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Animals

Top 10 Strangest Animals

This list doesn’t focus on an animal’s ‘ugliness’, but on their strange and unusual characteristics. Some have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years, but they may be new to you. Of course, it’s hard to choose just ten of the world’s bedazzling and bewildering beasts to turn the spotlight on, so be sure to mention your favorites in the comments.

10. Frill-necked Lizard Wikipedia

Frillneckedlizard

The Frill-necked Lizard, also known as the Frilled Dragon, is so called because of the large ruff of skin which usually lies folded back against its head and neck. Long spines of cartilage support the neck frill, and when the lizard is frightened, it opens its mouth showing a bright pink or yellow lining, and the frill flares out, displaying bright orange and red scales. They often walk on four legs when on the ground. When frightened they begin to run on all fours and then accelerate onto the hind-legs. The frill of the Australian frilled dragon is used to frighten off potential predators, as well as hissing and lunging.

9. Dumbo Octopus Wikipedia

Dumbooctopus

The octopuses of the genus Grimpoteuthis are also known as “Dumbo octopuses” from the ear-like fins protruding from the top of their “heads” (actually bodies), resembling the ears of Walt Disney’s flying elephant. They are benthic creatures, living at extreme depths, and are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species. They can flush the transparent layer of their skin at will, and are open ocean animals, unlike most octopi.


8. Angora Rabbit Wikipedia

Angorarabbitt

The Angora rabbit is a variety of domestic rabbit bred for its long, soft hair. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the century. They are bred largely for their long wool, which may be removed by shearing or plucking (gently pulling loose wool).

7. Tasmanian Tiger Wikipedia

Tasmaniantiger

The Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Native to Australia and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger (due to its striped back), the Tasmanian Wolf, and colloquially the Tassie (or Tazzy) Tiger. It was the last extant member of its genus, Thylacinus, although a number of related species have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene. The Thylacine became extinct on the Australian mainland thousands of years before European settlement of the continent, but survived on the island of Tasmania along with a number of other endemic species, including the Tasmanian Devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite being officially classified as extinct, sightings are still reported.


6. Platypus Wikipedia

Platypus

The Platypus is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed mammal baffled naturalists when it was first discovered, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few venomous mammals; the male Platypus has a spur on the hind foot, which delivers a poison capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the Platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and is featured on the reverse of the Australian 20 cent coin.

5. Narwhal Wikipedia

Narwhal

The Narwhal is an Arctic species of cetacean. It is one of two species of white whale, the other being the Beluga whale. The most conspicuous characteristic of male narwhal is their single extraordinarily long tusk, an incisor that projects from the left side of the upper jaw and forms a left-handed helix. The tusk can be up to nearly 10 feet long and weigh up to 22 pounds. About one in 500 males has two tusks, which occurs when the right tooth, normally small, also grows out. The purpose of the tusk has been the subject of much debate. Early scientific theories suggested that the tusk was used to pierce the ice covering the narwhal’s Arctic Sea habitat. Others suggested the tusk was used in echolocation. More recently, scientists believed the tusk is primarily used for showmanship and for dominance: males with larger tusks are more likely to successfully attract a mate.


4. Anglerfish Wikipedia

Anglerfish

Anglerfish are named for their characteristic mode of perdition, wherein a fleshy growth from the fish’s head (the esca) acts as a lure. Anglerfish also have spines protruding from their head, movable in all directions. The esca can be wiggled so as to resemble a prey animal, and thus to act as bait to lure other predators. Deep-sea anglerfish live mainly in the oceans’ aphotic zones, where the water is to deep for the sun to penetrate; therefore their perdition relies on the “lure” being bioluminescent. Since individuals are presumably locally rare and encounters doubly so, finding a mate is problematic. When scientists first started capturing ceratioid anglerfish, they noticed that all of the specimens were females. These individuals were a few inches in size and almost all of them had what appeared to be parasites attached to them. It turned out that these “parasites” were the remains of male ceratioids

3. Leafy Sea-dragon Wikipedia

Leafyseadragon

Named after the dragons of Chinese mythology, Leafy Sea-dragons resemble a piece of drifting seaweed as they float in the seaweed-filled water. The Leafy Sea-dragon, with green, orange and gold hues along its body, is covered with leaf-like appendages, making it remarkably camouflaged. Only the fluttering of tiny fins or the moving of an independently swiveling eye reveals its presence. Sea-dragons have no teeth or stomach and feed exclusively on mysidopsis shrimp. Known as “Australian seahorses” in Australia, they are found in calm, cold water that is approximately 50-54° Fahrenheit. The South Australian government since 1982 has protected Leafy Sea-dragons.


