The world is filled with unbelievable places and even more fascinating creatures. Some have lived for millennia, but it wasn’t until recently that we learned of their existence. They take all shapes and sizes, but some take their strange factor to another. In fact, some of these creatures seem to be better suited to science fiction or fantasy novels rather than the places where they are currently found. Let’s take a look at some of the animal species that should not exist.
The aye-aye is an endangered lemur that looks more like it belongs in the film Gremlins rather than in the jungles of Madagascar with its lemur counterparts. Aye-ayes are characterized by large ears, long slender fingers and teeth that do not stop growing. Not surprisingly, these endangered animals are seen as harbingers of death to the locals; legend states that they sneak into villages and use their middle fingers to pierce the hearts of sleeping humans.
The duck-billed platypus is one of the strangest animals to ever exist as it looks like a cross between a bird (its duck-like bill), a reptile (its egg-laying ability) and a mammal (its vertebrate class). Scientists were confused as to how they should be classified but eventually decided to classify them as monotremes – mammals that have the ability to lay eggs. Those features make the platypus one of the most adaptable animals on earth, but there’s more: male platypuses have venomous spurs on their hindlegs which they use when threatened. The venom may not be enough to kill a human, but it has been known to kill dogs.
3. Mantis Shrimp
The mantis shrimp is known for many things including its beautiful color, its advanced optical system, and its violent tendencies. Found in tropical waters, these shrimp (consisting of over 450 species), have one of the strongest pound-for-pound punches in the animal kingdom. According to scientists, mantis shrimp can strike with the force of a .22 caliber bullet, so they can’t be kept in aquariums made of regular glass. The territorial shrimp’s strike is so powerful that it generates heat and light that will surely finish off what the impact (rarely) does not.
4. Horror Frog
Much thought may not have gone into the naming of this creature, but at least the person who christened it, got it right. The horror frog, also called the hairy frog, is a species of croakers known for having strands of hair growing along its legs and back. The hairs are believed to help aid in respiration as they have very small lungs. While its hair makes it unique, these frogs have an even more bizarre feature: they can break their bones to produce claws in little to no time. When faced with a threat, their muscles contract and their toe bones break to expose hidden claws.
The axolotl, also called the Mexican walking fish, is a type of aquatic salamander that seems to be a real-life version of a Pokémon. The strange animal has been confusing scientists from the day that it was discovered but thankfully, they’ve learned some things about it. We know that it has the ability to regrow vital organs like its heart and parts of the brain. We know that they never transform into adults, a phenomenon known as neoteny, and we also know that they can be cannibalistic – biting off appendages of family members for food.
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