What Animal Blows Your Mind?

Maybe this happens to you: A coworker sends you a picture of some kind of fox-dog with abnormally long legs, that looks like it’s the result of some deranged Photoshop challenge. But then you scry the gods of the internet, and sure enough, the animal is totally real! In this example, that uncanny creature turned out to be a South American Maned Wolf, but you’ve probably had a similar experience, where you learned about an animal that was so unbelievable, you could barely wrap your mind around it. Now we want to hear about that animal too!

(Image: Sage Ross/CC BY-SA 3.0)

In the comments below, tell us everything you know about the most mind-blowing, strange, rare, or unreal creatures that actually exist. Tell us about the most incredible animal you know of, and why you are so interested in it, and be sure to include a picture of the creature so we can all gaze on the true wonders of the natural world. Your response may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura. The planet is full of insane creatures that seem like they shouldn’t even exist. Let’s give them some time to shine!


The peacock spider is such a beautiful weird fever dream of an bug. I would do anything a Peacock Spider told me to do. Also men of the world should take note “If the male continues his dance when the female is not interested, she attempts to attack, kill, and feed on him”


YES. I love Peacock Spiders.


Omg the sea sapphire, hands down. It’s one of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever seen, plus it’s invisible like half the time. They’re a type of crustacean known as a copepod and run just a few millimeters long—squee! Thanks to layers of honeycombed crystal plates inside their cells, they can wink from iridescence to invisibility in a matter of seconds. Sea sapphires often cluster by the surface of the water, making the ocean appear studded with a galaxy of diamonds. Japanese fishermen called these convergences “tama-mizu,” or jeweled water.


Siphonophores! Colonial organisms, in general, are amazing. It’s like a bunch of organs with specialized functions, all with their own nervous system, got together and decided to be a bigger creature.


This jellyfish doesn’t mean to brag, but it’s both beautiful and immortal. If it gets sick, or even stressed, it just reverts into it’s younger self so it can get strong and mature again, bouncing between youth and adulthood forever.


I’m waiting for fountain-of-life and fountain-of-youth researchers to check this animal out for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. :frowning_face: (shudders)


I’m a huge cat lover, and I’ve recently become absolutely enamored with the Pallas’s cat. They may be the most expressive balls of fur I’ve ever seen.


Hydropotes inermis more people needs to know about these saber toothed deer, when I fist saw them I totally thought they are photoshopped


Also the dumbo octopus

and vampire octopus are pretty cool


This is perfect, because I read your description and my first reaction was, “no way…”


They’re already on it.

I just can’t get past these guys


It’s drooling…get yourself together blobfish!!


The Philippine Tarsier. I would not be surprised if it was the inspiration for Gizmo from the Gremlins (before the change), the Ewoks or Gollum.

Image from www.worldlifeexpectancy.com

Image from www.jw.org


Loved finding the aardwolf!

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small, insectivorous mammal, native to East and Southern Africa. Its name means “earth-wolf” in Afrikaans and Dutch.


These actually live wild as an invasive species in the UK , they were introduced (along with another Asiatic deer species , the muntjac) by some eccentric Victorian aristocrat and they have colonised quite a few areas of the uk.

I haven’t managed to see one yet though as they occur a bit further North.


I think I saw an ad on the telly just now - there was a memory pill that was derived from a jellyfish.

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I find all species all fascinating , but to me the one that blows my mind has got to be the axolotl. This critter has a very special place in my heart as I worked in its conservation in Mexico.

It is awesome for many reasons. It was worshipped as the manifestation of the Aztec god Xolotl , it typically spends its whole life in a “Forever young” larval tadpole form , it can regenerate its limbs and organs (Heart , lungs , eyes, brain etc) if they get damaged , and it is a model organism for studying treatment and cures for degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease and injuries such as third degree burns.
Plus , the short story by Julio Cortazar , “Axolotl”


Oooh, I love the axolotl! I’m so glad to know someone who worked for its conservation. Kudos!