The Most Chilling Unedited Nature Photos Ever Captured
By Sophia Maddox | May 3, 2023
This buff monkey was four times stronger than most humans
Step into a world where nature is at its rawest and most powerful. These striking, unedited photos showcase the awe-inspiring and sometimes terrifying force of the natural world. From ferocious animals to devastating weather patterns, these images will leave you shaken and questioning the true power of Mother Nature. But, as we delve deeper into these photos, we are also reminded of the beauty and wonder that can be found in the midst of chaos.
No, this isn’t a still from a new Planet of the Apes movie, it’s a shot of an incredibly buff chimpanzee that suffers from alopecia - a condition that makes them lose their hair. Even though these animals are incredibly close to humans, sharing between 95 to 98 percent of the same DNA, when it comes to their fitness and muscles there’s no parallel between the two species. But why is this chimpanzee so buff? Researchers have noted that their muscles perform differently because their muscle fibers are closer to the bone than in humans and that makes them more dense than what can be found in humans.
This collection of 60 nature photos is not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to confront the raw power of the natural world, it is a thought-provoking and unforgettable experience. Viewer discretion is advised. Dare to look closer and see nature in a way you've never seen before.
Imagine taking in the beauty of nature, and then all of a sudden you are face to face with this. If sharks are the apex predator of the sea then grizzly bears are the apex predator of the land. Once a year at least one person dies from a grizzly attack, which is nuts when you think about how little contact we have with them on a day to day basis. These animals can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and they’re faster and more graceful than their weight would make you think.
Believe it or not but these freaky looking the Colombian lesserblack tarantulas form long lasting relationships with small amphibious creatures like the doting humming frog instead of munching down on them. Rather than eating these tasty little frogs - which they totally could if they wanted to - the giant tarantulas keep their frog buddies around because they eat the ants that eat tarantula eggs. It’s a classic animal kingdom trade off. On top of getting to live, the cute little frogs get to eat the leftovers that tarantulas don’t finish and they have a giant protector that lords over them.
Because bathroom plumbing is more often than not connected to the ventilation pipes on a roof, snakes can slither right into your home and make their way up through a toilet. This can happen anywhere, but in Australia there are a lot of different kinds of snakes who want to beat the down under heat. If you want to keep snakes out of your toilet the best thing to do is to cover your ventilation pipes with mesh or wire covering - even a rock if that’s your thing. That’s the easiest way to keep snakes out of your toilet, but even if they end up in the bowl don’t freak out (easier said than done) just be calm and call the pest control.
In spite of their naive looking faces great harpy eagles are some of the most powerful and conniving hunters on Earth. They live at the top of the remote tropical forests in Central and South America and mostly eat sloths and monkeys. They don’t have many predators but they do have to watch out for jaguars - one of the few animals that’s happy to tangle with these large birds. Named for the gruesome Harpies of Greek mythology, these owls stay out of the open sky and fly from tree to tree in order to remain inconspicuous. Globally, the harpy eagle is considered Near Threatened by IUCN and it’s thought to be a “conservation-dependent species,” which means that it depends on a dedicated effort for captive breeding and release to the wild.
This remarkable photo of a gray owl hiding from its prey in the woods is truly amazing. It’s not just this creature’s plumage that’s fascinating, it’s the fact that this creature is one of the tallest owls in North America. It manages to hide from its prey by using its plumage to blend right in with the world surrounding it. According to the photographer who took the photo it was snapped by accident. Alan Murphy wrote on his Facebook:
While searching the forests of British Columbia for birds to photograph, I came across this guy. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. See if you can see the Great Gray Owl. Nature is amazing!! You can see how the plumage of the owl blends right into the texture of the tree bark making it almost invisible. The owl is looking away so you can't see the face rendering the bird invisible. Even though I was focused on the bird, it was still hard to see it.
You don’t see these mega bats all that often because… well they’re just not all that prevalent outside of the Philippines. This may look like a man in a bat suit but in reality it’s a bat with a wingspan of nearly six feet long. If you’re frightened of this man sized bat don’t worry, this endangered creature is a vegetarian who primarily eats fruit and sleeps deep inside the country’s caves - which makes a sighting of one of these things all the more rare. They’re called flying foxes because of their head’s resemblance to a little fox, aside from that they’re much more demonic. That being said, they’re as sweet as can be.
Can you imagine the shock of the insect that finds himself trapped in here with it's worst nightmare of a predator? Web spiders have an innate ability to tell the difference between vibrations from insect prey and vibrations from other sources (for example, a leaf falling into the web). Many species can also distinguish the vibrations of dangerous insects, such as wasps or other spiders from their preferred prey.
This majestic piece of construction is the work of a barn spider, a nocturnal creature that most readers are familiar with thanks to the children’s story Charlotte’s Web. There are nearly 200 species of these spiders in North America and even though their webs look like they could catch a human these spiders don’t want to do any harm to a person. Their webs are crafted to catch small insects and the spiders are attune to their construction which makes them able to tell the difference in vibrations made by insects or plants.
A charging Rhino is the most intimidating thing ever
To say that it would be frightening to be on the receiving end of a rhino charge is an understatement. These massive animals are built to trample, tromp, and destroy. Anyone finding themselves chased by a rhino should think their lucky stars if they survive. Photographer Theo Allofs describes being chased by one of these horned animals:
The rhino looked peacefully asleep when we were only about 300 meters away. Everything looked cool. But then suddenly it got very hot, and the wind began to change directions. The rhino quickly looked alert to our presence, no doubt inhaling the soap we had used during our last shower… I kneeled down behind my tripod. Camera and 600 mm lens ready for action… The rhino charged, head down, horns pointed forward – straight towards me. My shutter clicked. The rhino stopped… I stayed put. But the rhino didn’t, and charged again – straight towards me. The shutter clicked, but I didn’t move… I looked around, not a single big rock or tree for shelter against rhino horn.
P0rtrait of an American Buffalo
Bison, or the American buffalo as they’re more commonly known, used to be as plentiful as weeds on the plain or water in the ocean. They roamed in herds across the country but thanks to the commercial hunting boom of the 19th century and an outbreak of bovine diseases their numbers dwindled from millions to about 541 in 1889. Luckily they didn’t become extinct and by the mid 20th century numbers increased to about 31,000 - they now mostly roam in national parks, far away from hunters who would see their numbers drop back to the lows of the late 19th century.
