With 6 billion humans inhabiting almost every part of our planet, it is surprising how much we still don’t know about the rest of life on Earth.
We know about new species discoveries every day, and we know something new about an older species we didn’t know until now.
Just like that, imagine how much our forefathers DIDNT know about life on our planet. Unexplained animals must have looked to them as magical creatures with secret powers and what not.
A roe deer with just one antler was spotted in Slovenia. Usually, deer have two sets of antlers, just as buffaloes have two sets of horns. But this particular deer had a deformity and had only one antler, and hence looked eerily like a unicorn.
The sad part is, it was hunted and killed, but not before a researcher kept the skull for scientific purposes.
2. Sea reptiles
No, that’s not a real monster, nor is the pic photoshopped. That is an oarfish.
There have been many instances of oarfish washing up on beaches. They do look like they are predators, but only feed on plankton and small fish and shrimp, and are food for larger predators.
But because they are large and look very serpenty, they may have caused the legends about huge sea serpents in high seas.
3. A dancing frog
Yes, they literally dance, and just like humans, they do it to express their feelings – their feelings of love in this case, or just plain need to hump.
Dancing frogs move their legs in their unique way to attract females during mating season.
They are found in the Western ghats in India, but conservationists claim that their numbers are rapidly deteriorating due to human encroachment and climate change.
4. Kermit the Frog from Muppets
Remember Kermit the frog from Muppets?
Scientists found the exact living replica in the form of these frogs recently discovered in Costa Rica. The photo of these frogs went viral since they resemble so closely with the central Muppet character.
5. Cute little sea bunnies
They do look like rabbits, but are basically slugs with thin rods covering the outer skin that ends up looking like fur of a rabbit. And the largest of these tiny rods end up looking like ears of a baby bunny.
No one can dispute that they look as cute as real baby bunnies.
6. A teddy bear
Ili pika, as they are actually called, look very similar to teddy bears we used to adore in our childhood. And they had been so elusive that scientists had a hard time even sighting one of them. Hard time here means 20 years. Scientists thought that the species was extinct, until they were found again in March 2015.
They are very small fish that grow up to only 15 centimeters, but are very sly predators. They have an appendage just under their mouth at the end of which is attached a photophore. This photophore emits light the same way fireflies emit light.
And since dragonfish usually inhabits the deep seas, their light lures in a lot of prey. And looking at their teeth, they are more than capable of devouring whatever comes in their way.
8. Spider crabs
Spider crabs can grow up to 12 feet across. But they are not really harmful per se since they could never eat a human. They are omnivores – they eat small fish and even seaweed and plants that grow in shallow seabeds.
9. Northern stargazer
Imagine swimming in shallow sea water and coming across the above face looking right at you. They are pretty freaky, aren’t they? They bury themselves in the loose seabed and wait in the above position until a prey comes along.
That’s when they ambush and eat.
11. Fanged vampire deer
They are not real vampires, obviously, but their fangs do give them a weird vampire look. The Kashmir Musk Deer is also extremely endangered and is so rare that it was sighted in 2014 for the first time in 60 years!
Understandably, the photographer was surprised and took lovely pictures of these Dracula-wannabes.
12. Lamprey that make holes and suck intestines out
Lampreys are the stuff nightmares are made of. They have a mouth that latches on to the outer skin of a fish and drills a hole until it reaches their intestines. Then they suck these intestines until the host fish dies.
They grow up to 3 feet long and they do not discriminate between prey. They love human blood too – like the man below trying to pull one out.
They are also very good survivors and have been on this planet for more than 300 million years.
13. Fish that walk with legs
The pink handfish literally “walks” on the sea floor using their long fins that are not exactly conventional fins. Their pectoral fins are modified in a way that these fish use them to propel themselves forward.
14. Giant Squid that can wrestle even a whale
Remember the Kraken from Hollywood movies? The giant squid-like creature that threatens to destroy the whole ship by coiling its appendages around it.
The monster could have been inspired from the Giant Squids that roam the deep seas. They grow up to 30 feet long and can weigh up to 200 kilos. And they have long tentacles that can even contest and capture a full grown sperm whale!
No wonder we made those monster stories up.
There is still much of our marvelous planet still unexplored. Hope the good scientists find more such awesome new species in the future.