The natural world fills us with wonder and delight. From exotic plants and animals to even the most domesticated pet, nature provides us, humans, with so much to ponder. Animals imparticular are rather puzzling. Some species have evolved in extraordinary fashion with all sorts of seemingly random appendages. Think of the Vermilingua more commonly known as the anteater. It is equipped with a super long snout and tongue to allow it to eat insects.
We’ve done some digging to find rare, furry, slimy, and alien creatures we think you absolutely need to know about. Here 7 of the strangest animals on Earth that you won’t be able to unsee.
Macrotis, known as bilbies or rabbit-bandicoots, is a genus of desert-dwelling marsupial omnivores; they are members of the order Peramelemorphia. At the time of the European colonization of Australia, there were two species. Now, one is endangered. Bilbies are a cute cross between a rabbit and a kangaroo! Even the name “bilby” is adorable.
Can we be friends?
Eeeek! The Maratus Volans or peacock spider is a species in the jumping spider family, belonging to the genus Maratus. University of California researcher Madeline Girard, who discovered the species gave the spider its colloquial name, sparklemuffin. It is another strange animal from down under that’s native to Australia.
Looking fabulous sparklemuffin! Please do not jump on us!
5. Alligator Gar
This fearsome fish is a relic of the dinosaur age, dating back some 100 million years and growing to over eight feet in length. Their reptilian snouts house rows of sharp teeth and an adaptation allows this fish to actually breathe air. AHHHHHHH!!!!! The alligator gar can be found peacefully swimming freshwater rivers and lakes from the Rio Grande to the Missouri River.
They are disgusting looking and if one ever swam past you, you’d probably die from fear. Ew.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in the presence of a guinea pig, you came close to the capybara. The Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris is a giant cavy rodent native to South America. It is the largest living rodent in the world.
Capybara are incredibly social animals, sometimes congregating in groups of up to 100. These giant rodents are actually social butterflies.
3. Pink Fairy Armadillo
Pink fairy armadillos are nocturnal burrowing mammals endemic to the xeric environment in central Argentina. The Chlamyphorus truncatus is the smallest species of armadillo and typically measures 4 inches and weighs 4.2 ounces.
We’re all about this fairy’s magical, burrowing lifestyle.
2. Maned Wolf
Look at the legs on this one! The maned wolf is the largest canid of South America. Its markings resemble those of foxes, but it is neither a fox nor a wolf. It is the only species in the genus Chrysocyon. The maned wolf has a distinctive, loud call termed “roar-barking.”
This animal doesn’t even look real! The manned wolf is different from other large canid species in that it is solitary and doesn’t run in packs.
1. Star-Nosed Mole
The star-nosed mole is a small mole found in moist, low areas in the northern parts of North America. The Condylura cristata has a touch organ with more than 25,000-minute sensory receptors, known as Eimer’s organs, with which this hamster-sized mole uses to feel its way around. The appearance of a “star-nose” is the result and it’s equipped with 22 tentacle-like appendages.
These moles are completely blind and use their odd star-nose to get around in the world. Part cute, part gross, this mole is one of the strangest animals we’ve ever seen.
The world really is full of wonder. Animals are so bizarre, humans included. From dinosaur fish to fairy armadillos, we hope you enjoyed these 7 strange animals.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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