Even though this photo looks like it’s a fantastic piece of graphic design it was actually captured by British filmmaker Euan Rannachan off the coast of Mexico. The 17ft shark was almost posing for the photo which helped the cage diving filmmaker capture this spellbinding shot complete with the shark’s exposed jagged teeth. Rannachan explained to the Daily Mail how the shot came together:
The shark in my image is a female and her name is Squirrel. We'd been with her for a while. We have these people on the boat called shark wranglers and they throw these two-foot chunks of tuna to get the shark close to the surface. The shark wrangles played an important and dangerous part on the acquisition of this amazing picture. A guy named Crazy Luis stood up on the boat to bring the shark to us when we sit on the surface in the shark cage. Sometimes when the wranglers play with the sharks, the sharks get [annoyed] and dive down under the boat and the bait so they can come rocketing up and get it. That's exactly what Squirrel was doing here, she was fed up probably messing around on the surface and dived back down under the boat. It was really deep there but the water clarity was amazing.
One of the most horrific truths of the modern world is that white rhinos have been hunted into near extinction. James Mwenda is one of the men who cares for these animals who likely will no longer exist within the next few decades. He describes carrying for and watching over these animals as being in battle. He told Earther:
It’s really hard work out there on the ground, protecting the animals, it’s more like a war. We have not lost a rhino in more than 18 months to poaching. But because we now have 120 rhinos [across the reserve], it is more of a threat than a success. Everyone knows there is a big concentration of rhinos there now, so we need to invest more in security and technology expertise. It’s about being vigilant, investing, community empowerment and raising awareness.
The snow covered tiger in this photo carried out a quest for vengeance unlike any that’s ever been told. In 1997 a poacher named Vladimir Marko shot and wounded a tiger before keeping a part of its skull as a trophy. The tiger, injured and exhausted tracked Markov down to his cabin and destroyed everything that carried the poacher’s smell. Then it waited near the front door until Markov returned home. The tiger waited between 12 hours to two days for Markov to return to his cabin and when he did the tiger pounced, dragging him to the bushes and eating him. It’s believed that the eating was secondary to the act of revenge.
Two lions battling for supremacy... only one can win
This amazing and well timed photo of a young lion doing battle with a mature male lion is a rare visual and must have been snapped by a brave individual. An electrifying fight like this can be brutal and it’s often carried out for supremacy. Either the young lion wants to be leader of the pack or they’re fighting over a mate. Either way they don’t back down until one of them is plainly ready to acquiesce. In many cases the lions will be related and their competition for dominance will be a regular way of life until one of the lions proves to be stronger than the rest of the pride.
This lava pit looks like it's sucking the souls of the damned into Hell
Taken in Kamokuna, Hawaii on April 1, 1996, this lava pit is no joke. The spot has been covered in so much lava flow that a solitary crust has formed over the flowing lava leaving a kind of skylight that allows you to look into what seems to be a portal to Hell. The tubes feeding into the hole form when a lava channel makes an arc that chills and crystallizes, or in some cases an insulated pahoehoe flow can have lava still running through it while outer layers freeze. You don’t want to walk over these tubes because they can fall apart and become a new lava channel before forming another tube.
This exquisitely mummified dinosaur in a museum in Canada has scientists astounded
On display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada are the remains of an armor-plated nodosaur, a 3,000-pound plant-eating horned creature. It wouldn’t even be in the museum if it weren’t for its accidental discovery by miners around 2012. The remains are incredibly well intact and researchers were stunned. Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher said:
We don’t just have a skeleton. We have a dinosaur as it would have been.
While Donald Henderson, curator of dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum compared the find to the Rosetta Stone and the director of preservation and research called it a “dinosaur mummy.”
Underwater Waterfalls of Mauritius, where the sands from the shores are carried into the depths of the ocean
The spellbinding waterfalls of Mauritius can be found an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. This tropical dream is the a vacation destination for travelers thanks to its beautiful beaches, lagoons and the amazing underwater waterfalls. They’re breathtaking and perfect for filling out your Instagram with heart stopping visuals that are sure to make your friends and followers jealous. Between December and March the beaches are packed, but the good news is that the tropical nature of the beach means that the weather’s always perfect.
Off the coast of Le Morne mountain is the island’s most famous waterfall and it’s the one pictured here. It’s an astonishing optical illusion, with sand and silt on the ocean floor running down in a way that it looks like the water is pouring down into an underwater waterfall.
The same whale found after 35 years in the west coast of Mexico
Whales aren’t just some of the biggest animals in the ocean (or the world for that matter) but they have a much longer lifespan than any other mammal. Whales of different species all have live long lives but some of them live much longer than others. Minke whales are the smallest species in the world and they live up to 50 years. The gray whale can live up to 70 years and the bowhead whale can live up to 200 years if its left undisturbed in the Arctic waters in which is lives. It’s not clear (at least not to us) what kind of whale this is but it’s cool to see that it’s been living a long and productive life.
Look closer...in the darkness stands this baby polar bears' mother and she will not hesitate to attack
We tend to think of polar bears as cute and cuddly creatures, but these creatures are some of the most deadly animals on the planet. They’re perfectly adapted to life in the Arctic. In spite of their sweet faces researchers have discerned that these bears use learned behavior to put them at the top of the icy food chain. These bears are suited to the cold because of the way that their fur perfectly shelters their thick bodies. By the age of six these bears weigh around 500 pounds and with some tonnage like that they can stay warm throughout the coldest temperatures.
The relentless march of time
This sturdy memorial to John Thomas Alexander Smith and his three children has been standing for more than 100 years and in that time a giant tree has grown in order to reclaim the cemetery and make this stone a part of the Earth. There’s no way to stop the majestic growth that his tree has started unless someone at the Nottingham cemetery wants to rip the growth and the headstone out of the ground, and that just sounds atrocious. Even though it may not be what this family intended it’s still an eerily fitting tribute to life and death.
What would you do if this was your bike?
Can you imagine the shock of finding a swarm of bees like this on the seat of your favorite bicycle? What causes something like this to occur? Bees swarm when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees - that’s how they form a new colony. When creating a new colony about 60 percent of the worker bees leave their old colony behind and move on with the queen. Swarms can contain anything from thousands to tens of thousands of bees and you’re most likely to see them during a three week period in the spring.
The krill filtering teeth of Antarctic crabeater seals
These round boys, also known as crabeater seals are found around the coast of Antarctica and they have one of the most unusual tooth shapes in existence. In spite of their incredibly descriptive name they don't eat crabs. The seals' diet is 90% Antarctic krill. Its krill-filtering teeth act like a type of sieve in order to keep the ocean gunk and seawater out of their stomachs while they eat as much krill as they can handle. In order to eat the seal will take a mouthful of water, close its jaws and squeeze the water out through its teeth. Yum.
These goats defy gravity
There’s no animal quite like the mountain goat, a creature that takes to steep cliffs and ridiculous heights like it’s nothing. They chill on mountain tops during the winter where they grow out a fluffy coat that they lose during the spring when they descend to lower elevation. These goats are actually more closely related to antelopes rather than goats and they climb to such ridiculous heights in order to escape from predators like bears, wolves, cougars, and golden eagles. These animals learn to climb from a young age and can follow their parents up a rock when they’re only days old.
