptian Jerboa – The Bird Legged Rodent.
The Egyptian Jerboa is a tiny rodent that can be looked at like a mixture of a bird and a kangaroo, all at once. The Jerboa is tiny, barely 10 centimeters in length, and is known for its neurotic hopping and constant movement. The Egyptian Jerboa is a nocturnal species of the Jerboa and is abundant throughout Egypt but can be found in Africa and throughout the Arabian Peninsula. The Egyptian Jerboa is a solitary creature and they are known to spend their days looking for food: seeds, desert grass, and even the occasional insect.
2. Aye Aye – The ‘Rodent’ Primate.
Have you ever laid eyes on a creature so bizarre? The Aye-Aye looks like it was designed in a computer program by science fiction fanatics. The Aye-Aye is only located in Madagascar and it is known as the largest nocturnal based primate on the planet, with a body length of nearly two feet. The Aye-Aye is a fluffy creature with a thick black coat and long, bat like claws and ears. Belonging to the Daubentonia genus, the Aye-Aye is almost impossible to reconcile at first sight. The Aye-Aye is most well known for its flexible hands that it uses to dig for food in hard to reach places.
1. Spotted Handfish – Hands of the Sea.
The Spotted Handfish belongs to the Brachionichthys family and is instantly recognizable thanks to its large, hand-like fins. The Spotted Handfish can be seen walking along the ocean floor, literally walking with its bizarre fins, as it hunts for food. The Spotted Handfish is considered one of the most endangered fish in all of the sea and there have been active conservation efforts to make sure that it does not go extinct.
Here we are at the end of our list of world’s top 10 strange animals 2017. Having seen ten of the world’s more stranger creatures, can you say that you were surprised? Every single year scientists discover more magical creatures on our planet but their discoveries are weighed down by the sad knowledge that many more are going extinct. Conservative estimates from the World Wildlife Foundation estimate that for every 10,000 species we find we end up losing as many as 100,000 species in that same time frame. Enjoy these strange and wonderful animals while they are still around to be seen.