Tag Archives: bizarre

This thing looks like an alien…

MARCH 29, 2016  —  By Tim Unkenholz  

Even though they’re technically parts of our planet, certain regions of the ocean look like they’re from another world entirely. Based on all of the creepy videos floating around out there, our oceans are filled with aliens.

Don’t believe me? Then check out this eerie footage of a monkfish that was captured 80 miles off the coast of Gibraltar. Covered in a dusting of sediment from the ocean floor, this monster looks less like something earthly and more like something you’d see on Naboo.

The creature is somehow even more terrifying when it’s not covered in sand.

Oh, and did I mention that some of them are absolutely massive?

Oh, and did I mention that some of them are absolutely massive?

Getty Images

Apparently, the name of the monkfish’s game is to sit around and wait for fish to swim within chomping reach. It’s a good thing that this cameraman wasn’t mistaken for dinner!

Advertisements

Norwegian teen gets the stupidest tattoo in the history of stupid tattoos

, Rare Staff

There are bad decisions. There are terrible decisions. And then there is the decision that Stian Ytterdahl of Lorenskog, Norway made on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old was goaded by his friends to get a tattoo of a McDonald’s receipt on his forearm. It was allegedly punishment for the teen “being too friendly with the ladies.”

Ytterdahl had the choice between the receipt on his forearm and a Barbie tattoo on his butt. The Norwegian teen decided to go with McDonald’s golden arches rather than Barbie’s golden locks.

“Now I’m a living billboard,” Ytterdahl said.

“But I think all this is just fun. Maybe it won’t be as fun when I’m 50 or 60 years old, but it’s my choice.”

h/t to The Huffington Post

– See more at: http://rare.us/story/norwegian-teen-gets-the-stupidest-tattoo-in-the-history-of-stupid-tattoos/#sthash.tzaA8nqb.dpuf