A landslide in Taiwan
This horrific landslide buried multiple people on a 300 meter stretch of road in Taiwan. Thousands of people went searching for at least two motorists that were believed to be beneath the earth. One of the missing people was a 55-year-old female taxi driver who’s car disappeared from her company's global positioning system right when the landslide occurred. Basically an entire hill fell onto the road, covering the roadie rubble in 2010. No one knows what caused the landslide as there were no earthquakes or rain at the time of the destruction although the press at the time believed that a sharp incline near the road caused it.
This green snake wrapped itself around the Great White Herons beak to prevent the bird from eating it
This is definitely something you don’t see every day. Photographer Jose Garcia snapped this pic of a green snake wrapping itself around the lengthy beak of a great heron in order to avoid becoming a snack. It’s hard to say how often a tactful snake employs this kind of tactic, but it’s clear that it’s practiced at committing such an act of boldfaced slithering bravery. Unlike some moments when animals go toe to toe with one another, this ended in a draw. Garcia said, “The fight lasted for nearly 20 minutes with the heron having to release its prey.”
Even tigers love the snow
We tend to think of tigers patrolling the hot plains of Africa, but they’re not strictly warm weather creatures. According to Renée Jean from the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary tigers love to run around in the snow. Jeri Meeker, program coordinator of the nonprofit tiger sanctuary explained:
Actually, a lot of the big cats are more active in winter than they are in summer. Summer heat makes us less active, and it’s the same for them. [On cold days] we give them all access to an indoor heated area so they will have a choice, but they’re all outside in spite of that.
Crazy bird tornado
This birdnado looks like something out of a dream but this creepy visual is all natural. The photo was taken by an amateur photographer and even though no one is exactly sure what’s making up this living tornado it’s believed that it’s caused by starlings, a bird that’s infamous for flying in thick flock formations known as murmurations. The formation helps reduce the amount of energy that the starlings need to put out in order to travel and moving in large, freaky groups like this protect them from predators. When starlings move in a group like this the entire pattern will change with one bird.
Geese have multiple rows of teeth like appendages made of cartilage
Geese were already scary but this brings an entirely new dimension to these angry little birds. While those sharp gnashers may look like teeth they’re actually made of a kind of cartilage called called tomium. This tough cartilage serves a similar function to teeth but there’s no enamel and they grow directly out of the beak. A goose’s tomium teeth are just as sharp and hard as regular teeth and they can take a good chunk out of you if you’re not careful so you should do your best to avoid seeing these bad boys up close at all cost.
Spiders cocooning themselves in trees during a flood
After a monsoon struck Pakistan in 2010, the rivers spilled up over their banks, leading insects to seek shelter however they could. One of the creepiest ways was carried out by spiders that hid in the trees and wove silky webs around the leaves and branches. Russell Watkins a multimedia editor with the U.K.'s Department for International Development photographed the event and later told National Geographic:
There wasn't a scientific analysis of this being done. Anecdotally, I think it was pretty much any kind arachnid species, possibly combined with other insects.
Locals had never seen anything like this, adding to the overt creepiness of the web covered trees.
This Black timber wolf is ready to attack
The last thing you want to see when you’re out on a hike is a face like this. Timer wolves aren’t born mean but they don’t want you running free through their territory. As scary as these canines seem they have hearts as big as anything else. According to Reader’s Digest a prospector who rescued a group of timber wolf cubs from Coho Creek in Alaska and returned them to their mother and helped nurse them back to health the animals remembered him years after the fact. After returning from World War II he saw a dark shape moving across a meadow. He said:
I could see it was a timber wolf. A chill spread through my whole body. I knew at once that familiar shape, even after four years. ‘Hello, old girl,’ I called gently. The wolf edged closer, ears erect, body tense, and stopped a few yards off, her bushy tail wagging slightly.
A snowy owl chilling with his buddy
This photo of a snowy owl resting on a duck is rare for a few different reasons. Not only is it strange that these two birds would let someone get close enough to them with a camera to snap a great shot but in many cases snowy owls have been known to eat ducks. These aren’t the friend odd fowl friends to form an unusual bond in the animal kingdom, but it’s always fascinating to see a partnership like this happen. Although it’s also entirely possible that this own is just sitting on its prey until the photographer took off so it could eat its meal in peace.
King of the ocean
You can hear it right now, can’t you? That DUN DUN, DUN DUN building faster and faster and louder and louder until it attacks. The great white shark is one of the most deadly predators on the planet and it stops at nothing to feed once it’s found its prey. Few people who’ve come face to face with one of these deep sea monsters has lived to survive, but one man, Jerry Ventouras, told the Guardian what happened when his friend Ken found himself on the receiving end of a shark attack in Perth:
I turned around and saw this enormous fin travelling on the inside of Ken. It came in behind him. It was surreal. This damn big shark – somewhere between five metres and six metres – head up out of the water, its jaws wide open surging towards Ken. Without even stopping, [it] seemed to grab him across the lower half of his body, lift him out of the water and give him a couple of shakes like a dog would shake at a bone, [and then] dropped him in the middle of the pool in a great cloud of blood. There was no sound.
Bald eagles are the masters of the sky and an apex predator
Found only in North America, the bald eagle is a majestic creature that can have a wingspan of up to seven and a half feet. An adult eagle can soar at a speed of up to 30 mph at a height of 10,000 feet. These beautiful birds live up to 30 years in the wild and around 50 captivity, out of all the birds in the sky they’re certainly most impressive. When it comes to hunting their prey they can see a creature from miles away so their dinner doesn’t even know it’s on the menu until it’s too late. They’re truly an enduring symbol of American freedom - and to think Ben Franklin wanted to use the turkey.
Cthulu or seaweed? And do you want to find out what it is?
Even though we’re much more aware of what’s in the ocean today, for a second you probably thought these waves were filled with creatures with thousands of tentacles. We know it’s seaweed but it’s hard not to freak out a little bit when you see something like this. The ocean is filled with seaweed and all manner of muck, but it’s rare to see the water pick up so much sea trash and bring it along with it in a massive wave. Can you imagine what it’s like to swim into a wave like this? Even if the water isn’t filled with a giant octopus or something it’s still got to be gross to let this kind of thing wash over you.
This central Texas town has a bird problem
As temperatures dip in the fall, birds migrate from the north to warmer climates in the south. Some go to Mexico, others Florida, and many go to Texas. Migrating birds fly at night when the air is cool and calm and when their are less predators waiting for them. Migrating birds fly together in tandem so when one bird takes a break they all take a break - this leads to small towns turning from quaint hamlets to looking downright apocalyptic. Towns in central Texas aren’t just known for being covered in birds but often in spring they’re covered in crickets.
