Mudskippers are fish that propel themselves across land using their fins. They live in mudflats and, despite being fish, spend most of their time out of the water.
18. Proboscis monkey.
Proboscis monkeys live in Borneo and are one of the largest species of monkey native to Asia. They use their incredible noses to attract mates.
Officially known as Panopea generosa, geoducks are large (and edible) saltwater clams that look a bit, um, pornographic. They grow up to a metre long and don’t have many predators apart from humans.
16. Dumbo octopus.
Nicknamed “Dumbo”, this octopus’ flappy ears allow it to float along above the bottom of the ocean looking for food.
15. Bald uakari.
For the bald uakari monkey a bright red face is a considered a sign of good health and helps other uakaris choose a mate. These primates tend to live near the water in Brazil and Peru.
Like unicorns of the sea, but they actually exist. Narwhals have nerves in their magnificent-looking tusk, probably to help them sense their environment better.
13. Cape rain frog.
It’s a rock with arms, essentially. Which is probably why it looks so glum. The cape rain frog lives in South Africa where it’s equally at home in farmland and urban areas.
12. Giraffe weevil.
Just look at that neck. Male giraffe weevils have necks that are two to three times longer than females, and use them to fight off other males.
The cutest little lake-dweller is sadly almost extinct in the wild (scientists didn’t find any in their last search of the axolotl’s only remaining habitat, but are not quite ready to call it quits yet). Axolotls are salamanders that unusually never undergo metamorphosis and remain young their whole life.
10. Basket star.
Basket stars fan their arms out and use tiny microscopic hooks to capture food before curling their arms around it and pulling it towards their mouth. They tend to catch prey at night but wait until daytime to actually feed on it, which somehow makes it all the more terrifying.
9. Mantis shrimp.
Mantis shrimp have twelve colour receptors in their eyes (compared to our three), and they can punch with an acceleration of 80kph. So let’s not mention their flamboyant appearance to their face (or their googly eyes).
8. Christmas tree worm.
These worms look a bit like Christmas trees, but they live on tropical coral reefs around the world. Each worm is about one and a half inches long and has two fir tree-like protrusions, because one is clearly not enough.
7. This deep sea jelly.
Spotted by NOAA’s Okeanos explorer in 2013, this is one weird looking deep sea jellyfish.
6. Hooded seal.
Male hooded seals have an inflatable bladder on their head, and can inflate a red ballon type thing from one of their nostrils if they really want to impress the ladies (or ward off a competitor). I’d expect this kind of thing from a deep sea creature but coming from a seal its somehow much more impressive.
5. Roughback batfish.
1) It looks like a bat. 2) It is actually a fish. 3) Inexplicably, it has bright red lips. Officially known as Ogcocephalus parvus, this particular species lives along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean from North Carolina down to Brazil.
4. Saddleback caterpillar.
If K-9 was a spike-covered caterpillar in a green tabard, he might look a bit like this. The Saddleback caterpillar’s spikes secrete an irritating venom, so maybe stay out of its way until it turns into a moth.
3. Planthopper nymph.
That tail is actually extruded wax used to distract predators. It can also fan out to slow the nymphs down as they fall through the air. Pretty neat.
2. Pigbutt worm.
It’s a worm and it looks like a pig’s backside, what more could you ask for? They live 3000 feet below the ocean surface and are about the size of a marble. Bonus: part of its latin name, Chaetopterus pugaporcinus, appears to translate to “pig butt”. Well done those scientists.
1. This deep sea squid with actual teeth.
Sea creatures with human-looking teeth are the most terrifying thing. And this one also has eight legs and two tentacles. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Promachoteuthis sulcus, a deep sea squid we only know about thanks to this one specimen. It was found by a German research vessel in the southern Atlantic ocean, around 6000ft down.
Now promise never to go down there and maybe this picture won’t haunt your nightmares.
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