30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (2023)


    30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (1)Emma TaubenfeldUpdated: Jan. 06, 2023

    From the book WTF, Evolution?!

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


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (2)Mats Carnmarker/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (3)Stan Tekiela Author/Naturalist/Wildlife Photographer/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (4)ifish/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (5)by wildestanimal/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (6)Fiona Rogers/Getty Images

      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.

      (Video) 30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (7)PABimages/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (8)ullstein bild/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (9)Getty Images/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (10)kristianbell/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (11)Kittisuper/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (12)Paul Starosta/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (13)The Washington Post/Getty Images

      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.



      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (14)Uniquesafarieye/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (15)Dave G. Houser/Getty Images

      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.”


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (16)Kristian Bell/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (17)Martin Harvey/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (18)Jakraphan Inchukul/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (19)Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (20)S.Rohrlach/Getty Images

      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.

      (Video) The world's weirdest creatures


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (21)kampee patisena/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (22)Vincent_St_Thomas/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (23)Robert Pickett/Getty Images

      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?


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (24)imageBROKER/Marko Konig/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (25)Alastair Pollock Photography/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (26)Diana Robinson Photography/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (27)picture alliance/Getty Images


      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.

      (Video) Rarest Animals in the World


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (28)ullstein bild/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (29)Sylvain CORDIER/Getty Images

      Maned wolf

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


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (30)Insights/Getty Images

      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (31)Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty Images


      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.


      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (32)Gavriil Grigorov/Getty Images


      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.

      Originally Published: June 27, 2018

      30 of the Weirdest Animals Around the World (33)

      Emma Taubenfeld

      Emma Taubenfeld is a former assistant editor for Reader’s Digest who writes about digital lifestyle topics such as memes, social media captions, pickup lines and cute pets. When she’s not working, you can find Emma reading corny young adult novels, creating carefully curated playlists and figuring out how to spice up boxed mac and cheese.

      (Video) 100 Interesting Animal Moments Caught On Camera


      What is the number one weirdest animal in the world? ›

      1. Platypus. First on our list of the top 10 weirdest animals in the world is the platypus. An Australian animal, the platypus, stands out from the rest.

      What are some animals that nobody knows about? ›

      10 Strange Animals You Probably Didn't Know Existed
      • Glass Frogs. Glass frog species belong to the family of Centrolenidae; these frogs are also known by the name “see-through” because of their translucent skin. ...
      • Lyrebirds. ...
      • MataMata. ...
      • Sugar gliders. ...
      • Red-Lipped Batfish. ...
      • Pink Fairy Armadillo. ...
      • Markhor. ...
      • Leafy Sea-dragon.
      Oct 23, 2020

      What are the weirdest things animals do? ›

      10 weird animal facts that are actually super interesting
      • Dogs have three eyelids. ...
      • A group of cats is called a 'clowder' ...
      • Pandas do handstands when they pee. ...
      • Killer whales are technically dolphins. ...
      • Penguins can shoot 'poop bombs' ...
      • Cats can taste the air. ...
      • Tiger pee may smell like buttered popcorn.
      Sep 29, 2022

      What is the 1st dumbest animal? ›

      Summary of the Dumbest Animals in the World
      3Panda Bear
      15 more rows
      Feb 10, 2023

      What animal has never been in a zoo? ›

      The Javan rhino is the rarest large mammal on the planet, and none are in captivity, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They're a shy species used to living in dense tropical forests, which are tough to replicate in captivity, Mizejewski says.

      What animal has only 1 left in the world? ›

      One last stand

      There are only two northern white rhinos left in the world, both female. Yet there is still hope that we can preserve their lineage. Your support today could help offer a lifeline for the world's rarest mammal.

      What is the 2 rarest animal? ›

      Summary of the 10 Rarest Animals in the World
      1Kakapo (Strigops habroptila)New Zealand
      2Philippine Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis)The Philippines
      3Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis)The Amur Region, Russia & China
      4Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)Termit Tin Toumma, Niger
      6 more rows
      Feb 10, 2023

      What is the weirdest animal to eat? ›

      The 25 Weirdest Animals People Eat Around the World
      • Starfish.
      • Cobra Heart.
      • Scorpions.
      • Opossum.
      • Shark Fin Soup.
      • Whales.
      • Octopus.
      • Elephant.
      May 18, 2016

      Which animal can not listen? ›

      Cephalopods. Cephalopods, such as cuttlefishes, octopuses, and squids, are listed first because, at one time, they were thought to be completely deaf.

      Which animal does not fear anyone? ›

      The honey badger is not afraid of anything.

      What animal is shy? ›

      What exactly is a 'shy animal'? most “prey animals” meaning those that are eaten by other animals and are generally herbivores themselves are technically “shy” due to their survival instincts manifesting in avoidance behaviors.

