Think about all of the creatures that live on your block. Dogs, cats, rats, bugs, birds… it would be almost impossible to name them all (without becoming seriously obsessed and living on the street corner). Now, think about all of the animals in your state, your country and the world. There would be so many to consider, it’s no wonder that new species are being discovered every day. Many animals exist right under our noses, while we have no idea. Take these animals for example. Did you know these were real? I certainly didn’t. (And I wish I could forget that some of them exist.)
1.) Sea Pig: Scotoplanes live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean. They are deposit feeders and extract their food from deep sea mud.
2.) Okapi: This faux-zebra mammal is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Even though it looks like a zebra, it’s actually closely related to the giraffe.
3.) Thorny Dragon: This small lizard is covered in camouflaging shades of desert brown so it can hide more easily in the sand. It also has a “false head” that it uses to distract predators.
4.) Shoebill: This large bird is called a shoebill because of its beak. Even though it was already known to ancient Egyptians and Arabs, the bird was only classified in the 19th century.
5.) Indian Purple Frog: This gross-looking species of frog only spends two weeks out of the year on the surface of the Earth (which is probably why it looks the way it does).
6.) The Blue Parrotfish: Found in the Atlantic Ocean, this bright blue fish spends 80% of its time searching for food.
7.) The Bush Viper: This predator lives high up in the trees of tropical forests in Africa. It does most of its hunting at night. It may look adorable, but it’s deadly.
8.) The Saiga Antelope: This saiga may look like a science experiment gone wrong, but it’s actually an antelope found on the Eurasian steppe. Its known for its over-sized, flexible nose structure, the proboscis.
9.) Glaucus Atlanticus: This adorable little guy is also known as the blue dragon. It is a species of blue sea slug, found in warm ocean waters. It can also glide on the surface of the water, thanks to a gas-filled sac in its stomach.
10.) The Pacu Fish: This living nightmare is found in Papua New Guinea. Locals call this fish a “ball cutter.” Good luck sleeping tonight.
11.) Venezuelan Poodle Moth: Yes, bugs can be adorable. This one was found in Venezuela in 2009, a new species. Scientists don’t know that much about the poodle moth, but they are learning more every day.
12.) Hummingbird Hawk-Moth: This hawk-moth (possibly the world’s smallest superhero) feeds on flowers and makes a sound similar to that of a hummingbird’s. If you saw it fly by, you might even mistake it for one.
13.) Mantis Shrimp: There are several species of mantis shrimp, but the rainbow variety is visually stunning. They’re also called “sea locusts“, “prawn killers” and even “thumb splitters. This is a powerful predator located in tropical and sub-tropical waters, killing its prey with its powerful claws.
14.) Umbonia Spinosa: These colorful thorn bugs are related to cicadas. They use their beaks to pierce plant stems to feed upon their sap. No one is really sure why they look the way they do, but it’s most likely a form of camouflage.
15.) Atretochoana Eiselti (a.k.a., the Penis Snake): This suggestive-looking, eyeless animal is actually called Atretochoana eiselti. It is a large, presumably aquatic, caecilian amphibian with a broad, flat head and a fleshy dorsal fin on the body.
16.) The Panda Ant: This bug, a Mutillidae, is part of a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names). These wasps have wingless females that resemble large, hairy ants. Panda Ants are found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant.
17.) Goblin Shark: These nightmarish sharks live in the ocean at depths greater than 100 m (330 ft). Adults are found deeper than juveniles. These scary sharks pose no threat to humans (but they will haunt your dreams).
18.) Red-lipped Batfish: This creature is found on the Galapagos Islands. It’s not good at swimming, so it uses its fins to walk across the ocean floor… while looking fabulous.
(H/T Reddit) The animal kingdom can be majestic, but obviously it can also be a frightening and strange place. Most of these animals wouldn’t be found in zoos – and for good reason. The goblin shark will haunt my dreams for years. Click below to share these awesomely odd animals with others.