The eye of a tokay gecko
The enchanting eye belongs to the tokay gecko, a species of lizard that’s native to Southeast Asia, and as small as it is it’s still one of the largest geckos that you’ll find. These little bad boys aren’t just cute but they’re speedy as well. They can evade capture with a fast sprint and they can climb across walls, trees, and slippery rocks thanks to the small plates on the bottom of their feet that are covered in tiny hairlike processes that are forked at the end. Some geckos are even known to have retractable claws, so make sure you don't tangle with any of these little guys... just in case.
coyote pups learning to howl
Everybody’s got to learn to howl - even coyote pups. These “barking dogs” are known as the most vocal of North America’s mammals. This animals howl includes high-pitched howls, barks, and yelps that each mean something different, giving them their own kind of language. In 1978 Philip N. Lehner wrote of their complex sounds in Coyotes: Biology, Behavior, and Management, explaining:
The vocal repertoire of the adult coyote contains eleven vocalizations, several of which are also given by pups. These vocalizations grade into one another such that their separation into eleven types is somewhat arbitrary based on their different sounds, behavior context, and physical characteristics.
The moment the rising sun made it look like this polar bar was breathing fire
Capturing the perfect photo of a polar bear can be a daunting task, especially when that task involves going out into sub freezing temperatures with a camera that could choke up at any time. To snap this shot of what looks like a polar bear breathing fire Anon spent weeks on board a ship waiting for the perfect moment. Anon explained what it was like to photograph a polar bear in the Arctic:
We stay with this bear from 10 P.M. until early the next day. This bear was a fantastic 'photo' bear, coming close to us multiple times and staying interested in us. The soft Arctic light made for beautiful pinks in the sky, and it reflected on the ice. We were happy to see that he was a big, fat healthy bear too.
The sailfish is considered by scientists to be the fastest swimming marine creature in the world
While it’s up for debate among scientists and biologists, the sailfish is believed to be one of the fastest swimming animals in the world, although some researchers disagree. What is known is that the sailfish can top out at speeds of 70 mph which means that they’re just as home on the highway as they are in the ocean. The one animal that scientists debate about going faster than the sailfish is the cheetah, which is actually wild when you think about the implications of this race. This brand of billfish are found in groups, feeding on smaller fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods.
The juvenile form of the yellow boxfish is a dazzling bright yellow, but this color fades away into adulthood
This angry aquatic block of cheese is a young yellow boxfish. When these creatures are young they shine an amazing bright yellow, although as they grow older their color fades. The yellow boxfish lives near warm water ocean reefs and when they’re attacked they release a neurotoxin called tetrodoxin that can do away with lethal predators and whatever fish are in the area. Even if a predator gets a boxfish in their mouth they’ll usually spit them out because they taste so horrible. When a boxfish gets hungry it usually munches on algae as well as microorganisms, invertebrates, mollusks and crustaceans.
The power of mother nature
When most people think of the ocean they picture rest and relaxation but those people have never felt the mighty power of the tides. The ocean is one of the most powerful and terrifying things on the planet. With the combination of the tides and weather patterns waves can break at over 75 feet high or even higher. Admittedly the waves like the one pictured aren’t what you’ll find on a normal day at the beach but rather in the middle of a hurricane or typhoon. The best thing to do if you find yourself in the thrall of huge waves like this is to hold on for dear life.
A microscopic look at a bee stinger vs a bee stinger
No one wants to choose between a bee sting and needle stick, they’re both painful but bee stingers are five times softer at the tip than the base which makes it much easier to pierce a person’s skin. Researchers have studied how to make medical needles more like bee stingers to make life easier for people. Bharat Bhushan Ohio Eminent Scholar explained:
Wasps and bees don’t want to create too much pain to start with, and we believe the softer tip makes it less likely that you’ll notice the initial insertion. If you felt the pain right away, you would react and swat the insect away before it finished injecting its venom.
Oh no oh no oh NOOOO
It’s strange to think that some fish spend their lives kept in an aquarium, watching us go throughout our lives day by day and waiting for their dinner. This fish is clearly ready for more than some nibble of a fish food, it’s ready for a taste of human flesh. Or maybe it’s just excited to see its owner get so close to the glass. Not every fish has as big a mouth as this, but this little guy is seriously freaked out after seeing its owner’s finger get so close to the glass. Who among us wouldn’t absolutely flip out if we got so close to a giant finger like that?
A plume of smoke rises over the Australian outback
The massive fires that have nearly destroyed Australia have burned just about every part of the country but New South Wales and Victoria are the areas that have been the most affected. In 2020 the BBC reported that more than 2,000 houses in New South Wales were destroyed, forcing thousands of people to go without shelter. The island continent has always had brushfires but the fires that began in September 2019 have been the deadliest ever. Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at the bureau, blames a terrible heat wave for the fires. He told the BBC:
The key culprit of our current and expected conditions is one of the strongest positive Indian Ocean dipole events on record. A positive IOD means we have cooler than average water pooling off Indonesia, and this means we see less rain-bearing weather systems, and warmer than average temperatures for large parts of the country.
The ultimate staring contest with a giant crocodile
It seems like it’s a hat on a hat for a giant crocodile to exist in nature when regular old crocodiles and alligators are scary enough as is. One school giant crocodile is found on the Nile and he’s known as “Gustave.” This Nile crocodile is a man eater with a bodycount of as many as 300 victims who’ve suffered a horrible fate while walking the banks of the Ruzizi River. No one knows exactly how big Gustave is, but it’s believed that he’s longer than 18 feet and that he weighs more than 2,000 pounds. Attempts to capture this large fellow have been unsuccessful.
Starlings obscure the sky over Rome in dystopia viral photo
Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but every autumn the skies fill with starlings. These small songbirds come to the city in huge numbers from the chilly Eastern Europe and Scandinavia and it’s believed that nearly four million of these little birds flee to Italy each year and completely cover the sky. If you notice, the horizon line of this photo shows what’s left of the sunset in a faded blue and orange trying to break through the impenetrable bird haze. There’s no way to avoid something like this, they simply come to the city and the people of Rome just have to live with it.
That'll freeze your pipes. A house encased in ice after a blizzard
There’s freezing and then there’s frozen. Harsh winter conditions in 2017 left this house in Webster, New York frozen like an igloo but it wasn’t just the cold that did it, this was caused by a combination of things. The violent winds mixed with moisture from the surrounding lakes to coat this house in ice and turn it into a frozen palace. In order to keep this from happening a home has to protect itself with a retaining wall - or you could just not live near a giant body of water where it gets down to freezing temperatures - but that’s your call.
