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21 Bizarre Animals That Look Fictional But Are Totally Real

From fish having legs to having the ability to survive in outer space, this list enumerates some of the most bizarre discoveries of the natural world.

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Our world is home to a lot of creatures, be it in the deep waters of the oceans and the seas or the thick jungles across continents, with some species remaining to be discovered. But when we do come across some of Mother Nature’s creations hiding deep in the forest or in an abyss, we can’t help but have second thoughts as to whether these creatures do exist.

From fish having legs to having the ability to survive in outer space, this list enumerates some of the most bizarre discoveries of the natural world.

#1. Black dragonfish

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The black dragonfish is a long, slender fish which lives in the deep waters of the southern hemisphere. Like other species of fish living in the deep areas of the sea, the dragonfish is equipped with photophores which allows for its bioluminescence all throughout its body. Just looking at its appearance makes you thankful that it lives in deep waters, reducing your chances of meeting one during a beach or a snorkeling trip.

#2. Tardigrade

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Photo credit: NASA

Also known as waterbears, these microscopic organisms can withstand extreme environments, such as extreme heat, cold, pressure, dehydration, or radiation. It can be found all over the world, with mosses and lichens as its usual habitat. What is interesting to note about this organism is that it was able to survive in outer space – that is, most of experimental tardigrades exposed to harsh outer space environments were revived.

#3. Fringehead

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Photo credit: io9

Also known as the sarcastic fringehead, it was given this common name due to its fiercely territorial nature. Fringeheads are small, mostly scaleless, but with extremely large heads. Just looking at its large mouth filled with needle-like teeth is enough to trigger a nightmare.

#4. Red-lipped batfish

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Photo credit: Our Wild World,

Known for its brightly-colored lips, this type of fish can be usually found near Galapagos Island. The red-lipped batfish uses its pectoral fins to glide on the seafloor. Like other species of angler fish, it uses a spine-like projection in its head to lure its prey.

#5. Cthulhu larva

Photo credit: Pinterest

Also known as an abyssal sea cucumber, it is relatively small and feeds on mud. Its appearance (and even its name) makes it eligible to join the roster of popular science fiction monsters.

#6. Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

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Photo credit: Fabyss

This fish can be found in the waters off the coast of Japan, China, and Korea. Although not exactly scary-looking, this fish has an abnormally-shaped head which makes it resemble Shrek, a popular animated character.

#7. Spotted handfish

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Photo credit: Fishes of Australia

Ever heard of a fish with hands and which sort of walks? No? Then you should take a look at the spotted handfish, which got its name from the two front appendages it uses to “walk” on the seafloor. Unfortunately, spotting one in the wild will be a challenge, as the handfish is critically endangered.

#8. Tunicate

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

This creature can be found at the bottom of the sea, and is a filter feeder which uses two siphons to draw in and expel water.

#9. Ghost shark

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Photo credit: Koryoswrites

Also known as chimaera, this cartilaginous fish is closely related to sharks. Usually found in deep waters, ghost sharks are edible and its meat is sold in many countries.

#10. Giant Japanese Spider Crab

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Photo credit: Viral Nova

If the crab to be served for dinner is as huge and scary-looking as this, then I’d prefer to pass, thank you very much. Its appearance is reminiscent of the mechanical monster/robots in the science fiction novel “War of the Worlds”, which severely diminishes its appeal as a food item.

#11. Brazilian Treehopper

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Photo credit: Nature Close-ups

Another creature with a confusing anatomy, the brazilian treehopper is equipped with a horn-like extension which it uses for camouflage. Its appearance is enough to make you stay away.

#12. Poodle moth

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Photo credit: 7-themes

Although it looks soft and fluffy, one should steer clear of this insect. It looks like a cross between a Pokemon and a science experiment gone bad.

#13. Marabou stork

Photo credit: The Online Zoo

Found in Africa, this bird likes to frequent places near human habitation, particularly near landfills. The Marabou stork is also called the “Undertaker Bird” due to its huge wings and skinny legs.

#14. Bat-eared fox

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Photo credit: Kingfisher Guesthouse

Is it a bat? a fox? or a rabbit? No, it’s a bat-eared fox! Evolution equipped this fox with large ears for thermoregulation.

#15. Wrinkle-faced bat

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This bat’s face has too many ridges it’s difficult to find the real nose.

#16. Axolotl

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Photo credit: Animals Adda

Also known as the Mexican salamander, this creature looks like something directly from the Pokemon cartoon series. Listed as critically endangered in the wild, this amphibian is nearing extinction due to the water pollution and urbanization issues in Mexico. It is also used in laboratories for research purposes due to its ability to regenerate limbs.

#17. Babirusa

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

The babirusa, or pig-deer, is found in several islands in Indonesia. The males of these species can be identified with their long protruding canines, which, if not grinded, can penetrate its own skull. Hunting and habitat loss are threats to its existence and it has been categorized as endangered.

#18. Gerenuk

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Photo credit: Pbase

Sometimes called the giraffe-necked antelope due to its prominent long neck, this antelope can be found in Africa. Aside from its long neck, it also has long slender legs which aid in its survival against its predators.

#19. Pink fairy armadillo

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Photo credit: A-Z Animals

Looking like a cross between a caterpillar and a guinea pig, the pink fairy armadillo is the known smallest species of armadillo. It can be found in central Argentina, inhabiting sandy plains and grasslands. Like others in this list, it is also classified as a threatened species.

#20. Elephant Seal

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Elephant seals got their names from the trunk-like protrusion of their nose, like that of an elephant’s. Although this animal is not on the verge of extinction, it is still under threat of overhunting, hence it is now placed in the protected list of animals.

#21. Liger

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

This animal was borne out of a cross-breeding of a lion and a tigress, hence the name liger. This animal only ever exists in captivity, since the habitat of its parent animals do not overlap in the wild. Most ligers suffer premature death while most of those who survive are unable to reproduce.

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