The Top 23 Strangest and Most Bizarre Animals Still on the Planet Today
The Earth is home to some amazing animals, and many of them are well-known. Everybody knows how quick cheetahs are, how big elephants can grow, and how adorable chipmunks can be. But there are some pretty bizarre animals roaming this Earth that aren’t so famous!
Here’s a list of 23 of the strangest, spookiest, and most bizarre animals in the world. They range from insects to fish to mammals. Each of these animals is special, adding their contribution to the world’s incredibly complex animal kingdom. Pick a new favorite animal from this list! Spoiler alert… you’re going to want to check out the bilby. They’re so cute it’s bizarre.
Let’s get started!
The siphonophore takes one of the top spots for the most bizarre animals in the world. These creatures are one of the longest animals on Earth, spanning up to 160 feet! They live in the deep sea and eat crustaceans, larvae, and other small deep-sea creatures.
Pink River Dolphin
Pink river dolphins, also called the Amazon river dolphin, are one of the most unique underwater mammals. They live in South America and they’re actually a species of toothed whale. The pink skin possessed by these dolphins comes from scarring, and not all Amazon river dolphins possess it. Males generally do, though!
Pink Fairy Armadillo
Pink fairy armadillos have a shell just like all armadillos, but they are much smaller than the traditional armadillo. They’re the smallest species of armadillo in existence and generally inhabit sandy regions. These armadillos are extremely rare; it’s estimated there are only 100 pink fairy armadillos left on Earth!
The tarsier is definitely one of the weirdest-looking mammals on Earth. They have the largest eyes to body ratio of any mammal in the world. These endangered primates are actually the oldest surviving primates in existence! Despite their adorable appearance, these mammals are fierce. Not only are they strong fighters, but they also produce a deadly venom.
Japanese Spider Crab
While there are tens of thousands of crustaceans in existence, the Japanese spider crab takes first place as the largest crustacean on Earth. They can grow up to 12 feet in size and can weigh over 40 pounds. They live around Japan, eating algae, mollusks, and small fish.
Maned wolves can appear similar to a fox, but they are actually in the canine family. These long-legged mammals have fox coloration and they live exclusively in South America. They’re the largest canines on the continent, but despite their names, they’re not really wolves. Maned wolves are a distinct species and the only species in their genus.
Blobfish are one of the more well-known species of bizarre, wacky animals on Earth. These creatures have been revered as one of the ugliest creatures still in existence. They’re deep sea creatures that reside around Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand. Blobfish serve a distinct role in the ecosystem of Oceania, keeping the overpopulation of crustaceans and mollusks at bay.
The hammer-headed bat is definitely one of the most bizarre-looking bats in the world. They have a few different nicknames, including the hammer-headed fruit bat and big-lipped bat. The hammer-headed bat is a megabat, and the largest bat on the continent of Africa.
The aye-aye is a somewhat adorable, somewhat grungy-looking primate that is native to Madagascar. They’re actually long-fingered lemurs, with a fantastic ability to navigate the terrain of their habitats. They’re the largest nocturnal primates in the world, with a body that spans 12-16 inches and a tail that spans an additional 18-22 inches.
Peacock spiders are one of the most beautiful (albeit strange) species of spiders in the world. They are jumping spiders that live primarily in Australia. Their jumping abilities are incredible: they can move 40 times their body length in just one single leap!
The bilby is an adorable marsupial equipped with large, rabbit-like ears on a small body. They are also known as rabbit-bandicoots. There were two primary species of bilby until the 1950s, when the lesser bilby became extinct. The greater bilby is still alive (though endangered) and lives primarily in desert regions of Australia.
The jerboa is another animal that is so cute it’s simply bizarre. Jerboas are hopping rodents that live in Africa and Asia. They feature long legs and a stabilizing tail with very short arms. Despite their tiny size, they can run up to 15mph when provoked! Not only can they run fast, but these rodents can jump. A jerboa can leap 10 feet high into the air!
The jabiru is an interesting-looking stork that resides in Central and South America. It’s the largest flying bird in those regions, weighing almost twenty pounds and featuring a 9-foot wingspan. They have a large, identifying throat and an exceptionally long beak.
The narwhal, often referred to as “The Unicorn of the Sea,” is certainly one of the most bizarre animals on Earth. These creatures feature a very long tusks jutting out of their foreheads. They live in the waters around Canada, Greenland, and Russia, and these big animals can weigh well over 2,000 pounds.
The gerenuk, also called the Waller’s gazelle, is playfully referred to as a “giraffe gazelle” due to their long neck. These animals live in eastern Africa and have some incredibly bizarre traits. For one, the gerenuk generally eats standing on only two legs! They like to grab food that is high up in trees, so standing on their hind legs gives the gerenuk an opportunity to reach even higher than their necks allow.
It’s clear how the sawfish got their name! These creatures are also called carpenter sharks, but in reality, they’re rays and not sharks. They live in the Atlantic Ocean and can be regularly located off the Florida coast. These rays can grow to reach a length of almost 20 feet! Sawfish are critically endangered. It’s estimated that there are under 5,000 sawfish left.
The alligator gar features the face and teeth of an alligator on the body of a fish! These intimidating fish are extremely bizarre. They’re the largest freshwater fish on the continent of North America, and they can reach lengths of 10 feet. Not only are they large, but they are persistent! The alligator gar can live to be 50 years in age!
The mata mata is a bizarre-looking turtle that, when at rest, looks like a piece of wood. They’re found in South America, often around the Amazon. The shape of their face enables them to serve as a “vacuum” in the basins they live in, and they walk around sucking up small fish and other creatures living on the bottom of the waters.
The barreleye fish must be one of the most bizarre animals on Earth. They have a completely transparent forehead, revealing glowing green eyeballs. They live in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans and reside in the deep sea. While the glowing orbs appear to be their only eyeballs, barreleye fish have another two eyes, as well, for a total of four.
Like the hammerhead bat, flying foxes are another species of megabat. They are called flying foxes due to their coloration, but they aren’t foxes at all. Flying foxes are the largest bats in existence, with a wingspan reaching up to 15 feet. They live in Asia, Africa, and Australia, and their lifespan can reach up to 15 years!
Quokkas had to make the list for the most bizarre animals on Earth because, frankly, they’re strangely cute. These tiny marsupials are nocturnal herbivores, living primarily in southwestern Australia. Despite their tiny size, they’re actually closely related to the much larger wallabies and kangaroos of Australia.
Fried Egg Jellyfish
These jellyfish are another bizarre species on their list that got their name from their insane appearance. Fried egg jellyfish live in the Pacific Ocean and can often be found near California or Alaska. They are incredibly large jellyfish and they’re not particularly mobile. Instead of swimming, they gently pulse their away around the waters of the ocean.
The mantis shrimp remains one of the most bizarre animals on Earth. While they are brightly colored and strange to see, they are also astonishingly strong. Mantis shrimp are known for their aggressive behavior despite their small size. They can even break aquarium glass! While they’re called mantis shrimp, the species are neither mantises nor shrimps. In fact, they’re stomatopods, which are carnivorous crustaceans.
The most bizarre animals on Earth are extremely diverse. Some are large, some are tiny, some are pink, and some are rainbow. While the list of fascinating species is neverending, these are some of the weirdest and wackiest animals roaming the Earth and seas!