Bizarre Animals

The popular video game and anime is known for taking inspiration from animals in real life, but with these quirky creatures, you have to wonder if it was the other way around.
Jerboa
Photo: reptiles4all
Jerboa
Jerboas are hopping rodents that thrive in the deserts of Northern Africa and Asia. Despite their status as prey animals, these adorable kangaroo-like creatures make do just fine thanks to their excellent hearing and ability to run up to 15 miles per hour.
Mantis shrimp
Photo: Shutterstock
Mantis shrimp
Also known as “thumb splitters,” these vibrant crustaceans are named in honor of their powerful claws, which can spear, stun and dismember prey with 200 pounds of force. In addition to their predatory tendencies, mantis shrimp are also distinguished for their impressive visual capabilities. The eyes of these psychedelic sea critters are equipped with 12 color receptors — humans and most other animals only have three. Scientists speculate this might enable them to process color information quickly within the eye instead going through the brain.
Shoebill stork
Photo: Shutterstock
Shoebill stork
Native to the freshwater swamps of tropical east Africa, these large, cartoon-like avians are known for their uniquely bulbous beaks. They are classified as a “vulnerable” species due to human disturbances, habitat destruction and hunting.
Blobfish
Photo: ZUMA Press
Blobfish
The frowning, gelatinous blobfish is considered one of the world’s ugliest animals, but it actually looksquite different in its native deep sea environment. As a frequent victim of bycatch, the sad, slimy creature may soon be added to the growing list of endangered species.
Fennec fox
Photo: Shutterstock
Fennec fox
Hailing from the arid, scorching sands of the Sahara desert, these cute nocturnal canids are known for their extra large ears, which dissipate heat and are sensitive enough to allow them to hear prey from underground.
Blue dragon
Photo: Imtorn/Wikimedia
Glaucus Atlanticus
You might be surprised to learn that this beautiful sea critter (also known as a sea swallow or blue dragon) is actually a sea slug. The blue and silvery mollusk is known to feed off cnidarians like the venomous Portuguese Man o’ War. What makes these gorgeous slugs even more fascinating is their practice of storing the cnidarians’s stinging nematocysts within its own tissues — ensuring a painful sting to anyone who messes with it.
Okapi
Photo: Shutterstock
Okapi
These unusual creatures were once mistaken by early European explorers as “African unicorns” before being formally recognized and classified as Okapia johnstoni in 1901. Although they may bear zebra-like stripes, these endangered ungulates are more closely related to giraffes.
Bush viper
Photo: Shutterstock
Bush viper
Found in the tropical rainforests of subsaharan Africa, bush vipers are venomous snakes known for their distinctly keeled scales. Their strong prehensile tails are perfect for supporting their weight in trees, where they spend the majority of their lives hanging and ambushing their prey.
Proboscis monkey
Photo: Shutterstock
Proboscis monkey
The clown-like, bulbous nose of this arboreal Old World monkey is hard to miss. Often exceeding 4 inches, the prominent proboscis is a result of sexual dimorphism; it is only found in males.
Streaked tenrec
Photo: Frank Vassen/Wikimedia
Lowland streaked tenrec
This quirky little guy is native to the tropical lowland forests of eastern Madagascar. The streaked tenrec is equipped with two sets of quills: barbed and nonbarbed. Similar to a porcupine, the barbed quills are used as a means of a defense against predators. The nonbarbed quills, on the other hand, are vibrated in order to emit a faint chattering that is used to communicate with family.
Coconut crab
Photo: Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia
Coconut crab
Make no mistake — those tree trunks seen above are not saplings. That’s right, those crabs are huge! Growing up to a meter in length from leg to leg, these terrestrial hermit crabs are the largest land-living arthropods in the world. Although they are omnivores that have been known to consume turtle hatchlings, they generally prefer to eat fleshy fruits and, you guessed it, coconuts!
Hummingbird hawkmoth
Photo: Jerzy Strzelecki/Wikimedia
Hummingbird hawk-moth
With its humming, hovering and long, thin proboscis, it’s no wonder this species is having an identity crisis. That said, Macroglossum stellatarum is most definitely a moth, and its resemblance to a hummingbird is the result of convergent evolution.
Giant isopod
Photo: Borgx/Wikimedia
Giant isopod
Along with the giant squid and the Japanese spider crab, these squirm-inducing arthropods are a prime example of deep sea gigantism. If you’re not familiar with the giant isopod, look no further than the common wood louse, which is its terrestrial cousin. Both species have the ability to curl up into a ball to protect themselves from predators.
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network.

Bizarre, beautiful starfish species

 

19 bizarre and beautiful starfish species

Who knew that starfish could come in so many shapes and colors … and with so many arms!

