We as humans have the tendency to put elements of nature into boxes: “Fish look like this, insects look like this.” Of course, we make exceptions for some variation, but when certain elements combine in ways, we’re unfamiliar with we don’t know how to process them. Below is a list of ten creatures found in nature that manage to defy norms and look out of this world.
Also called the Bobbit Worm due to the vicious way it cuts its prey in half, this sea creature’s appearance doesn’t cause it much trouble: it’s something of a stealthy predator, lying in wait, burying itself with its antenna exposed, and striking undetected by its victims.
The recently discovered (2009) poodle moth is extremely off-putting so some due to its furry appearance. The unusual sight of fur or fine hair on an insect sends shivers down our spines, at least, recalling the likes of the tarantula.
These crabs can grow over three-feet long in their sixty-year life spans. Tough not necessarily harmful to humans (the pinch is described as painful, though not severely damaging), humans are its only predator. Different cultures consider its meat a delicacy, and some even think it an aphrodisiac.
Though the name is somewhat misleading (its primary diet isn’t birds, though it is known to eat them when the opportunity arises), this is one of the largest tarantulas in the world. Making its home in South America, it was a painful (though non-lethal) bite.
This bottom-dweller has quite the mug: its jaw has several fangs backed by three rows of teeth on the top and two on the bottom.
Its mix of molars, conical, and crushing teeth stand out even among the unusual biology lurking on the ocean floor. Sadly, it’s near extinction.
The “devil worm” (as it has been dubbed) was first described as a mass of moving black swirls when it was first discovered in 2011. It has evolved to withstand tremendous heat and pressure, which makes sense when you consider it was found nearly two miles beneath the earth’s surface.
The naked mole-rat gets a lot of flak for being the ugliest mole, but we think its star-nosed counterpart has it beat hands down.
Twenty-eight flesh feelers extend from its snout to help it measure and detect its surroundings. It’s a cool feature to be sure, but it looks like something out of a Lovecraft story.
2Japanese Spider Crab
The aptly-named spider crab grows larger than your standard spiders or crabs, with an average leg span of sixteen feet. Despite its seemingly frail appearance it’s known to cause very serious injuries to the fishermen who mishandle it.
A rare sight to be sure, the giant jellyfish has a tentacle reach of over one-hundred feet. Though its sting isn’t deadly to humans (and encounters with humans aren’t common at all), it remains active for some time after dismemberment. An incident in 2010 saw pieces of the jellyfish effect over one-hundred people.