2. Yeti Crab Wikipedia

Yeticrab

Kiwa hirsuta is a crustacean discovered in 2005 in the South Pacific Ocean. This decapod, 6 inches long, is notable for the quantity of silky blond setae (resembling fur) covering thoracic legs and claws. Its discoverers dubbed it the “yeti lobster” or “yeti crab”. Based on both morphology and molecular data, the species was deemed to form a new genus and family (Kiwaidae). The animal has strongly reduced eyes that lack pigment, and is thought to be blind. The ‘hairy’ pincers contain filamentous bacteria, which the creature may use to detoxify poisonous minerals from the water emitted by the hydrothermal vents where it lives. Alternatively, it may feed on the bacteria, although it is thought to be a general carnivore. Its diet also consists of green algae and small shrimp.

1. Coelacanth Wikipedia

Coelacanth

Coelacanth is the common name for an order of fish that includes the oldest living lineage of jawed fish known to date. The coelacanths, which are related to lungfishes and tetrapods, were believed to have been extinct since the end of the Cretaceous period, until the first specimen was found off the east coast of South Africa, off the Chalumna River in 1938. Since 1938, they have been found in the Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, among other places. Coelacanths first appear in the fossil record in the Middle Devonian, about 410 million years ago. Coelacanths are lobe-finned fish with the pectoral and anal fins on fleshy stalks supported by bones, and the tail or caudal fin diphycercal (divided into three lobes), the middle one of which also includes a continuation of the notochord.

This article is licensed under the GFDL. It uses material from the Wikipedia articles cited above.

Contributor: dazednconfused



  • Sorry guys – I didn’t allow comments on this list by mistake – feel free to comment now :)

  • JMurf

    why isn’t jfrater on that list?

  • JMurf: Because this isn’t a list of Top 10 Coolest People? :)

  • lol…

  • Mean

    cool list this is actually my first time visiting this site and im so glad i did! i expected coelacanth to be here so no surprise, it outlived most prehistoric species so it probably accounts for that strange appearance… i also expected the horshoe crab or perhaps the mata mata turtle… but otherwise still a good list… and btw, any plans on making a list about the weirdest looking prehistoric animals or strangest looking plants?

  • Mean: the matamata turtle is on Top 10 Ugliest Creatures and so is the horseshoe bat (did you mean that instead of crab?) – I am glad you like the site – thanks for the extra list ideas – I will definitely consider them.

  • Mean

    ok thanks for the info, and no i really meant it when i said the horseshoe crab (i mistyped it the first time) such animal really exists and looks as if it lived during earlier periods if youll ask me… you can look it up in wikipedia… =)

  • Great list. I think platypi are awesome. I even blogged about #9 a few months back.

  • Adam

    Good list as always. I kind of expected the horseshoe crab as well, Mean.

    Oh, and I think you meant “predation” in #4. “Perdition” is synonymous with damnation – though meeting up with a good sized anglerfish would definitely bring that to mind!

  • Horsegal

    lol, i liked the list!!!!…i thought the Leafy-sea dragon was really cool ( never heard about it!!!.)

  • avi

    adam: yes he does mean predation

  • avi

    the weirdst one is missing… what about humans?

  • avi

    hello i said where are the humans?

  • Spir

    No aye-ayes? :(

  • avi

    spir: the aye-aye is 12 after the blobfish

  • doz

    that fluffy bunny cracked me up :)

  • Nuni_Das12

    I feel that it is only right to share the top ten, Rarest animals in the world, this is very unfortunate and one of these creatures was actully declared exctinct, December 2005.
    1) The Pinta Island Tortoise – The lonely George, last of his kind, there is a reward for anyone who can find another.
    2) The Baiji River Dolphin – Found of the coast of the Yangtze River, declared exctinct, experts still searching, fingers crossed!
    3) The Vancouver Island Marmot – I50 individuals in captivity, and over 44 pups born.
    4) Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat – Scientist belive that, with a heavy amount of effort, 500 individuals may be sufficient to guarantee long-term persistance of the population.
    5) Javan Rhino – The Javan Rhino’s chance of survival is very slim.
    6) Hispid Hare – There were an estimated 110 Hispid Hares worldwide in 2001, numbers continue to plunge, due to its unsuccessful adaption in captivity.
    7) Northern Hairy-nosed Wambat – There are an estimated 110(range 96 to 150)
    8) Tamaraw – Population was estimated in 2002 at a number between 30 and 200.
    9) Iberian Lynx – Estimated the number of Lynx to be as few as 100.
    10) Red Wolf – Only over 100 Red Wolves currently live in the wild.
    Its really sad that these amazing animals are at the brink of exctintion, and I hope that maybe because I post this, someone may want to do something for them. And even if the Baiji River Dolphin’s fate is out of our hands, there are many other animals that have a chance yet of survival.
    I can be contacted at, [email protected]

