The Top 23 Strangest and Most Bizarre Animals Still on the Planet Today

Written by Em Thomas
Published: October 23, 2023
Share on:


The Earth is home to some amazing animals, and many of them are well-known. Everybody knows how quick cheetahs are, how big elephants can grow, and how adorable chipmunks can be. But there are some pretty bizarre animals roaming this Earth that aren’t so famous!

Here’s a list of 23 of the strangest, spookiest, and most bizarre animals in the world. They range from insects to fish to mammals. Each of these animals is special, adding their contribution to the world’s incredibly complex animal kingdom. Pick a new favorite animal from this list! Spoiler alert… you’re going to want to check out the bilby. They’re so cute it’s bizarre.

Let’s get started!


Giant Siphonophore

The siphonophore has no predators, but they’re equipped with long, stinging tentacles for protection!

©Alzinous, CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

The siphonophore takes one of the top spots for the most bizarre animals in the world. These creatures are one of the longest animals on Earth, spanning up to 160 feet! They live in the deep sea and eat crustaceans, larvae, and other small deep-sea creatures.

Pink River Dolphin

Pink River Dolphin Nose

Some pink river dolphins have recently been spotted swimming in the Louisiana River!

©Ivan Sgualdini/

Pink river dolphins, also called the Amazon river dolphin, are one of the most unique underwater mammals. They live in South America and they’re actually a species of toothed whale. The pink skin possessed by these dolphins comes from scarring, and not all Amazon river dolphins possess it. Males generally do, though!

Pink Fairy Armadillo

Funny Animal Names


pink fairy armadillo

lives underground and has the nickname of the Sand Swimmer due to how quickly it can navigate sand!

©Photo by David J. Stang / Creative Commons – License

Pink fairy armadillos have a shell just like all armadillos, but they are much smaller than the traditional armadillo. They’re the smallest species of armadillo in existence and generally inhabit sandy regions. These armadillos are extremely rare; it’s estimated there are only 100 pink fairy armadillos left on Earth!



Tarsiers can rotate their heads 180 degrees, just like owls!


The tarsier is definitely one of the weirdest-looking mammals on Earth. They have the largest eyes to body ratio of any mammal in the world. These endangered primates are actually the oldest surviving primates in existence! Despite their adorable appearance, these mammals are fierce. Not only are they strong fighters, but they also produce a deadly venom.

Japanese Spider Crab

Largest Crabs - Japanese Spider Crab

The Japanese word for these crabs means “tall-leg crab.”

©Tsarli at en.wikipedia / Creative Commons

While there are tens of thousands of crustaceans in existence, the Japanese spider crab takes first place as the largest crustacean on Earth. They can grow up to 12 feet in size and can weigh over 40 pounds. They live around Japan, eating algae, mollusks, and small fish.

Maned Wolf

Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) walking in the grass

These animals are quick! Maned wolves can run up to 47 miles per hour.


Maned wolves can appear similar to a fox, but they are actually in the canine family. These long-legged mammals have fox coloration and they live exclusively in South America. They’re the largest canines on the continent, but despite their names, they’re not really wolves. Maned wolves are a distinct species and the only species in their genus.


Blobfish out of the water

The head of the blobfish makes up 40% of their entire body mass!

©lacking author information / public domain – License

Blobfish are one of the more well-known species of bizarre, wacky animals on Earth. These creatures have been revered as one of the ugliest creatures still in existence. They’re deep sea creatures that reside around Tasmania, Australia, and New Zealand. Blobfish serve a distinct role in the ecosystem of Oceania, keeping the overpopulation of crustaceans and mollusks at bay.

Hammer-headed Bat

Largest Bats: Hammer-headed Bat

The wingspan of male big-lipped bats can reach almost three feet!

©Sarah H. Olson, Gerard Bounga, Alain Ondzie, Trent Bushmaker, Stephanie N. Seifert, Eeva Kuisma, Dylan W. Taylor, Vincent J. Munster, Chris Walzer / CC0 1.0 – License

The hammer-headed bat is definitely one of the most bizarre-looking bats in the world. They have a few different nicknames, including the hammer-headed fruit bat and big-lipped bat. The hammer-headed bat is a megabat, and the largest bat on the continent of Africa.


Aye-aye, nocturnal lemur of Madagascar

There are under 10,000 aye-ayes left in the world as of 2023.


The aye-aye is a somewhat adorable, somewhat grungy-looking primate that is native to Madagascar. They’re actually long-fingered lemurs, with a fantastic ability to navigate the terrain of their habitats. They’re the largest nocturnal primates in the world, with a body that spans 12-16 inches and a tail that spans an additional 18-22 inches.

Peacock Spider

Flying Peacock Spider

Male peacock spiders boast an incredible array of colors on their abdomen. Females don’t have the same bright coloration. They’re generally brown or black, with a mottled pattern.

©2,048 × 1,367 pixels, file size: 1.88 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg – License

Peacock spiders are one of the most beautiful (albeit strange) species of spiders in the world. They are jumping spiders that live primarily in Australia. Their jumping abilities are incredible: they can move 40 times their body length in just one single leap!


Greater bilby looking forwards with ears up on red outback dirt.

Male bilbies are generally twice as large as females in weight, though they all weigh under six pounds!

©Peter J. Wilson/

The bilby is an adorable marsupial equipped with large, rabbit-like ears on a small body. They are also known as rabbit-bandicoots. There were two primary species of bilby until the 1950s, when the lesser bilby became extinct. The greater bilby is still alive (though endangered) and lives primarily in desert regions of Australia.