You've heard of a waterfall but what about a sandfall?
Believed to be a myth, Middle Eastern sandfalls are actually a fairly new thing to hit places like Saudi Arabia and the cause is believed to be climate change. Sandfalls occur when sand behaves like water and pours over a cliff. Thought to be a myth, these sandfalls tend to occur over dry riverbeds that can flood after a heavy rain. The water carries a vast amount of sand with it and gives off the impression that the sand is flowing like water. Videos of these sandfalls have been popping up since about 2013 and while the catalyst for them is clearly a bad thing they’re still fascinating to see.
The Bony Fish are some of the biggest creatures in the sea
The animal kingdom is a vast and varied group of creatures, many of which we’ll never get a chance to see up close. Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of photos of the most bizarre animals in the world to show you what you’re missing. Whether you’re curious about the strange fish that live in the depths of the open ocean, or nocturnal creatures who live in the trees of Africa we’ve got you covered.
Most fish in the sea are considered to be bony fish, but this big boy is the king of them all. This huge creature is a Mola alexandrini ocean sunfish, initially it was believed to be a Mola mola, but recent research has helped to re-identify the animal. Sunfish are the largest bony fish known to man, and due to their size they grow into strange shapes - often resembling discs or wagon wheels.
While this huge fish holds the title as the world’s heaviest bony fish, the largest recorded catch was actually a M. alexandrini, or a southern sunfish, caught in 1996 off Kamogawa, Japan. It would seem that there are some very big boys out in the eastern sea.
These photos of strange animals will take you across the world on the hunt for cute animals that burrow through the ground, and one of the most ugly fish you’ll ever see. Let's go!
A rare white stag steps out of fantasy into reality
These gorgeous stags are actually red deer or fallow deer who are suffering from a condition known as leucism that causes its hair and skin to lose its natural color. While these animals are mostly thought to be mythological creatures who appear in everything from Hungarian mythology to Harry Potter, they can actually be seen all over the world, you just have to keep your eyes peeled.
There aren’t a lot of animals with leucism in the wild, like albino animals their lack of pigmentation doesn’t do them any favors with predators. Still, some of these animals manage to survive even without their ability to blend in.
The Mexican Alligator Lizard is endangered and beautiful
The endangered Mexican alligator lizard is a gorgeous small invertebrate that more closely resembles a curved piece of turquoise than a member of the animal kingdom. They tend to be slow-moving, however when they feel threatened they can run away with the best of them. These lizards mainly live in high elevation cloud forests in Central America, specifically Mexico and Guatemala.
The Mexican alligator lizard has a healthy diet of bugs that are low in protein like caterpillars, grasshoppers, and katydids, although during the summer they don’t each as they’re preparing to breed. Locals believe that these lizards are venomous, but fortunately for collectors that’s not the case.
Angora Rabbits need to be shaved to live a normal life
Someone get this guy to a hair dresser, STAT. The Angora rabbit is one of the oldest kinds of domestic rabbit, and its bred for the long fibers of its coat which is known as Angora wool. No one knows exactly how they became pets, but it’s believed that they were first brought to Europe from Ankara, Turkey by French sailors in order to copy the shawls that they saw on native women.
There are at least 15 breeds of Angora rabbits, with the English Angora being the most popular. Obviously this guy’s hair has gotten out of control, and most Angora rabbits need to be groomed daily in order to keep their hair from getting out of control.
Harpy Eagles are nosey and fierce
These proud harpy eagles, whose scientific name is the harpia harpyja can found from southern Mexico all the way up through Central and South America and even into northern Argentina, although their homes are being threatened by deforestation. While they grow up to 3.5 feet in length, their rear talons reach about 3-4 inches long, which is the same size as a grizzly bear’s.
Harpy eagles are very protective of their young, and they continue to bring fresh green twigs and branches to their nest after their offspring are born in order to keep them cool and safe from parasitic insects.
The Schmidt's Spot-nosed Guenon is the world's most private monkey
Now this is a handsome young fellow. The Schmidt’s Guenon, otherwise known as a red tailed monkey, is one of the most secretive monkeys in existence. Even though they can live in large packs they really don’t like to be seen and will often sneak away to eat their meals in order to avoid detection.
Like a squirrel, the spot-nosed guenon will stuff its puffy cheeks with food in order to make sure that they have something to eat hours after a meal. Their striking colors can be seen in the wild throughout Africa. They often use their puffy beards as a way of communicating with one another.
Hammer-headed Bats are way bigger than you want them to be
The hammer-headed bat, scientifically referred to as the hypsignathus monstrosus, is also known as the big-lipped bat. This creature has a hairless split chin and warty rostrum with wrinkled skin around it. These megabats live in equatorial Africa and have a wingspan of up to 38 inches making it Africa’s largest bat.
You don’t have to worry about this bat picking up your dog for a meal as they tend to eat only fruit, with figs making up a major part of their diet. They also enjoy bananas, guavas, mangos and other cultivated crops, so you don't want to raise these around your farm.
Quokkas are the friendliest animals on the planet, they'll even take a selfie with you
The quokkas isn’t just one of the cutest animals to ever hop across the planet, they’re also really friendly. Visitors to their home on Rottnest Island in West Australia have no trouble grabbing a selfie with this smiling creature. If you noticed the pouch on the creature (and how can you not) then you’ve likely deduced that they’re related to the kangaroo.
When they’re not smiling for selfies, these cuties hang out in large groups and eat in swamps while eating greens and storing fat in their tails. They dig tunnels through the vegetation where they live and eat, but more often than not they just like to nap.
Only male Lady Amherst's Pheasants are this stunning
This ornate pheasant with an equally overwrought name is a bird of the order Galliformes and the family Phasianidae. The genus name is from Ancient Greek khrusolophos, "with golden crest.” While it’s found in Southwestern China and northern Burma, the bird was named after Sarah Countess Amherst, wife of Sir William Pitt Amherst, the Governor of Bengal. He was responsible for sending the first of these gorgeous birds to London in 1828.
Like most birds with beautiful plumage the males are colored with incredible colors while the females tend to be more bland in their colorization in order to help them blend in with their surroundings.
The Hairy Frog was dreamt up in a monster movie
Out of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, hairy frogs are among some of the most freaky. These creatures, also known as the trichobatrachus robustus, or the horror frog, live in Central Africa where they break their own bones in order to produce claws when faced when faced with predators. One researcher explained:
Some other frogs have bony spines that project from their wrist, but in those species it appears that the bones grow through the skin rather than pierce it when needed for defense.
Males grow up to about four inches and grow long hair-like strands of skin and arteries. Its believed that this “hair” helps the frogs take in more oxygen into their skin.
