Ever come across those bizarre animals that look like they are straight out of a horror movie? Or maybe a Dr. Suess book?
We wanted to share these five species that, while not likely to appear through a hunting rifle scope or on the end of a fishing line, would really freak us out if we saw them while in the field or on the boat.
Photo via MyModernMet.com
This guy, also known as the Waller’s gazelle, inhabits the desert and bush of East Africa. The name gerenuk comes from the Somali word meaning “giraffe-necked,” and for good reason. Large eyes and ears on a tiny head make the gerenuk distinct, and instead of grazing like most members of its family, it eats leaves from trees and shrubs. Of course, in such cases, a long neck and the ability to stand on its hind legs really come in handy.
2. Goblin Shark
Photo via Listverse.com
Terrified? Yeah, we were too. The goblin shark has rarely been seen alive, let alone caught for studying. It hangs around the ocean floor, and mirrors many of the same attributes credited to long-lost ancient shark species. Little is known about the goblin shark, which is probably what makes it so ridiculously scary.
Photo via National Geographic (Klaus Nigge)
With the body of a deer and the head of a camel, the saiga is one of the weirder creatures we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen a chupacabra (Okay, that’s a lie, no one’s seen a chupacabra). The big-nosed antelope that’s found in Central Asia has struggled through its endangered species status, but conservation efforts are improving their numbers. Seriously, didn’t we see one of these in the canteen scene from Star Wars? Could you imagine one of these mounted above your mantle?
4. Frilled Shark
Photo via National Geographic
National Geographic called the frilled shark a “living fossil,” and we’d have to agree. Get a good look at the image, because you may very well never see one of these in the wild. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the species as near threatened; in other words it “is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.”
5. Pacu Fish
Photo via Discovery.com
A close relative of the flesh-eating piranha, the pacu is a perfectly good reason to avoid skinny-dipping while in South America. Reports have surfaced of the pacu committing the worst of all crimes: testicle biting. Also known as the “Nut Cracker Fish,” the pacu can grow up to three feet and weigh as much as 55 pounds.
Do you know of other bizarre animals that most people have never seen or heard of before? Share them in the comments below, and do your best to leave us flabbergasted.