The Top 10 Coolest Animals in the World

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: July 25, 2021
Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: July 25, 2021


The art of cool. Who doesn’t want to think they have a firm grasp of what it takes to be cool? We like to practice and hope to perfect the skill. Our wardrobe, the walk, the dance, our Top Gun shades. Many of us aim — struggle — to project cool. But the best cool has a natural flow. It’s showing up and being ourselves, being a slice of mellow you can’t generate artificially.

This is why you gotta love cool animals! While there are animals that indeed try to get your attention (we’re talking to you, dog world) but overall, animals are just going about their business as they project an aura of cool that you want to wear.

So, for the record, are the 10 coolest animals in the world. Don’t be jealous.

#10. Coolest Animals: Okapi

Coolest Animals: Okapi
The Okapi has a very long tongue. Their tongues are so long, in fact, that okapis use them to wash their eyelids, clean out their ears, and even swat insects away from their neck.

You might think this creature is a relative to the zebra with its striping. But they are cousins of the giraffe. Herbivores, the okapi mostly diets on grass, leaves, and other plants. You’ll find them in Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo.

Among the okapi’s predators are leopards and humans. The okapi does have these cool natural defenses. Their large ears can detect the slightest disturbance in the environment, warning them of danger. But — wait for it! — all the animals have to do is turn away as the brown and white markings on their butts make for great camouflage in the forest.

#9. Coolest Animals: The Fossa

Coolest Animals: The Fossa
Malagasy fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) in a tree. The fossa is one of the top predators on the island of Madagascar. Fossas have scent glands that release a stinky smell when the animal is irritated or frightened.

Found in the forest habitats of Madagascar, the fossa has the physical characteristics of a hairless cat. These carnivores are more Mongoose than feline though. They hunt day and night with more than half their feed consisting of lemurs.

Despite its cat-like appearance, the animal can grow up to six feet in length. Fossas are fierce predators with semi-retractable claws. Unlike many animals in trees who usually jump down, the fossa can climb down headfirst, which can be jarring to see. And young females are temporarily guys until they achieve adulthood.

#8. Coolest Animals: The Maned Wolf

Coolest Animals: The Maned Wolf
The maned wolf derives its name from the characteristic mane on its neck which stands erect when it scents danger.

This lanky critter is more dog than anything and has no relation to either fox or wolf. It calls home the grasslands of central-west, south, and southeastern Brazil. The maned wolf’s a loner and splits it dining between plants and meats.

The maned wolf uses horrible smelling feces and urine to mark its territory. And it works. Not many animals or humans will stay in the vicinity long. Surprisingly, this wolf doesn’t howl, another trait that separates it from the family. Instead, similar to dogs, the creature emits loud or roaring barks. They use the sounds to scare other wolves and to let mates know where they are. Ain’t that cute?

#7. Coolest Animals: The “Blue Dragon”

Coolest Animals: The "Blue Dragon"
Blue Dragon, Glaucus atlanticus, eat large, venomous prey, such as the Portuguese man o’ war and the blue button jelly, and store their prey’s stinging cells in their bodies to later use against predators.

Its formal name is Glaucus atlanticus. It floats upside down in the water, using its blue side to blend unseen into the water. If you spy it, you see what looks like a small dragon. Hence, the “Blue Dragon” moniker. These cool animals feed on the infamous man o’ war, a species it’s actually related to. The Blue Dragon also delivers an effective sting you want nothing to do with.

Considered a sea slug, the blue dragon is a relatively new find. But unlike a lot of new species that habitat select regions, this species is popping up in what seems everywhere. Initially calling the Indian Pacific Oceans their home, researchers had to revise their findings after the animals showed in the Bay of California. Next, the critters showed up in Taiwan. Later, they, apparently ready to take over the world, showed up in South Padre Island in Texas and, the same year, South Africa‘s Cape Town.

#6. Coolest Animals: Japanese Spider Crab

Coolest Animals: Japanese Spider Crab
Japanese Spider Crab has the largest leg span of any arthropod.

This arachnid makes the cool list for its ability to scare the heck out of you. If you fear spiders, stay out of the waters surrounding Japan. This spider crab, from claw to claw, has been sighted in sizes of up to 18 feet. The only sea creature heavier than the Japanese spider crab is the American lobster. The Japanese spider crab’s a delicacy in its region but not easy to catch.

These creatures have extremely long legs, adding to the creepy. At their largest, they stand at least two to three feet (or more) off the ground. And their legs never stop growing throughout their lifespan! Fortunately, they tend to keep to shallow, colder water. Oddly enough, they don’t swim!

#5. Coolest Animals: Slow Loris

Coolest Animals: Slow Loris
Slow Loris monkey sitting in a tree with green leaf as background. Slow lorises often hang upside-down from branches by their feet so they can use both hands to eat.

