The Top 10 Coolest Animals in the World

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: October 12, 2022
Image Credit Pete Burana/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points:
  • The Okapi is a unique cross between a zebra and a giraffe. It has large ears, which can detect the slightest disturbance in the environment. Okapis also have brown and white markings on their rears that camouflage them in their surroundings.
  • From the forests of Madagascar comes the fossa. It is cat-like in appearance but has qualities similar to a mongoose. Female fossa develop female reproductive organs at an age of 1-2 years, instead of being born with them.
  • The Pacu fish, a member of the piranha family, is as large as a small child at 3 feet long and 65 pounds. Some people keep them as pets, and in spite of their intimidating teeth, people claim they are quite friendly.

What makes an animal cool? Is it their appearance, their walk, their attitude? According to the dictionary, ‘cool’ means fashionably attractive or impressive. We think the following animals have tons of impressive traits that make them super cool!

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These are the 10 coolest animals in the world:

#10. 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.

seth miles/Shutterstock.com

You might think this creature is a relative to the zebra with its striping. But okapi is a cousin to the giraffe. As an herbivore, the okapi mostly diet 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 has a cool natural defense. Their large ears can detect the slightest disturbance in the environment, warning them of danger. To hide, they only have to turn away, as the brown and white markings on their hind quarters make for great camouflage in the forest.

#9. 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.

belizar/Shutterstock.com

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

Fossas can grow up to six feet in length and are fierce predators with semi-retractable claws. Instead of jumping down from a tree like a cat, the fossa can climb down headfirst, which is unusual. Fossas don’t have babies until they are four years old, making them one of the oldest animals to reach gestation age. They also have scent glands that release a terrible smell when they are frightened.

#8. 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.

Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

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.

Maned wolves are monogamous creatures, and a couple will mate from November to April and share a den to raise their pups, which are protected by the male. Otherwise, the male and female live separately, but share marked territory.

The maned wolf uses skunky-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.

#7. 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.

iStock.com/S.Rohrlach

The blue dragon, or Glaucus atlanticus, floats upside down in the water, using its blue side to blend in unseen. If you spy it, you see what looks like a small dragon. These cool animals feed on the Portuguese man o’ war, a species it’s actually related to. The blue dragon will curl into a ball to protect itself, but also delivers an effective sting when provoked.

Blue dragons like to mate, travel, and eat in groups. They also have both male and female organs and lay their eggs on floating driftwood or inside the carcass of prey.

Considered a sea slug, the blue dragon is a relatively new find. Initially we thought only the Indian and Pacific Oceans were their home, but researchers have now found them in Taiwan, South Padre Island in Texas and South Africa‘s Cape Town.

#6. Japanese Spider Crab

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

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

This arachnid makes the list for its incredibly cool legs. 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, making them fast and hard to capture. At their largest, they stand two to three feet off the ground, sometimes taller! And their legs never stop growing throughout their lifespan. They tend to keep to shallow, colder water. Oddly enough, they don’t swim!

#5. 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.

hkhtt hj/Shutterstock.com

If a slow loris gives you the eye, your heart will melt. But we don’t recommend giving them a hug, they are rare venomous mammals and have very long, sharp teeth. The venom is so strong that even another slow loris will die if bitten. They’re also capable of being completely silent to prevent discovery.

The slow loris has two tongues. The jagged tongue is for cleaning teeth. The long tongue is for sucking nectar out of flowers. These cool animals start having offspring at only 9 months old and commonly have twins. The slow loris like to sleep all day with their head tucked between their legs.

#4. 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.

Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

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 being imported to the United States. The angora rabbit sheds its fur 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 cooler regions.

#3. 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.

Artex67/Shutterstock.com

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 eat meat though, it prefers to use its blunt molars to crack nuts and seeds.

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. The pacu fish can get up to 42 inches long and can weigh as much as 97 pounds! They also have a long lifespan, reaching 20 years old in the wild and 30 years old in captivity. The oldest known pacu was 43 years old.

#2. 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.

Spok83/Shutterstock.com

The axolotl could be a Pokémon or even the new character in a Pixar hit. Spotted in lakes around Mexico, this member of the salamander family 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 reproduce and regenerate. Well, it’s not unusual for many species of amphibians, but axolotls go into territory no amphibian has, laying up to 1,000 eggs at a single spawning. Since they reach maturity and start laying eggs at only 6 months old, and then live for another 10 years, that is a lot of baby axolotl! Then comes the ability to regenerate limbs, spines, jaws, and even parts of the brain! Scientists are still studying these cool creatures trying to figure out how they do it.

#1. Blobfish

Neophrynichthys marcidus = Psychrolutes marcidus
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. 

Alan Riverstone McCulloch (1885-1925) / public domain – License

The blobfish has been described as the ugliest fish on earth, but we don’t think they are ugly, we think they are impressive! The blobfish has dark eyes on opposite sides of its face, a big nose, and a gelatinous body that is slightly less dense than water. This design allows the blobfish to float around with its mouth open lazily eating whatever fish happens to swim inside.

Living in the deepest waters of Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand, the water pressure holds their body into the typical bony fish shape, it is only above water that they look like a blob.

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 adapt to the extreme pressure of deep ocean water.

Summary of the Top 10 Coolest Animals in the World

Let’s review some totally awesome animals that made our top 10 list for coolest on Earth:

RankAnimal Name
1Blobfish
2Axolotl
3Pacu Fish
4Angora Rabbit
5Slow Loris
6Japanese Spider Crab
7“Blue Dragon”
8Maned Wolf
9Fossa
10Okapi

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About the Author

I am a freelance writer with 22 years of experience. I live in the Pacific Northwest and am surrounded by nature. When I go for my daily runs I often see herds of elk, deer, and bald eagles. I am owned by two dogs who take me on hikes in the mountains where we see coyotes, black bears, and wild turkeys.

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