Photo: Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock

Starfish, or more technically accurate, sea stars, are fascinating creatures and amazingly diverse. Most commonly thought of as a five-armed intertidal species, starfish come in myriad shapes, sizes, colors, arm counts, and are found from shorelines to the deep sea. And while they seem like docile creatures, they can actually be voracious and rather savage predators. Here are some of the many beautiful, odd and surprising species of sea stars around the world.
Leather star (Dermasterias imbricata): Found along the west coast of North America, from Alaska to Mexico, the leather star lives in the intertidal zone down to depths of about 300 feet where it dines on everything from algae to sponges to sea cucumbers. Meanwhile, it does its best to avoid the morning sun star, another species of sea star that makes a quick meal (well, relatively speaking) of the leather star. Leather stars make up to 50% of the diet of the morning sun star.
leather sea star
Photo: Ed Bierman/Flickr
***
Morning sun star (Solaster dawsoni)And here is that voracious predator. With anywhere from 8 to 16 arms and usually red or orange coloring, the morning sun star looks, well, like a cartoon sun. It is found in the northern Pacific, from Japan to Siberia and down the coast of North America down to California. Other sea stars literally run away from it if they’re touched by it. Some, however, fight back, including the velcro star and rainbow star which can pinch the morning sun star to make it recoil and provide a window for escape. Others have defense mechanisms — the slime star inflates itself and exudes a noxious mucus, and the sunflower sea star can detach an arm in order to get away. If a morning sun star can’t catch a star of a different species, it has no problem chowing down on an individual of its own species.
morningsun sea star
Photo: NatureDiver /Shutterstock
***
Sunflower star (Pycnopodia helianthoides): The sunflower star is the largest sea star in the world, reaching an armspan of 3.3 feet. That space is taken up by 16-24 arms. They’re found along the coast of North America, from Alaska to California, but they’re largest in the northern areas. They dine on sea urchins, clams and snails and are usually found in subtidal areas where there is always water, since they can’t support their bodies out of water.
sunflower sea star
Photo: Ethan Daniels /Shutterstock
***
Pink short spined star (Pisaster brevispinus)Even starfish look pretty in pink. This sea star can reach a whopping two feet in diameter, and can weigh up to two pounds. It dines on clams and sand dollars, so is usually found on sand or mud, but its soft texture allows it to also grip on coral and rocks where it can feast on mussels, tube worms and barnacles. This is also a celebrity species: Spongebob Squarepants’ neighbor Patrick Star is a pink starfish. So next time you see one, ask for an autograph.
giant pink sea star
Photo: jkirkhart35/Wikipedia
***
Granulated sea star (Choriaster granulatus): This species goes by many names, including the cushion sea star or doughboy star, for obvious reasons. The plump starfish is found in shallow waters on coral reefs and rubble slopes where it feeds on algae, coral polyps, and scavenges on dead animals.
granulated sea star
Photo: Ethan Daniels /Shutterstock
***
Royal starfish (Astropecten articulatus): This vividly colored species is found along the east coast of North America, primarily in the southeast. While it can live at depths of up to 700 feet, it mostly hangs out at around 70-100 feet deep where it dines on mollusks. Unlike many other species of starfish, the royal starfish eats its prey whole.
royal starfish
Photo: TheMargue/wikipedia
***
Bat sea star (Asterina miniata): This fascinating species is called the bat star because of the webbing between its arms, which (so some say) look like bat wings. It is found along the west coast of North America, from Alaska to Baja. While the species usually has five arms, it can have up to nine, and it can be a wide range of colors from green to orange to purple. So if you’re wondering if you’re looking at a bat sea star, check if it has the tell-tale webbing.
bat sea star
Photo: stevehullphotography/Shutterstock
***
Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci): The name of this species is fairly clear. The spines covering its upper surface make it look like, well, you know. Those spines are also venomous, which aid it in its quest for world domination. Found over a wide range in subtropical waters, from the Red Sea to across the Indian Ocean, and across the Pacific Ocean to the western coast of Central America, this species preys on coral polyps. As one of the largest starfish in the world, it has a voracious appetitive. When numbers are low, crown-of-thorns starfish help boost the biodiversity of coral reefs by preying on the fastest growing coral species. But if their populations become too high, they can wreak havoc on coral reefs. Their population booms are due in part from human fishing of and collection of their natural predators, the humphead wrasse and triton snail.
crown of thorns sea star
Photo: Ethan Daniels /Shutterstock
