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30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World

Updated: Jan. 06, 2023

Earth has some truly wacky creatures that will surely make your jaw drop.

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Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri)
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There are 8.7 million tagged species on Earth, but scientists estimate that over 80 percent of life on this planet still remains undiscovered. It’s truly remarkable that with all of these animals occupying the same space as us, on an average day we might only see a dog and maybe a couple of pigeons. It’s likely we will never be able to see all 8.7 million, so we rounded up the weirdest of the weird species for just a glimpse at how much is really out there. Catch some more interesting wildlife with the rarest animals on the endangered species list.

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Star-nosed Mole
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Star-nosed mole

Does this mole even have eyes to see these weird animal photos? Star-nosed moles are actually great swimmers because of their front claws, and they were the first mammal that was proven to be able to smell underwater. They aren’t a very uncommon species, just rarely seen. Like star-nosed moles, these 22 animals are so gross they will make your skin crawl.

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Whitemargin Stargazer buried in Black Sand of Lembeh Strait, Indonesia
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Whitemargin stargazer

The whitemargin stargazer likes to hang out on reef flats and coastal bottoms but is very rarely spotted because they like to stay buried under the sand with only their eyes showing. If it sounds creepy, that’s because it is. Don’t miss these ocean mysteries scientists still can’t explain.

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Oceanic sun fish swimming near the surface, east coast South Africa.
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Ocean sunfish

From above the water, sunfish have occasionally been mistaken for disembodied swimming dolphin heads. It is one of the heaviest and boniest fish species in the world, weighing up to 1,000 kg. Check out some more of the biggest living animals in the world.

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Bearded pig wallowing in a pool of water
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Bearded pig

Bearded pigs use their scruff to dig around for roots, fungus, and bugs to eat. They also enjoy eating plants, small birds, and the occasional orangutan carcass. (It’s a pain getting the gristle out of your beard, though.) See a few facts about animals you may have all wrong.

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Babirusas are certainly not your ordinary pig. They are known for their tusks which begin growing inside its mouth, then pierce through the skin of its face. A true nightmare for babirusa orthodontists. Don’t miss the scary facts behind the world’s most adorable animals.

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Red-lipped Batfish, Ogcocephalus darwini, Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
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Galapagos batfish

The Galapagos batfish truly know how to work a red pout. These red-lipped bottom dwellers are typically found on the coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean around the Galapagos. Scientists believe the red around their mouths is used to lure prey, but more research is needed in order to be sure. For some more laughs, check out these funny animal pictures you need in your life.

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The First UK Captive Bred Aye Aye
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Aye-aye, Captain! The aye-aye is the only primate who uses echolocation––the process of locating something by producing sounds and then listening to the sounds reflected back. Other animals you may be familiar with that use echolocation are bats and whales.

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Male peacock jumping spider (Maratus tasmanicus) on Carpobrotus plant, Victoria, Australia
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Australian peacock spider

We never thought we would use the word “beautiful” to describe a bug until the Australian peacock spider. They live in a diverse range of habitats across the southern half of Australia and are venomous, yet completely harmless to humans. Male peacock spiders flash their rainbow colors and do a little courtship jig to attract females. Important to note that these spiders are also known as sparklemuffins. Don’t miss the most elaborate spider webs found in nature.

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The coatimundi is kind of like the raccoon of Central and South America. They scavenge for fruits, eggs, small rodents, and of course, leftovers from last night’s dinner in your trash. Although they may look cute and cuddly, the coatimundi is known to be incredibly vicious. See the other innocent looking animals that are surprisingly dangerous.

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Ambystoma mexicanum f. leucistic (axolotl)
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The axolotl is probably the most adorable salamander because they always look as if they are smiling. Unlike other salamander species, the axolotl is neotenic, meaning they keep juvenile characters all through adulthood just like many adult male humans. See what other adorable animals you probably didn’t know existed.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 29: A mole rat shows little interest i
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Naked mole rat

Also known as a sand puppy and the iconic Rufus on Kim Possible, naked mole rats are, well, naked as its name suggests. They are found mostly in Eastern Africa and live entirely in underground burrows.

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The Pangolin looks a bit like a creature you would see David Goldblum and Laura Dern gushing over in Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, they are one of the most illegally trafficked animals in the world due to the belief that their scales have medicinal powers. Learn which beautiful animals may go extinct in your lifetime.

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Tasmanian Devil
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Tasmanian devil

You may know Taz the Tasmanian Devil from the Looney Tunes cartoons, but you may not have realized that the Tasmanian Devil is actually a real species (just us?) The name originated from the first European settlers on the island state of Tasmania who heard mysterious growls and screams in the night. The settler’s irritation spurred the name “devil.”

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While echidnas look similar to porcupines and most of us after a blowout at the salon, they are actually more like spiky anteaters. Echidnas can live up to 50 years and are a distant relative to the platypus. While they live a long time, it’s certainly not as long as the lifespans of these immortal animals that can basically live forever.

