We’re usually all about celebrating the world’s wonderful wildlife – but it is 31st October. So in the spirit of Halloween, let’s take a look at some of the creepiest looking creatures out there –
This fearsome shark can trace its family tree back 125 million years ago. Lurking in the darkness of the deep sea, they’re extremely rare (because of their inaccessible habitat, rather than they’re endangered). The goblin shark was first described in 1898 and much like other sharks, they are able to detect electrical fields given off by their prey using their snout. They can almost literally smell your fear.
The aye-aye is a small lemur native to Madagascar. They’re listed as endangered by the IUCN and mostly live their lives high up in the canopy where they scavenge for seeds, fruit, and insects.
In Madagascar rural villagers hold the superstition that the aye-aye is a symbol of death and a bringer of evil and it’s not uncommon for the aye-aye to be killed on sight. Sadly, their appearance hasn’t done them many favours.
What do you get when you cross an eel with a pelican? Another delight of the deep sea, of course. Much like the goblin shark, only a few individuals have been observed. Masters of bioluminescence, their tails light up like a Christmas tree to lure prey, as despite their many teeth, they don’t make for efficient hunters.
You may have seen this critter referred to as the ‘camel spider’. They grow to be quite large, and rumour has it they enjoy feasting on the stomachs of sleeping camels – and humans.
But don’t let these spider-come-scorpions creep into your nightmares just yet as much of what you’ve heard probably isn’t true. Solifugae is Latin for ‘those who flee from the sun’; they actually just prefer a quiet life of solitude.
Christy Bills from the Utah Museum of Natural History said, “Unfortunately, some people assign them fierce characteristics because of their appearance. They do not disembowel camels, jump in the air nor run after humans. … In captivity, they are quite the divas and require princess-like accommodations to be kept alive.” (quote from LiveScience).