Mexican Soft Salamanders are just happy to see you
This happy camper is a Mexican soft salamander, or an axolotl, a creature that can regenerate most of its body parts if amputated. The axolotl is an amphibious creature that only lives in lake Xochimilco, near Mexico City, and nowhere else. This animal spends its entire life in the water, and the only things it has to worry about are aggressive fish that are introduced by humans and chefs who want to put them on a plate.
The axolotl can grow up to one foot in length and they can weigh up to eight pounds. This sweet little salamander can live up to 15 years in captivity, and the most lucky of them can live for up to 12 years in the wild.
There are barely any Saiga Antelopes left
These incredibly endangered antelope once inhabited a large area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. These animals date back to the ice age, a time that was ruled by mammoths and saber-tooth cats, and this kind of ancestry allows them to live in one of the harshest climates in the world.
There are only 160,000 saiga antelope in existence today, and they’re still being hunted for their meat and horns. Their docility is one of the reasons that they’re so easily hunted, and it’s unfortunate that such majestic creatures are dying out.
Don't worry, the California Leaf-nosed Bat may not be pretty but it's not dangerous
The California Leaf-nosed Bat (Macrotus californicus) is the only bat in North America, north of Mexico, with large ears and leaf-like projections on the nose. These bats hang around all year, and without a hibernation or migration period they can be seen around the caves, mines, and rock shelters of the Sonoran desert.
As creepy as these bats look they don’t pose any real threat to people. Instead of feasting on blood they prefer to eat insects like crickets, beetles, and moths. A lucky California Leaf-nosed Bat can live for up to 30 years in the wild and grow up to 13 inches in wingspan.
Adult Proboscis Monkeys are proud of their bulbous noses
When you’re around this monkey you should always carry a box full of Kleenex, you never know when you’re going need it. These interesting looking mammals aren’t endangered yet, but their numbers are decreasing as they lose places to call home. They have a diet like most humans, in that they’ll eat anything, but they only get up to about 50 lbs in weight.
And yes, that nose exists for a reason. Male proboscis monkeys use their fleshy, pendulous schnozes to attract a mate. It’s believed that they use their large noses to amplify their mating calls as well as a way of intimidating their rivals.
Baby Flowerhorn Fish have been known to destroy ecosystems
You can’t miss these little fish when you take a trip to your local aquarium. Flowerhorn cichlids are easy to spot because of their bright colors and interestingly shaped heads. If you see these in the wild then you’re lucky because they’re a man made species that tends to exist as a pet or in an aquarium, any time they’re in the wild it’s because they’ve been set loose.
In the wild they have a parasitic nature, which is why they’re banned from Australia. If you’ve just got to see one of them in the wild then go to Singapore and Malaysia where they’ve started to breed.
Indian gharials use their odd noses to catch their prey
The gharial, otherwise known as the gavialis gangeticus, sometimes called the Indian gharial, is one of two surviving members of the family Gavialidae. These mean looking creatures are a group of crocodile-like reptiles with long, narrow jaws. They grow up to 15 feet in length and can weigh up to 2,200 pounds.
If you feel brave you can find these animals in India, along the Chambal, Girwa, and Son Rivers, and along the Narayani River in Nepal. Rather than chase down their prey like other crocodiles, the gharial use their snouts to sense animals in the water and snatch them up.
African Albino Giraffes aren't something you see every day
In west Africa albino giraffes are definitely a sight to see. While they’re not running around in abundance, there are more of them than you’d think. In 2017 the New York Times reported that a white giraffe was sighted in Garissa County near the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy with a similarly pale offspring, meaning that there could be more white giraffes running around in the future. The leader of an antelope conservatory in the area told the Times:
They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence. The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signaling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes.
Baird's Tapir eats like a linebacker
These solemn-faced cuddlies are also known as the Central American tapir, is a species of tapir native to Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America. It is one of four Latin American species of tapir, and it’s the largest indigenous mammal in Central America.
Even though they seem like they’re oddly shaped boars, these tapirs are actually more closely related to the rhinoceros. They need a lot of food to get through the day and possess micro-organisms in their stomachs to help them break down plant life. They’re rarely seen in Central America and tend to keep to themselves. This is even more true today as their habitat is under the constant threat of destruction.
Star-Nosed Moles rarely poke their heads above ground
Even though the star-nosed mole looks like something closer to a character from a horror movie, it’s actually a minuscule little creature that can be found in wet low areas in the northern parts of North America.
More often than not this carnivorous creature can be found digging through the damp ground, and it rarely pops up to concern itself with the above ground world. In order to feed the creature uses its star to hunt by reaching around to 10 or 12 places at a time. There’s a lot that scientsts don’t know about this creature, and they’re learning new things every day.
The Bearded Pig could use a shaving kit for the holidays
This bearded pig from Borneo has seen things. Its grizzled face shows the wear and tear of a life spent rutting for food and never having a trim. These unkempt looking animals play an important part in the ecosystem of their home on the Asian archipelago. As a never ending migrator the bearded pig spreads the seeds of the dipterocarp tree across the island, maintaining their growth.
The bearded pig’s foraging also helps keep the soil invigorated, speeding along organic decomposition. This animal doesn’t know it but all of their digging helps tree roots get the nutrients that it needs.
Trapezia Crabs are animals that look like they were designed by Roy Lichtenstein
Is it a crab or is it a pomegranate? Obviously it’s a crab, but its polkadot shell makes it resemble either a very garish piece of wall paper or that tasty purple fruit. The trapezia crab, or trapezia rufopunctata is a species of guard crabs in the family Trapeziidae. This small commensal crustacean can be found inside Pocillopora and Acropora coral of Indonesia.
While these crabs were initially believed to be coral pests, researchers have found that the trapezia crab actually has a symbiotic relationship with its hime, and spends its time cleaning and defending the coral. They only grow to one inch and size.
A Long-Eared Jerboa's tail is as big as its entire body
The long-eared jerboa, also known as the euchoreutes naso, is a nocturnal mouse-like rodent with a long tail, long hind legs for hopping, and if you didn’t notice, they have very large ears. These cute little creatures can be found in the deserts of northwest China and southern Mongolia.
Since the long-eared jerboa is such a tiny specimen, which makes it a yummy appetizer for its predators, nature has made sure that it’s the color of sand, allowing it to blend in with its desert home. The jerboa eats insects and while its body only grows to about 3.5 inches in length its tail grows to double that size.
The Mouse-Deer's bite is worse than its bark
Not a mouse and not a deer, the greater Malay chevrotain or napu is a species of even-toed ungulate in the Tragulidae family also known as the Tragulus napu. These strange and shy animals can be found in Sumatra. The size of a mouse-deer can vary greatly, with some of them weighing as little as four pounds, while others can grow up to 33 pounds.
