The Census of Marine Life indicates that there are 8.7 million species in the natural world, including 6.5 million on land and 2.2 million in the oceans. The animal and marine worlds have a stunning number of species, although some are significantly strange.
Here are some of our planet’s strangest creatures.
1. Frill-necked lizard
The calm, low-key frill-necked lizard, endemic to northern Australia and southern New Guinea, is solely interested in insects. In order to avoid possible predators, the lizard has evolved its body to move exceedingly fast and can sprint on just its hind legs when it picks up speed.
The Blobfish is a deep-sea fish found off the shores of Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. Out of water, the blobfish looks unusual, but this is because of its unusual adaptations to its preferred habitats. Rather than using gas bladders, the blobfish uses a gelatinous substance with a little lower density than water to provide buoyancy. Because the blobfish lacks muscle, it spends much of its time floating along with the stream, consuming whatever swims in front of it.
3. Goblin shark
The goblin shark is a rare deep-sea shark species and the sole living member of the Mitsukurinidae family, which dates back 125 million years. This pink-skinned creature has a long, sharp nose and crooked, nail-like teeth, as well as the ability to move extremely quickly. When fully grown, it is normally between 3 and 4 m (10 and 13 ft) long, however it can grow much larger, as one collected in 2000 was estimated to be 6 m long (20 ft).
4. Komondor Dog
The Komondor, also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a big Hungarian livestock guardian dog with long, clearly corded white hair that resembles dreadlocks or a mop. The coat is fluffy and silky. The coat, however, is curly and tends to twist as the puppy grows older. The soft basecoat and the coarser outer coat come together to create fringes in a completely developed coat.
The echidna, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, is the first of several Australian species on our list. It is one of only two monotreme mammals, which means it does not give birth to live babies but instead lays eggs. Spines cover their bodies, and their long snouts are coated with electroreceptors, a characteristic only echidnas and platypuses have on land.
The Aye-aye is a long-fingered lemur, a strepsirrhine primate native to Madagascar with rodent-like teeth that never stop growing and a particularly thin middle finger. It has protruding eyes, enormous ears, and tufts of fur. It is the biggest nocturnal primate in the planet. It is unique in that it taps on trees to discover grubs, then gnaws holes in the wood with its forward-slanting incisors to make a tiny hole into which it slips its slender middle finger to pull the grubs out.
The Axolotl, often known as the Mexican walking fish, is one of the world’s most unusual amphibians. Aside from its pleasant look, the amphibian is neotenic, which means that when adults reach adulthood, they remain aquatic and gilled rather than undergoing a metamorphosis. They can also regrow practically any component of their body. While axolotls are practically extinct in their native Mexico, they have thrived in captivity and are cherished as pets by scientists and the general public.
The Platypus, sometimes known as the duck-billed platypus, is an egg-laying mammal that is semi-aquatic, nocturnal, and poisonous. It is native to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. The mammel, like bats and sharks, has evolved electroreception to aid with prey detection, but it possesses about 40,000 electroreceptors, allowing amazing precision. This little creature – they only reach a length of around 50 centimeters – is one of the few in the world to be the sole representative of its family and genus for scientific classification.
9. Dumbo octopus
It’s easy to see how this species received its name from its similarity to the main character in Disney’s 1941 film Dumbo, who has a large ear-like fin that extends from the mantle over each eye. It may be found at a depth of at least 13,100 feet (4,000 meters). The world’s largest Dumbo octopus was five feet ten inches (1.8 meters) long and weighed 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms). Living at these deep depths necessitates the capacity to survive in extremely cold water and total darkness. Dumbo octopuses move by flapping their ear-like fins gently and directing with their arms.
10. Turritopsis nutricula
Turritopsis nutricula is a hydroid jellyfish of the Oceanidae family that originated in the Caribbean Sea but currently lives in all warm and tropical oceans throughout the world. It has been detected in Japan and in the Mediterranean Sea since scientists first discovered it in Colombia. It is tall and has a transparent, gelatinous skin. Adults can have 80–90 tentacles, whereas immature creatures have just eight. It has a large red stomach on the inside and may glow in the dark.