These itsy-bitsy rodents only weigh about an ounce!


The jerboa is another animal that is so cute it’s simply bizarre. Jerboas are hopping rodents that live in Africa and Asia. They feature long legs and a stabilizing tail with very short arms. Despite their tiny size, they can run up to 15mph when provoked! Not only can they run fast, but these rodents can jump. A jerboa can leap 10 feet high into the air!



These big birds can live to be up to 36 years old!

©Rini Kools/

The jabiru is an interesting-looking stork that resides in Central and South America. It’s the largest flying bird in those regions, weighing almost twenty pounds and featuring a 9-foot wingspan. They have a large, identifying throat and an exceptionally long beak.


Narwhal, male Monodon monoceros swimming in the ocean

The “unicorn horn” of a narwhal is actually not a horn at all. It’s a tooth!

©Dotted Yeti/

The narwhal, often referred to as “The Unicorn of the Sea,” is certainly one of the most bizarre animals on Earth. These creatures feature a very long tusks jutting out of their foreheads. They live in the waters around Canada, Greenland, and Russia, and these big animals can weigh well over 2,000 pounds.


Weirdest Animal: Gerenuk

One bizarre fact about the gerenuk is that they don’t ever need to consume any water. The plants consumed by the gerenuk provide sufficient hydration for the




The gerenuk, also called the Waller’s gazelle, is playfully referred to as a “giraffe gazelle” due to their long neck. These animals live in eastern Africa and have some incredibly bizarre traits. For one, the gerenuk generally eats standing on only two legs! They like to grab food that is high up in trees, so standing on their hind legs gives the gerenuk an opportunity to reach even higher than their necks allow.


Sawfish swimming just above seafloor

Sawfish are capable of living for three decades!

©Chaos2Light Images/

It’s clear how the sawfish got their name! These creatures are also called carpenter sharks, but in reality, they’re rays and not sharks. They live in the Atlantic Ocean and can be regularly located off the Florida coast. These rays can grow to reach a length of almost 20 feet! Sawfish are critically endangered. It’s estimated that there are under 5,000 sawfish left.

Alligator Gar

Alligator gar

These fish look intimidating but have not been known to attack humans. In fact, despite their intense appearances, the


gar is notably a bit lazy!

©Jennifer White Maxwell/

The alligator gar features the face and teeth of an alligator on the body of a fish! These intimidating fish are extremely bizarre. They’re the largest freshwater fish on the continent of North America, and they can reach lengths of 10 feet. Not only are they large, but they are persistent! The alligator gar can live to be 50 years in age!

Mata Mata

Ugliest Animal - Matamata Turtle

These turtles much prefer walking over swimming.

©volkova natalia/

The mata mata is a bizarre-looking turtle that, when at rest, looks like a piece of wood. They’re found in South America, often around the Amazon. The shape of their face enables them to serve as a “vacuum” in the basins they live in, and they walk around sucking up small fish and other creatures living on the bottom of the waters.

Barreleye Fish

Barreleyed fish

Barreleye fish aren’t very large. They generally reach about six inches in length.


The barreleye fish must be one of the most bizarre animals on Earth. They have a completely transparent forehead, revealing glowing green eyeballs. They live in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans and reside in the deep sea. While the glowing orbs appear to be their only eyeballs, barreleye fish have another two eyes, as well, for a total of four.

Flying Fox

bats hanging upside down

Oddly enough, flying foxes are also exceptional swimmers!


Like the hammerhead bat, flying foxes are another species of megabat. They are called flying foxes due to their coloration, but they aren’t foxes at all. Flying foxes are the largest bats in existence, with a wingspan reaching up to 15 feet. They live in Asia, Africa, and Australia, and their lifespan can reach up to 15 years!


Cutest Animals: Quokka

These sweet animals have a reputation of being the happiest animals in the world. It’s not only because of their adorable faces. Quokkas are peaceful to encounter and don’t mind sharing their space.

©Grakhantsev Nikolai/

Quokkas had to make the list for the most bizarre animals on Earth because, frankly, they’re strangely cute. These tiny marsupials are nocturnal herbivores, living primarily in southwestern Australia. Despite their tiny size, they’re actually closely related to the much larger wallabies and kangaroos of Australia.

Fried Egg Jellyfish

Funny Animal Names

The tissues of fried egg


are almost entirely water.


These jellyfish are another bizarre species on their list that got their name from their insane appearance. Fried egg jellyfish live in the Pacific Ocean and can often be found near California or Alaska. They are incredibly large jellyfish and they’re not particularly mobile. Instead of swimming, they gently pulse their away around the waters of the ocean.

Mantis Shrimp

mantis shrimp

A mantis shrimp punch moves as quickly as a bullet!

©Maxfield Weakley/

The mantis shrimp remains one of the most bizarre animals on Earth. While they are brightly colored and strange to see, they are also astonishingly strong. Mantis shrimp are known for their aggressive behavior despite their small size. They can even break aquarium glass! While they’re called mantis shrimp, the species are neither mantises nor shrimps. In fact, they’re stomatopods, which are carnivorous crustaceans.


The most bizarre animals on Earth are extremely diverse. Some are large, some are tiny, some are pink, and some are rainbow. While the list of fascinating species is neverending, these are some of the weirdest and wackiest animals roaming the Earth and seas!

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

Share on:
About the Author

Em Thomas is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering places, travel, and chili peppers! She's an MBA student with a passion for storytelling. Though she's a Michigan native, she presently resides in Denver, Colorado. While she doesn't currently have any pets of her own, she's an avid dogsitter with an affinity for big dogs!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.