These little animals pack a big bite. They’re hiding two long, needle-like fangs in their mouths which they use to stab predators. Along with those teeth they have an extra thick coat and dense muscles that protect them from attacks.
The Squeaking Silk Moth only squeaks when it's young
The Squeaking Silk Moth, or the rhodinia fugax if you prefer, doesn’t actually squeak when it’s a moth. However, when it’s in its form as a caterpillar the insects can squeak loudly in order to keep predators at bay by contracting their bodies and forcing air through their spiracula. The sounds is akin to that of a mouse or rubber duck.
Once the silk moths become moths in the autumn they take on the colors of fall foliage in Asia, which turns the males a dark yellow-orange, sometimes turning nearly black, while the females are always bright yellow. They're most easily found in the Palearctic Asia, but have been found in Korea, China, Japan and Russia.
The Blobfish is hands down the ugliest fish in the ocean
What else can you call this animal but the blowfish? The Blobfish, or Psychrolutes Marcidus, is one of the strangest aquatic creatures found in Australian and Tasmanian waters. They are in the deep sea family of Psychrolutidae, also known as the fathead sculpin family.
The Blobfish is considered to be a “lie and wait” predator, meaning that rather than chase after its prey it sits still with its jaws open and sucks in anything that’s small enough to get munched. These odd looking fish are found in depths ranging from 330 and 9,200 feet in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
The Angola Colobus is the Edgar Winter of the jungle
The Angola colobus, Angolan black-and-white colobus or Angolan colobus, is a primate species of old world monkey belonging to the genus Colobus. They’re found across Africa in places like eastern Nigeria, Cameroon, eastern Gabon, and northern Congo. They don’t live in one specific habitat, and can thrive in bamboo forests just as well as savannas and swamp lands.
The Angola colobus is a medium-sized, arboreal monkey that have long silky hair, complete with white epaulettes on the shoulders. Their young are born completely white, and over the course of their first three months they grow their black adult plumage.
Pink Fairy Armadillos are the biggest 'fraidy cats in South America
While this creature may look like a tasty piece of sushi, they’re actually tough little cuties that can dig their way out of most situations. In fact, it only takes a few seconds for this animal to completely bury itself in the sand when it feels threatened. Also known as the chlamyphorus truncatus, the pink fairy armadillo is one of the few armadillo with a dorsal shell that’s nearly totally separate from its body.
These can be found in the plains and grasslands of central Argentina where the pink fairy armadillo forages for worms, snails, plant matter, and yummy ants.
A ghost crab Japanese spider crab has a face on its shell
This species of crab, also known as the Heikegani is native to Japan and is believed to hold the souls of ancient warriors. The belief stems from the imprint on the crab’s shell that looks just like a face. The story goes that during the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185 AD all souls of the Heike samurai warriors who perished were reincarnated as Heikegani.
These fighters were known for wearing a terrifying mask, and it’s believed that these crabs have the imprint of a face on their shell so as to show allegiance to their clan. Many people believe that the crabs watch over their ancestors to this day.
The Rufous Elephant Shrew is a real neat freak
The rufous elephant shrew, rufous sengi or East African long-eared elephant-shrew that spends most of its waking hours constructing tight and intricate trails that it uses to escape its predators. The elephant shrew’s legs are incredibly powerful, giving them the ability to jump over three times their body length.
These tiny shrews have overactive scent glands on the soles of their feet, which the young rub all over their parents in order to create a “family odor” that’s distributed throughout their habitat. While they have plenty of predators, these creatures use their speed and intense tunneling abilities to escape whatever comes for them.
The African Wild Dog is adorable and ferocious
African wild dogs are one of Africa's most endangered species with less than 5,000 left. These endangered dogs roam in packs of up to 10 around areas in South Africa and the southern most parts of East Africa like Tanzania and northern Mozambique. They grow to about 30 inches tall and 44 inches long.
As adorable as these wild dogs are, they’re fearsome predators who can run up to 44 mph when chasing their prey. They often go after gazelles or medium-sized animals that they can easily take down with a group. In Latin, their name means "painted wolf," which comes from their peculiar coat.
Garden Eels live in holes at the bottom of the sea
The spotted garden eels are most easy to sight by their small size - they rarely grow longer than 16 inches - and their three large black spots on their body along with the small black spots that take up the rest of the space across their tubular bods. These creepy crawlies burrow into the bottom of the sea, make their bodies rigid, and use the holes they create as a home, or a way to hide from predators.
These eels rely on the water's motion to bring food to them, the garden eels typically live in current prone habitats. Their only source of food is small planktonic animals.
A Genet's tail can grow to the size of its body
Behold the adorable genet, an elongated, short legged creature with an unusually long, tapered tail. A genet has a pointed nose like a skunk, and large rounded ears that are reminiscent of a bat crossed with a cat. These are seriously interesting looking mammals. Their coloration is different between species of genet, but they tend to be yellow or gray and covered in dark spots and stripes.
The largest of genets are only seen in Africa, but smaller versions of the species can be found in far flung locals like west Asia and Southern Europe. They eat small mammals and birds whenever they’re on the hunt.
The rarely scene Dumbo Octopus, a fish with huge ears at the bottom of the ocean
When discussing the dumbo octopus it’s important to note that this name doesn’t refer to one specific octopus, but rather an entire genus of octopus that lives deep in the open ocean. They’re rarely seen and live at depths of least 13,100 feet, possible deeper. This beautiful and rarely seen octopus is naturally rare, and in order to breed they reproduce whenever they come across a mate.
In order to make their way across the deep ocean they flap their ear-like fins, hence the name, and forage on pelagic invertebrates that swim above the sea floor. Due to the lack of predators for this octopus, it doesn't have the ink sack that many of its brethren contain.
That's not a money, it's a Philippine Tarsier
Often described as the smallest monkey in the world, the Philippine tarsier isn’t actually a monkey, or the smallest animal out there. This misnomer likely comes from their look as a small tree monkey, but in actuality these primates who live mostly in Southeast Asia grow to about six inches in height. While that’s small, they aren’t the smallest primate.
The tarsier is the only strictly carnivorous primate, feeding mostly on insects, although they’ve also been observed feeding on spiders, crustaceans, small lizards. Because of their size they’re in danger from attack by humans, feral cats, snakes, or monitor lizards.
This Blue-Footed Boobie is a real show off
Notable for its big ol’ blue feet, this carnivorous bird uses its brilliant feet to attract a mate off the coasts of Central and South America. Throughout the day these birds soar through the air in search of food, often working in flocks in order to find the best meal they can. At night they nest on land.
Their blue feet serve as more than a way to find a mate. After their young hatch, these birds use their webbed feet to keep their young safe and warm. On land the birds walk with an odd, strutting gait, but once they take to the air they’re often graceful.