If a slow loris gives you the eye, your heart will melt. Just melt like butter. And while you embrace its adorability, it may take the opportunity to share a bite that’ll be seriously venomous. They’re also capable of being completely silent to prevent discovery.

The slow loris has two — that’s dos — tongues. The jagged tongue’s in play for cleaning teeth. The longer one sucks at flowers to get nectar. These cool animals are the only primates with a venomous bite. But usually, it’s only applied to protect themselves from predators and rivals.

#4. Coolest Animals: Angora Rabbit

Coolest Animals: Angora Rabbit
Beautiful fluffy white Angora Rabbit sitting outdoors in summer. Angora rabbits are usually bred for their long, soft wool, but they make great pets as well.

The hairiest breed of rabbit, the angora is famous for being one of the most touchable creatures in the world. Fluffy and cute, they originate in Turkey but spread across Europe before import to these United States. The angora rabbit sheds its fur at least three or four times a year. As angora is a highly sought-after fabric, we wonder if owners wait around with brooms.

Angora is as much as seven times comfier and warmer than sheep wool. Unfortunately, that’s a challenge for owners who have to manage high temps around angora rabbits. They’re pretty hardy but do thrive better in winters. Some suggest you keep the rabbit trimmed during heated seasons. And why not? Make a sweater.

#3. Coolest Animals: Pacu Fish

Coolest Animals: Pacu Fish
Piranhas have pointed razor-sharp teeth whereas the pacu has squarer, straighter teeth, that eerily resemble those of humans.

Catch a pacu, open its mouth and guess what you’ll see? A mouth full of what looks like human teeth and a tongue. A member of the piranha family, it’s a larger sea creature and resides in South American waters and in the rivers of the Amazon. The pacu does not chow on meat though. It prefers nuts and seeds, though they have the capacity to injure other animals.

Owners of the pacu fish find they have a laid-back temperament. Like a canine, the fish has the capacity to nuzzle comfortably with its owner. (How a fish nuzzles is beyond us and we haven’t found any video to confirm this.) Still, we’d imagine it’d be pretty cool to have a fish the size of a small child sitting in your lap while you read James Joyce.

#2. Coolest Animals: Axolotl

Coolest Animals: Axolotl
An Axolotl in an aquarium. The axolotl is a freshwater salamander that spends its entire life underwater. This highly intelligent amphibian’s behavior can range among individuals from social to solitary and active to dormant.

The axolotl could be a Pokémon or even the new character in a Pixar hit. It can even look like it’s smiling at you. Spotted in lakes around Mexico, the salamander is amphibious but strictly lives its adult life in the water. Unfortunately, they’re an endangered species, falling prey to predators and the urbanization of their ecosystems.

What’s extremely cool about these animals is their ability to regenerate. Well, it’s not unusual for many species of amphibians, but axolotls go into territory no amphibian has. They too regenerate limbs but also spines, jaws, and even parts of the brain with no sign of scarring. Science has studied the creatures for years trying to figure out how they do it.

#1. Coolest Animals: Blobfish

Coolest animal Blobfish
The female Blobfish lays thousands of small pink eggs on the seafloor. Either the female or male blobfish will sit on the eggs to protect them from predators. 

At first study, the blobfish looks like melted wax, the face resembling a grouchy old man. It has dark eyes on opposite sides of its face, a big punchdrunk nose, and the countenance of constipation. Living in the deepest waters of Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand, the blobfish’s density is barely above that of water. They hunt by floating lazily until creatures wander into its mouth. Now, that’s either cool or really lazy.

They have strong familial instincts. The female can lay thousands of eggs and either parent will sit on the hatchlings to protect them from predators. Unlike other fish, blobfish don’t have a swim bladder. They carry an air sac that lets them adjust their buoyancy. And, for the record, the blobfish only has that melted look out of water.

BONUS Coolest Animals!!! – Tigers

Coolest Animals - Tiger
Young Siberian tiger, Panthera tigris altaica, walking in a forest stream in a dark green spruce forest. Tigers are very good swimmers and have been known to drown their prey.

So many of the animals on the list are unique and exotic. We thought this won’t be a well-rounded piece if we didn’t include at least one familiar creature that didn’t feel like we made it up.

The tiger, with its majestic stance, has always been a cool animal. It reeks of elegance and leadership. The largest of all cats, it calls home to Turkey, Asia, Russia, and many other parts of the world. They are fierce and powerful creatures. And those stripes!

You can hear the tiger’s roar up to two miles away. Their vocal stretch would make opera divas stomp off in a jealous funk. And while you don’t want to cuddle with them, they have a lot in common with the house cat. They play, rest much of the day and get a kick out of catnip. But unlike most felines, the tiger loves water and is known to swim up to five miles a stretch.

Next Up: 10 Most Beautiful Animals in the World