Welcome to the animal kingdom, where nothing is what it seems and everything wants to kill you. It’s a weird and wonderful place, because animals sometimes find the most incredible ways to ensure their survival.
In this video, we explore the strangest ways animals have adapted to their surroundings. Without further ado, here is the top five of World’s Most Bizarre Animals.
The flapjack octopus
No, for real, this tiny little octopus is actually named after our favourite syrupy snack. We love it already.
It was actually meant to be named after its resemblance to a pancake, due to its flat disc of tentacles, but in some parts of the US, a pancake is referred to as a flapjack. Why they didn’t just name it the pancake octopus, we don’t know, but doesn’t change the fact it’s deliciously adorable.
They can be found at depths between 320 and 620 metres, so you won’t see them on your snorkelling trips anytime soon, but if you did you’d notice their strange tentacles actually make them pretty good swimmers. They actually look like little parachutes, using fins on the top of their heads to “steer”.
Every rose has its thorns. Unless it’s a thorn bug. In which case that’s even scarier. This tiny little insect has got camouflage down to a T, disguising as a thorn to scare off potential predators. But that’s not where their bizarre attributes end.
For one, they are older than dinosaurs, as their family of 3,200 species grouped into 400 genera can be traced back to the Devonian Era around 240 million years ago. It also has a strange vibrating abdomen, which results in strange drumming noise it uses for communication. Thorn bugs use their percussion skills to keep nymphs, aka baby thorn bugs, nearby and to attract female mates.
Then there is its poop. Yes, this just got dirty. You see, thorn bugs feed off the sap found in plant stems, and the excrement they produce because of this is a concentrate called honeydew, which other insects love. This sweet substance is so attractive to ants they often form a symbiosis with thorn bugs and protect them, in a sort of, you scratch my back I eat your poop kind of way. In any case, it brings a whole new meaning to the word potty mouth.
By this point you might be thinking “This isn’t about weird animals, you just chose cute stuff to ramble about”. And you’d be right.
The pygmy marmoset is incredibly adorable, but it’s also pretty strange. About the size of your hand and the weight of about two eggs, they chirp like little birds at a frequency that’s often too high for us to hear. And they’re polite chirpers too, speaking in turn and waiting for it to be quiet to strike up conversation.
As if they couldn’t get any cuter, they flirt by blowing raspberries. I don’t know about you, but that’s sure to make me weak at the knees. When a male wants to show he’s ready for business, they stick out their tongue and blow little bubbles, and the lady reciprocates by showing her bum.
Pink fairy armadillo
Apart from having the best name among the armadillo family, it’s also the weirdest. And that’s saying something, as armadillos are pretty funky creatures already. I mean, come on, they’re basically what would happen if an anteater got cast into Game of Thrones and started wearing a leathery armour and could roll up into a living cannonball.
The pink fairy armadillo is still badass despite its name and size. For one, it’s very nimble and fast, using its huge front paws to burrow through sand as quickly as a fish swims through water.
It’s also capable of changing colour, mostly because its shell, which connects to its body via a membrane that runs along its spinal column, is so thin. You can actually see its blood vessels, and it’s used more for thermoregulation than any real protection. Therefore it changes hue with the temperature as blood floods into or drains out of it.
You may have already seen this monkey from Borneo before, but they’re even weirder than you already know.
For one, its nose isn’t the only thing that’s big. That came out wrong. They also have very big bellies, as it’s a colobine monkey. This means it has bacteria in its gut that can break down the cellulose and neutralise plant toxins in its leafy diet. In fact, locals took such notice of its features that they gave it the Indonesian name orang belanda, meaning Dutchman, as they saw a resemblance to the Dutch colonisers with their large bellies and noses.
So there you have it, nature is even freakier than you already thought. But it’s also pretty incredible. If you want to discover more about the animal world, click the like and subscribe button on our YouTube channel, and we’ll be sure to amaze you some more next time.
Image from www.flickr.com/photos/stuutje