      What is the most unknown animal fact? ›

      7 Weird Animal Facts That You Didn't Know
      • A Flamingo's head has to be upside down when it eats. ...
      • Female ferrets die if they do not mate once they go into heat. ...
      • Only half a Dolphin's brain sleeps at a time. ...
      • Blue Whales are immensely heavy. ...
      • Armadillos can catch leprosy. ...
      • A Cockroach's brain is in its body.

      What is the coolest animal ever? ›

      This list contains some animals you'll be amazed to know exist and boast such impeccable traits and characteristics.
      • The Maned Wolf. ...
      • Blue Dragon. ...
      • 5. Japanese Spider Crab. ...
      • Slow Loris. ...
      • Angora Rabbit. ...
      • Pacu Fish. ...
      • Axolotl. ...
      • Blobfish.
      Feb 25, 2023

      What is the #1 smartest animal? ›

      1: Chimpanzee

      Topping our list of smartest animals is another great ape, the chimpanzee. The impressive intellectual abilities of this animal have long fascinated humans.

      Which animal does not remember? ›

      Snakes. Most snakes have very poor or no memories at all.

      What is the most lying animal? ›

      Blue Jay. Birds are among nature's most gifted liars. For instance, “blue jays do a good job of imitating a variety of hawk species,” says Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.

      What animal has no name? ›

      Bovine may be what our mystery animal is, but it's not what it's called. We have a word for its dead flesh when we eat it, but we never bothered to think of a word for beef while it's still alive. Seriously, how messed up is that? It doesn't have a name.

      Is there any unknown animals? ›

      So far, zoologists have reported on nearly all the mammal and bird species currently living on earth. There may be a dozen or so left that as yet are unknown to science.

      Is there animals we don't know? ›

      Experts believe that millions of undiscovered species exist in the modern day -- but most are tiny microbes and insects.

      What animal is impossible pet? ›

      Wild animals like lions, tigers, etc. cannot be tamed in the house as pet animals as they are wild by nature.

      Why is platypus weird? ›

      Australia's duck-billed platypus are the perfect example of weird - they lay eggs, nurse their young ones, are toothless with webbed feet, and most interestingly, have 10 sex chromosomes. Belonging to an ancient group of mammals called monotremes, platypus have always confused scientists.

      What's the coolest animal in the world? ›

      Summary of the Top 10 Coolest Animals in the World
      RankAnimal Name
      3Pacu Fish
      4Angora Rabbit
      6 more rows
      Mar 1, 2023

      What animal feels fear? ›

      Animals feel intense fear when they're threatened in any way, regardless of whether they're predators or prey. While all animals can be overwhelmed by terror, prey animals like cows, deer, horses, and rabbits spend a lot more time being scared than predators do.

      What animal can love forever? ›

      Gray wolves

      Wolf packs live within a strict social hierarchy, led by the alpha male and his mate, with whom he stays for life.

      What animal has no fear? ›

      The honey badger has been called the world's most fearless animal because it doesn't hesitate to attack animals much larger than itself- even lions and crocodiles!

      What animals sweat milk? ›

      Platypus are monotremes - a tiny group of mammals able to both lay eggs and produce milk. They don't have teats, instead they concentrate milk to their belly and feed their young by sweating it out.

      Do male platypus have balls? ›

      Although, like reptiles, the platypus keeps its testes near its kidneys throughout life, its genome bears the imprint of changes that eventually allowed most other male mammals, including humans, to store their reproductive organs in cooler temperatures outside the body.

      What gender is a platypus? ›

      Although a male platypus is generally both longer and heavier than a female platypus, a large female may be nearly as big as a small male living in the same area. A male's reproductive organs are also normally tucked up inside his body, so they can't be easily used to distinguish males from females.

      What animals wont eat humans? ›

      Some species of sharks, like the whale shark and the basking shark, don't pose a threat to humans at all, despite looking pretty menacing. Even the species of sharks responsible for the most attacks on humans (bull sharks, tiger sharks, and white sharks) don't actively seek to eat humans.

      What animals eat but not drink? ›

      The kangaroo rat never has to drink water—it just gets it from the seeds it eats. To survive in the dry climes of the American West, its kidneys generate super-concentrated urine, and it doesn't pant or sweat.

      What is the animal that never gets hungry? ›

      Tardigrades can live years without food. These are their adaptations to extreme climatic conditions in their habitat for survival. Animals like Emperor penguin, Tardigrade do not eat food in extreme climatic conditions and undergoes a dormant stage.

      What animal can breathe fire in real life? ›

      Unfortunately, no documented animal has the ability to breathe fire, but there is one group of animals that is widely accepted as those that come closest to doing so: bombardier beetles.

      What is the hottest living animal? ›

      In 2005, NASA recorded the single highest surface temperature recorded anywhere in the world in the Lut—159.3 Fahrenheit. But one animal has evolved to outfox the heat. Rüppell's fox, also known as the sand fox, has a body built to withstand heat; for instance, its concentrated urine helps save water.


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