Skip To Content

    26 Times Evolution Failed So Hard It Almost Won

    Go home nature and think about what you've done.

    by ,

    1. Narrow-headed soft shell turtle.

    Krishna Kumar Mishra / en.wikipedia.org

    Growing up to a metre long and weighing over 100 kg, these are some heavy turtles. They spend most of their life buried just under the sea bed, waiting for a fish to swim by, at which point they extend their surprisingly long neck to catch it.

    2. Red-Lipped Batfish

    youtube.com / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    The red-lipped batfish uses its fins to walk across the ocean floor most of the time, rather than swim. It also has a strange small lure under its nose thats use is still unknown.

    3. Pigbutt Worm, Chaetopterus pugaporcinus

    Karen Osborn/MBARI mbari.org

    What's remarkable about the pigbutt worm, other than the fact that is looks like a butt, is that scientists don't really know what it is. They're unsure about where it's an usually large baby worm larva, or a really weird looking adult worm. If it is a big baby, then where are all the adult pig butts hiding?

    4. Ocean Sunfish

    Per-Ola Norman / en.wikipedia.org

    Also known as Molas, adult sunfish can be 4.2 metres tall and 3.1 metres across, and they don't even have a tail. Who needs a tail anyway?

    5. Piglet Squid

    REX USA/Gary Florin

    The piglet squid can be found in all the tropical waters of the world, bobbing about, spreading joy. Not much is known about this little squid, as it is quite rare. As it grows up it changes quite a lot physically, turning red and losing its cute little tentacles.

    6. Desert Rain Frog

    vine.co / Via youtube.com

    This little guy sounds like he's a squeaky dog toy, but he is actually alive. It spends most of its time underground, but comes up above ground occasionally to feed on insects and squeak.

    7. Star-nosed mole

    Rod Planck/Science Photo Library

    The star-nosed mole is completely blind, it finds its prey of insects and worms purely by touch. It's 22-tentacled nose is the equivalent of our eyes. It is so sensitive it could "detect a grain of salt on a pile of sand." Using this super power the star-nosed mole builds a 3D picture of its tunnels, using texture alone, and is an extremely efficient predator.

    8. Stargazer

    Flickr: rickcollier / CC

    The stargazer fish half buries itself in the sand and waits for a fish to swim directly overhead before springing out of the sand and eating said fish. It has a permanently upturned head, perfectly adapted for its hunting technique.

    9. Hairy Frogfish

    Silke Baron / commons.wikimedia.org

    The hairy frogfish is a remarkable creature. Called a frogfish because it uses its fins to walk along the sea bed rather than swim. It lures prey by disguising itself as a seaweed covered rock, and then deploying a lure that looks exactly like a wiggling worm. It is also a fearsome predator and has been known to eat fish as big as itself.

    Look at its wiggly lure!

    channel.nationalgeographic.com / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    10. Gum Leaf Skeletoniser Caterpillar.

    Flickr: 40325561@N04 / CC

    You see that pile of weird balls on its head? That's a pile of the caterpillar's old heads on its head. As the caterpillar grows it sheds and replaces an exoskeleton, but it keeps all the old head sections of the exoskeleton on top of its new head, which makes for a rather fetching hat. Don't touch it though as it will give you a nasty sting.

    11. Maned Wolf

    Flickr: ucumari / CC

    The maned wolf is basically an exceptionally leggy fox. Like us they eat pretty much anything, from fruit to birds. They also mate for life, despite spending the majority of the year apart, hunting alone. How progressive <3.

    12. Short-Horned Lizard

    Churnice / en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons

    The short horned lizard has some interesting defense mechanisms. First they like to inflate themselves up to double the size, to become like a big spiky balloon lizards. And then if that doesn't work they squirt blood out of their eyes.

    No really.

    13. Fawn Leaf-Nosed Bat

    B. G. Thomson/Science Photo Library

    The male fawn leaf-nosed bats have a glad on their forehead which produces an odourless fluid, that nobody knows the purpose of.

    14. Giant Isopod

    Flickr: nmfs_northwest / CC

    Giant Isopods live on the ocean floor and are very good at surviving. They can go four years without eating, and have been around since the dinosaurs.

    15. Egyptian Jerboa

    http://E.R.Degginger Photo Library

    Egyptian Jerboa are bipedal, meaning they move around only using their back legs, like a mini kangaroo.

    16. Flapjack Octopus

    Dante Fenolio/Science Photo Library
    youtube.com / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Flapjack octopuses found stardom in the character Pearl in Finding Nemo. Sadly though, if Pearl were real she would have been pink mush as these creatures can only survive the the extreme pressures of the deep sea. Still cute though.

    17. Gharial

    Bo Link / en.wikipedia.org

    Two possible uses have been suggested for the weird bulb on the end of the gharial's snout; either a vocal resonator, or just an ornament used to attract a mate. It's amazing what some giant reptiles find attractive.

    18. Maribou Stork

    Lip Kee / Flickr: lipkee / Creative Commons

    It's the maribou stork's throat sack that really makes it stand out from the crowd.

    19. Sea-pig sea cucumber

    British Antarctic Survey/Science Photo Library

    Sea cucumbers might be a contender for strangest animal ever. If they are attacked they shoot their sticky internal organs out of their anus in the direction of their attacker. They then regenerate their internal organs. Nice huh?

    20. Vervet monkey

    MARGARITA / thewildlifediaries.com / Creative Commons

    Vervet monkey is pretty drab looking. Oh apart from its blue balls and red penis.

    21. Variegated Grasshopper

    Flickr: globalvoyager / Creative Commons

    The jazziest grasshopper around is pretty common in sub-Saharan african and even considered a pest.

    22. Asian sheepshead wrasse

    youtube.com / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Think this fish can't get any weirder, I mean its already got that head it can't possibly get weirder than that right? Well no, this is a sex-changing fish, so it will spend the first part of its life as a female, and then transform into a male. Pretty neat.

    23. Golden Tortoise Beetle

    Ilona Loser / en.wikipedia.org

    This little bug is found all over eastern North America, just eating plants and being shiny.

    24. Gunnison sage-grouse

    newsofbird.com / Creative Commons

    Sadly this jazzy-looking grouse with inflatable chest sacks may be the rarest bird in the U.S. It was only discovered 14 years ago, how everyone missed it until then is a mystery. To attract a mate the males shake their tail feathers and inflate their breast sacks, something I think we can all relate to.

    25. Wolffish

    Flickr: eirikm / CC

    These friendly looking fish can grow up to five feet long and live pretty much anywhere. There is some kind of wolffish for nearly all water on the planet. But they are mainly found in the cold murky ocean depths.

    Their reproduction behavior is pretty odd, the females self-fertilise the eggs and then dump then for the males to ferociously protect for several months.

    26. Naked Mole Rat

    Buffenstein/Barshop Institute/UTHSCSA

    Naked mole rats are not exactly lookers, but they are pretty incredible. They feel no pain when exposed to acid, this is thought to be an adaptation to the limited oxygen they experience in their underground homes, which would cause a build up of carbon dioxide, which is acidic.

    They also seem to be resistant to cancer, and are the longest living rodent, living up to 31 years. They also live in a similar social group to bees, with one mother queen doing all the breeding, and the rest being workers bring her food. If you needed anymore reasons to respect the naked mole rat, they can run backwards as fast as they run forward. All hail the naked mole rat.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form