Porcupine Puffer Fish do not want to hang out with you
For many young people (okay maybe one very specific former young person who’s typing this) the puffer fish is a fascinating specimen. Not only is a regular fish covered in spikes, but it can puff itself up to double its original size when it feels threatened. Aside from being covered in spiny appendages the puffer fish also looks to have teeth, although those are just a fused beak-like structure.
While most fish use their pelvic fins to travel, those are absent in the puffer fish which uses its pectoral fins to move freely throughout the sea. These fish feast on mollusks and other invertebrates like sponges and coral.
The Aye-Aye spends most of the day rolled up into a ball
If you’re worried about running into this ugly little creature, don’t worry, you have to go all the way to Madagascar to run afoul of this animal which locals believe brings bad luck. Of course it’s not really bad luck, it just looks funny. Aye-ayes do their best to spend most of their lives in in rain forest trees and only come down at night.
They spend most of the day curled up in a ball, when they wake they go on eat hunt for insects that crawl beneath tree bark. They use their long middle fingers to hunt for the larvae that makes up the most of their diet. These animals can live up to 20 years, which is a long time to stay up in a tree.
Tiger River Stingrays grow their tails longer than their discs
Potamotrygon tigrina, also known as the tiger river stingray, is a species of freshwater ray in the family Potamotrygonidae. This endangered species tends to be found in black and whitewater rivers in the upper Amazon basin in northeastern Peru. The tiger river stingray can grow in disc size to at least 28 inches in width, although it’s unclear if that’s the largest they can grow.
Interestingly enough, their discs aren't the largest parts of their body. Their tails tend to grow longer than their discs are wide, and they’re outfitted with a stinger that’s tipped with barbs that can rip through flesh.
This Kudu Bull is as skittish as it is gorgeous
The truly gorgeous Kudu Bull is similar to an Impala or an Antelope, and they live in the Savannah woodland, favoring the rocky areas where they kind forage on different bushes and trees. Rather than spend a day eating a tree clean they tend to munch for about a minute before moving onto the next area. If they see something tasty that’s out of reach the bulls will use their horns to break down the bush down to their height.
Because of the myriad predators on the Savannah, Kudus tend to stay alert even when they’re resting in the bush. They do their best to blend in with their surroundings, and are often on the run due to their nervous nature.
It's Not A Snake But A Butterfly
Why yes, that is a butterfly whose wings look eerily like a snake. As psychotic as it seems that an insect can mimic the design of a spooky, slithery animal that’s exactly what the dynasty darius does. Its snake-like appearance doesn’t simply extend to when it’s in butterfly mode, it also occurs when its a pupa.
While in its chrysalis this butterfly can shake from side to side, mimicking the movements of a snake to frighten predators. Unfortunately the dynastor has a short lifespan, but while it's alive it spends its days eating and frightening away predators. This is a remarkable animal that proves that nature is one of the most exciting things we have.
Brahman Bulls originated in India but mostly live in the states
The Brahman is an American breed of zebuine beef cattle. It was bred in the United States from 1885 from cattle originating in India. Supposedly there were only 300 Brahmans imported from India, meaning that most of the cattle from the south-western part of Texas and the coastal country along the Gulf of Mexico had to be crossbred with other cows in the area.
You know you’re dealing with a Brahman when you see the large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck. The colorization of these big cows varies from very light grey or red to almost black, and they have massive amounts of loose skin which helps them stay cool.
The Female Blanket Octopus is 40,000 times bigger than the males
With the ability to grow up to six feet long, the female blanket octopus is one of the most fascinating sights in the ocean. The males of the species barely grow to the size of a walnut, which means that the females weigh about 40,000 times more than their counterparts. In order to mate the males detach their hectocotylus — a modified arm that holds its sperm — and gives it to the female. She keeps the hectocotylus in her mantle cavity until it’s needed for fertilization.
Don’t mess with the female blanket octopus unless you want to be ripped to shreds. These creatures are known to rip off a Portuguese man-o-war's tentacles and use them as weapons.
Nilgiri Martens travel in packs and they love to hunt
Well it looks like someone spilled mustard down their shirt. The Nilgiri marten, or martes gwatkinsii, is the only marten species in southern India, and it can be found in the hills of the Nilgiris and parts of the Western Ghats. These creatures belong to the same family as badgers and weasels, and they live the life of a carnivore.
They’re most easily found by looking for their yellow patch of hair that covers its chest and throat on their otherwise dark brown coats. It’s believed that there are only about 1,000 nigiri Martens in existence. While these animals are believed to be solitary, researchers have found that they tend to travel in small packs.
The Striated Frogfish is the fisherman of the sea
While the striated frogfish or hairy frogfish may look more like a surrealist painting than an animal, the antennarius striatus is actually a marine fish belonging to the family Antennariidae. The fish uses its odd look to camouflage itself from its enemies and can match its color to its surroundings.
In order to feed, the striated frogfish sits very still and camouflages itself along the ocean floor. Once situated it wiggles its illicium rod in order to attract smaller animals. When they’re close enough it chomps them down. If the fish loses its rod then its no trouble for another one to regenerate.
Tragopan Bird don't actually have horns, they just look like it
Tragopan is a bird genus in the Phasianidae family, which is commonly called "horned pheasant” due to the fact that the males have two brightly colored, fleshy horns. Tragopans nest in trees, which is rare among pheasants, likely because of the many threats they face in the wild.
Male tragopan are the most brilliantly colored of all the birds - as per usual in these cases - and they grow red with blue, black, and white feathers to show off to their mates. In order to breed the male trapogans stretch out to show off all of their various plumage.
Zebra Striped Sea Anemones act as camouflage for tiny creatures
While it’s most well known as the zebra striped gorgonian wrapper, this sea anemone is scientifically referred to as the Nemanthus annamensis. It can be found in the central Indo-Pacific Ocean, wafting under the water with black stripes sitting atop its white base. This sea anemone grows tentacles of various colors that can be white, yellow, or orange.
One of the most fascinating things about this anemone is that its used as camouflage by the sponge crab Lauridromia intermedia. The crab carries the anemone around in order to help it avoid predators. In the words of many a Flinstone's character, "It's a living."
Casqued Hornbill Birds mate for life
The black-and-white-casqued hornbill also known as the grey-cheeked hornbill is a large bid with an over-sized blackish bill that nests in monogamous pairs within trees across the evergreen forests and savannas of equatorial Africa, as well as in central and western Africa. These fascinating birds eat mostly figs and small insects, although they’ve been known to feed upon small animals that live in trees.
Hornbills tend to grow up to about 28 inches in length and the females only lay two eggs per mating season. The birds travel quite a bit in search of food, but when they find fruit they like they’ll stick around for a while.