The World’s weirdest animals
Britain isn’t exactly known for its exotic animals. In many counties a car-dodging fox is about as exciting as it gets. So if you’re bored of squirrels and pigeons you might want to consider jetting off and checking out some of these weird animal wonders!
Psychrolutes Marcidus – ‘Blobfish’
In the deep waters off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania there’s a fish. A very weird fish. A blobfish. The jelly like body of the blobfish has a density a little less than water which allows it to float just above the sea floor and swallow anything edible that happens to drift by. Very few humans get the treat of seeing the blobfish in all its gelatinous glory as it lives in intensely pressurised depths of the sea.
Kiwa hirsuta – ‘Yeti Crab’
Society might not be willing to acknowledge the existence of the Yeti (yet) but it can’t deny the reality of the yeti crab, even if it was only discovered in 2005. Yeti crabs were uncovered in the Pacific Ocean, south of Easter Island, and earned their nickname from their leg’s thick, blonde, fur-like covering. The crustacean’s hairy legs contain bacteria capable of filtering out poisons from thei surroundings.
Chlamyphorus truncates – Pink Fairy Armadillo
Pink fairy armadillos sound cute and magical don’t they? Well they are! (Note: while the Expat Hub can verify their cuteness their magical properties have yet to be confirmed). Pink fairy armadillos are found in central Argentina and are known for being the very smallest species of armadillo. These armour-plated insect-eaters can be as little as 9cm long! Whilst they don’t look a great deal like fairies the first part of their name is accurate as they’re pale pink in colour.
Ambystoma Mexicanum – Axolotl
The alien-like Axolotl originates from Mexico, specifically the lake under Mexico City. Axolotl are part of the Tiger Salamander complex but don’t metamorphose, remaining aquatic into adulthood. As they’re able to regenerate most of their body parts axolotls are often used in scientific research, but they’re also widely kept as pets. Axolotl owners can be found in the UK, the US and Australia, and they’re even sold under the name of ‘Wooper Rooper’ in Japan.
Hyperotreti – Hagfish
Hagfish can be found in temperate regions in both hemispheres and have been dubbed the most disgusting of all sea creatures, beating the pretty ugly monkfish and the frankly bizarre sea cucumber. Hagfish are long and tubular, and have the ability to produce copious amounts of slime (always useful). This feature, and the fact that they keep unusual feeding habits, has led to some questioning whether they really are fish. No one has so far questioned the ‘hag’ part of their name.
Condylura Cristata – Star-nosed Mole
Our tour of the world’s weird and wonderful animals takes us to North America now and the aptly named Star-nosed mole. This unusual little creature can typically be found in wet lowland areas in the north-east of the US and eastern Canada. The ‘star nose’ is actually a circle of fleshy tentacles at the end of the snout. The 22 tentacles are used by the poorly sighted mole to identify food.
Daubentonia Madagascariensis – Aye-aye
Madagascar, that delightful Dreamwork’s film with the irritating giraffe, can be thanked for introducing weird little Aye-aye’s to the world. Aye-ayes are native to Madagascar and are the largest living nocturnal primates. Although they look nothing like a woodpecker they search for food in a similar fashion, using a freakishly long middle finger to tap trees and find grubs. Once they have located the grubs the aye-aye use their rodent-like teeth to gnaw a hole in the tree bark and use their creepily long finger to hook them out.
Ornithorhynchus anatinus – Platypus
Now, our tour of the world’s weirdest animals would never be complete if we failed to acknowledge the most messed-up animal of them all – the duck-billed platypus. On viewing a platypus for the first time you’d be excused for thinking that it was the result of a duck, a beaver and an otter being involved in some horrific body-blending car accident. When they were first discovered they caused so much confusion that many thought they were part of an elaborate hoax! Platypuses are native to eastern Australia and are the only mammal to lay eggs as well as being one of the few venomous mammals.
If you’ve encountered any weird animals during your time as an expat let us know on Twitter!