  • Znyrk

    you should really include the the “hairy frog” or Trichobatrachus robustus. It is really an unique animal, add it as a bonus or whatever. yay my very first comment:D

  • rushfan

    Love this list, sea dragons are sooo cool

  • angela

    it’s funny, alot of animals on this list are Australian. xD

  • art

    your list is quite different from the rest of them, i haven’t seen of these animals, i think list could be larger cause there are small apes you could include in next list…
    Good job!!

  • fireball10234

    that was the strangast thing i ever saw!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):0

  • BOLTRON73

    thanks for this site… our company IT blocked all proxy servers and i cant open any restricted sites. but for listverse i cant view and take all my stress away by reading cool lists.. I even talked to my collegues about what i read and they thought Im genious..

  • Hayley

    Silly rabbit

  • mike

    The Angora Rabbit looks like it just walked out of 1972.

  • Ashley R

    hehe i want an angora rabbit! they look so cuddly haha

  • Handrejka

    Good list. I love reading about thylacines.

  • deviantmiss

    hi i seem to recall reading somewhere that during victorian times men used to like owning a tooth horn from a nahwhal and they used to be known as unicorn horns! (honestly)

  • zaid and mathew

    u suck

  • Silver

    I love watching the frilled neck lizard! And anglerfish and leafy seadragons have long been 2 of my favorite marine life. Also, I had never heard of narwhals until I was looking through a book I was getting my niece, meant for children under 2, and it had a narwhal and I honestly thought they were just making something up for the letter W.

  • Maroon

    Great List, although I feel like that platypus should be higher up! Not only does it have all the already mentioned weirdness but: It produces Milk but lacking teats it instead “sweats” it out where the milk collects on its body and the young lick it off. Also scientists believe that along the bill the Platypus has a sensory organ that can pick up electric fields giving it the ability to find grubs in the mud!

  • Zippy

    I have an angora rabbit. She’s fluffy. lol!

  • BKDrummer7

    @Silver (#30): Narwhal for letter W?

  • alienanne

    Great list! But I don’t want to see the Yeti Crab EVER. =,=

  • pieman

    you are a a** hole

  • Chris

    I don’t mean to nit-pick but the plural of octopus is not octopusses, it’s octopy.

  • Sunny

    I think the spelling of the plural of octopus is octopii (pronounced as “oct-to-py”)

  • Sunny

    Nuni_Das12
    There is also another animal as well now it is endangered. Its name is Hawkbill turtle

  • SonicX

    All of these would make good pokemon.
    I’ll go ahead and catch a few.

  • Stacy

    the dumbo octopus thing was weird but i love the angora rabbit, so cute!

  • Caitlyn

    The platypus is actually classified as a monotreme, I just noticed that this wasn’t mentioned in the article.

  • Elizabeth

    Holy shit, I didn't know the Narwhal existed! I thought Futurama had made up the species! Now I know different. And I still think the platypus is the Gods biggest joke, it's so funny looking!

  • Dewgongz4Life

    NARWHALS ARE AMONG THE BEST ANIMALS EVAR!!!

  • Katie

    Why isn’t the blobfish here? lol

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  • boiuloeraia

    i like all the strangest animals……

  • Marianne

    I didn’t even know narwhals were real creatures up until about a year ago xD I first came across them on Futurama where Fry makes friends with one at a sea life center. Felt rather stupid after lol!
    The leafy sea dragon is beautiful and the yeti crab is just awesome lol xD

  • kaylan

    really platypus is six…NOT cool :(

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  • jusTinee

    the dumbo octopus is kinda cute~

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  • Tahlia

    I am deeply appalled at this web site for puting the frilled neck lizard, tasmanian tiger and the platypus on the 10 most strangest animals, all of which are huge australian icons. You should be ashamed of your selfs you bastards

  • Dumb is SEE Tasmanian Tiger But is in Tasmania

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