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Bilbym Macrotis lagotis. Rabbit-sized marsupial. Endangered. Australia
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Unfortunately, these large-eared, beady-eyed bilbies are endangered. There are an estimated 600-700 bilbies left in Australia. Besides feral cats, the most prominent cause of death in bilbies are cattle and sheep taking over their habitats.

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Platinum Alligator Gar Swimming
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Alligator gar

As an animal we only thought we would see in our nightmares, this crossover between an alligator and a fish dates back over 100 million years. They can be found swimming through the freshwater rivers of Rio Grande all the way to the Missouri River. Do you know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Refresh your knowledge on these animal distinctions that will take your right back to high school biology.

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Baby animals of Eskisehir Zoo
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These wide-eyed, furry mammals can be found swinging from the trees in rainforests. The Kinkajou tail is so strong they can actually climb up it and usually hang upside down from their tail when munching on some fruit (don’t try this at home). Don’t miss these animals with real superpowers that would make superheroes jealous.

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Blue Dragon, Glaucus Atlanticus, Blue Sea Slug
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Glaucus atlanticus

These little go-with-the-flow sea slugs are a true work of oceanic art. The glaucus atlanticus float upside down, allowing the winds and ocean currents to carry them. But be warned! If you interrupt their relaxing swim, they will sting (and they are venomous). See more of the most colorful animals in the world.

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Irrawaddy dolphins, orcaella brevirostris
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Irrawaddy dolphin

These happy dolphins look similar to the famous beluga whale with its rounded head and soft smile. The Irrawaddy dolphin is an enormous indicator of the health of freshwater resources and their gradual extinction could be a signal for a larger decline in the whole river ecosystem. Check out the best places to see dolphins in the wild.

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Sunda Flying Lemur
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Sunda colugo

The sunda colugo is also recognized as a flying lemur. Interestingly enough, they are not lemurs, nor do they fly, but they would definitely be able to hold their own in a gliding competition with some bats.

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Underside of Glass Frog Showing Internal Organs
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Glass frog

The glass frog has a transparent abdomen so when it soars from one plant to another, you can see its insides including its internal organs and its little beating heart. Ironically, scientists are not “clear” about why their middles are see-through. Get it? Clear?

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Honduran white bats (Ectophylla alba) hanging on a leaf, Costa Rica
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Honduran white bat

Easily mistaken for cotton balls, Honduran white bats live in tents with other Honduran white bats that they build out of large leaves. They also have leaf-shaped noses and ears. Bats get a bad rap, but even though they aren’t so bad, you definitely don’t want them in your house. Don’t miss these clear signs your home is infested with bats.

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Leafy sea dragon in South Australia 2
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Leafy seadragon

The leafy seadragon looks like, well, a leaf. Found swimming off the coast of Australia, this fish looks like a floating plant, serving as a pretty neat camouflage from predators. Check out more weird deep-sea creatures to see just how strange it can be under the sea.

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Dik-dik in the grass in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, East Africa
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These tiny antelopes have the most beautiful, dark eyes surrounded by a white ring. Besides just visionary purposes, dik-diks secrete a sticky liquid from their eyes that is used to scent-mark their territory.

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Okapi offspring in Cologne
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While Okapi’s look like a crossover between zebras and deer, but they are actually more closely related to giraffes. You read that right. It’s true! The okapi is the only living relative to the giraffe. Check out the most strikingly beautiful animal photos you need to see.

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Warty Frogfish, Antennarius maculatus, Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
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Warty frogfish

Their unfortunate name matches their unfortunate skin which is covered in wart-like bulges. Poor things! But, they become considerably cooler once you learn that they can consume prey as big as their entire bodies in one big gulp. See these 12 amazing animals that are only found in one place in the world.

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Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)
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Maned wolf

The maned wolf really works the tall black boots style more than most humans after rummaging for the best pair at Macy’s. They resemble a fox with extra-long legs, but they are their own distinct species.

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Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis Patagonum), Peninsula Valdes, Chubut, Argentina
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Patagonian Mara

The Patagonian mara is basically a very large rodent. Imagine seeing one of these scurrying over the subway tracks in Manhattan! That’s an image that probably makes your skin crawl, but give them some love, because they are very family-oriented creatures as they stay monogamous for life. Check out these incredible animals that came back from the brink of extinction.

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A Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) in Samburu National Reserve...
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Gerenuk translates to “giraffe neck” in Somali, which makes sense due to these antelope’s remarkably long necks. They eat on their hind legs so they can reach the best places in the trees, but we think they’re just showing off.

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Moscow Zoo accepts unsold fir and pine trees
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Although resembling an elk, the markhor is the largest wild goat species in the world. Their striking spiral horns can grow up to five feet long. Sounds heavy! By the way, if you love goats, these goat puns will surely make you laugh.

Next, check out the strangest animal found in each state.