***
Pacific blood star (Henricia leviuscula): Despite the creepy name, this common starfish is actually a very small, slender species that feeds on sponges and bacteria. Meanwhile, its main predators are birds and humans. They are among the most brightly colored sea star species in the intertidal zone and are found at depths of over 1,000 feet.
pacific blood star
Photo: Medtrails/wikipedia
***
Egyptian sea star (Gomophia egyptiaca): Found along the coasts of eastern Africa and Madagascar, this spiky sea star stays at depths of around 20-25 feet. Like may starfish, it can regenerate parts of its body that are damaged. But with those spikes, it doesn’t look like a sea star you want to reach out and mess with.
egyptian sea star
***
Nine-armed Sea Star (Luidia senegalensis): It may not be the only sea star to have nine arms, but it’s the only species to be named for the fact that it has nine arms. Found in the western Atlantic ocean, this starfish, like many species, everts its stomach to engulf its prey, and essentially “swallows” with its stomach. The nine-arm sea star dines on mollusks, small crustaceans, and sea worms, as well as filters stomachfuls of sediment to feast on tiny organisms.
nine armed sea star
Photo: Andrea Westmoreland/Flickr
***
Brisingid sea star: Skipping a specific species, these sea stars are so cool, we’re highlighting the entire order! The 70 or so species within this order live in the deep sea, at depths between 330 feet to over 19,000 feet below. They are suspension feeders, using their arms, which number from six to 16, to filter water and capture food as it drifts by. They look almost more like a seaweed or coral than a sea star.
brisingid star
Photo: NOAA/Flickr
***
Necklace Starfish (Fromia monilis): This jewel-like starfish is found in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. Found in shallow water in rocky areas, it feeds on sponges and small invertebrates. It can get as large as 12 inches across, and has unusual and beguiling coloring. That plus its relative hardiness makes it a favorite for people who keep salt water aquariums. It is also called the red tile starfish for obvious reasons.
necklace starfish
Photo: Hectonichus/wikipedia
***
Giant spined star (Pisaster giganteus): This bedazzled sea star is found on the western coast of North America, from southern California up to British Columbia. Found in rocky areas along the low tide mark, they feast on mollusks. This species can grow as huge as two feet in diameter, hence the name that includes “giganteus”. Though they have few predators, they are prey items for sea otters and birds.
giant spined sea star
Photo: Ed Bierman/Flickr
***
Pincushion starfish (Culcita novaeguineae): Found in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, this unusual species of starfish creates its own little habitat by providing shelter for small shrimp that hide under it, and copepods that live on its outside. Even a species of fish, the star pearlfish, may make itself at home inside the body cavity of the pincushion star, emerging to feed. It would be hard to guess by glancing at it that it is a starfish at all, and not a type of coral!
pincushion sea star
Photo: Ethan Daniels/Shutterstock
***
Chocolate Chip Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus): Mmmmm, chocolate chip cookies! Well, while this looks like a chocolate chip-studded starfish, it wouldn’t exactly taste great. The dark nubs are a way for it to look more dangerous, and it works as it has few predators. Because of this, the sea stars actually provide a home on its surface for other species such as shrimp, tiny brittle stars, and juvenile filefish. Though it has few oceanic predators, it does have one serious predator — humans. This species is collected as a tourist trinket and for the aquarium trade and are being overharvested in some areas.
chocolate chip sea star
Photo: Ethan Daniels /Shutterstock
***
Blue sea star (Linckia laevigata): This gorgeous blue sea star is found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, usually in shallow and sunny parts of reefs and reef fringes. It is a scavenger, and so acts as the clean up crew by feeding on dead animals. Like the chocolate chip sea star, the blue sea star has been part of the sea-shell trade for a long time, its skeleton sold as decoration. Because of this, the populations in some regions have seen dramatic decline.
blue sea star
Photo: Ethan Daniels /Shutterstock
***
Australian southern sand star (Luidia australiae): The mottled coloring of this species helps tp camouflage it in the sediment of seagrass beds of the Pacific Ocean around Australia and New Zealand. Typically sporting seven arms, it grows to be around 16 inches in diameter. It is sometimes found washed up on the beach after storms.
australian southern sand star
Photo: Dusan Wolczko /shutterstock
***
Panamic cushion star (Pentaceraster cumingi): Talk about gorgeous. This beautiful species is found around the Gulf of Panama and the Pearl Islands, all the way up to the northern parts of the Pacific Ocean. Appropriately, it is also called a knobby star. They can reach up to 18 inches in diameter, and feast on mussels and barnacles. They are considered a keystone species in tidepools thanks to the work they do to keep mussel populations under control. But it’s not without effort — it can take a starfish upwards of six hours to eat a single mussel.
panamic cushion star
Photo: Laszlo Ilyes/Flickr