Here Are 20 Animals That Are Too Terrifying To Be In Zoos. I Hope I Never Come Across
20. Sea Pig
No this isn’t an actual pig that lives in the sea, but a variation of sea cucumber that dwells in the dark depths of the ocean. Known for its translucent body and tentacles, the sea pig strolls the ocean floor and feeds on the decomposing remains of other creatures. According to marine biologists, these “living vacuum cleaners” help clean the ocean floor and aren’t picky when it comes to their meals. Basically, if it’s dead, they’ll eat it!
The Okapi is certainly one of the strangest animals we’ve ever seen, and while it may look like a deer and zebra had a baby, it isn’t related to either. Native to the northeast region of Congo in Central Africa, the Okapi is closely related to the giraffe. A herbivore and loner, this strange mammal only gathers with others of its kind to breed, otherwise it lives a solitary life.
18. Thorny Dragon
Did we happen to wander into Jurassic Park? The thorny dragon, also known as the thorny devil, is a lizard known for its ridge-like camouflage that helps ward off predators. Living primarily in the deserts of Australia, the lizard can live up to 20 years and was first discovered in 1841 by biologist John Edward Gray. While one’s first reaction might be to run when they come across one of these things, you’ll be happy to know its primary diet consists of ants.
Now is that an evil looking bird or what? The shoebill, also known as the shoe-billed stork, is a rather large bird that lives in the swamps of east Africa. Known for standing like a statue for long periods of time, it primarily feeds on large fish in poorly oxygenated waters. However, it has been known to eat other small birds on occasion. Personally, we’d like to stay far away from this guy.
16. Indian Purple Frog
Yes, this is a real animal and we know it’s disgusting. The Indian purple frog is a type of frog species located in India and is known for its extremely bloated-like appearance and purple hue. According to studies, the frog spends its entire life underground, only surfacing during monsoons to mate. The females will lay around 3,000 eggs during mating season, which are often consumed by local tribesman as a regional delicacy.
15. Cyclops Shark
This may look like something out of a Pixar cartoon or your worst nightmare, but this shark fetus is actually very real. Scientists have only found a few cyclops shark fetuses over the years, which has led them to believe they don’t survive very long in the wild. Identified by their single eye, this condition is caused by a congenital disorder known as cyclopia. It’s too bad one has yet to be found alive, we’re sure studying it would be quite the learning experience.
14. Goliath Tiger Fish
All we can say is we’re never going fishing again. The Goliath Tiger Fish is a very large predatory game fish that’s located in the Congo River Basin. Known for its extremely sharp teeth, it mostly hunts other fish it can overpower; however, it has been known to attack humans. The local tribes believe the evil spirit known as “mbenga” would enter the fish and cause it to attack people. Yeah, you can count us out on evil spirit demon fish.
13. Marabou Stork
Image: Andreas Gros
Does this stork strike fear into your soul? Honestly, you can tell there is something pure evil about this creepy looking stork known as the marabou. Living south of the Sahara in Africa, this massive bird has a wingspan of over 13.5 feet and is known to be a scavenger. It breeds during the dry season in colonies with the females only producing 2-3 eggs at a time. We wish they’d lay ZERO because this stork is seriously freaky!
11. The Bush Viper
The last thing you want is to cross paths with this nasty looking snake. Abundant in the forests of Kenya and Nigeria, the bush viper is extremely venomous and known for its rough-scaled appearance. While the common color for the snake tends to be green, it can also be a wide variety of colors such as coral, black blue and rust. They are much smaller than the common viper and many people keep them as pets in small terrariums. Personally, we consider a dog to be the only acceptable pet.
10. The Pacu Fish
The Pacu fish is related to the piranha and known for its square, almost human-like teeth. They are located primarily in South America, but have also been caught in several rivers throughout the United States. In 2013, the Pacu became the subject of a news story claiming the fish was known for biting off the testicles men while swimming. What was supposed to be a joke, went viral as fact, but scientists quickly cleared up the misinformation. No, you don’t have to guard your loins around this fish, but personally we’d rather not get up close and personal with it either.
9. Umbonia Spinosa
Isn’t this the most freaky insect you’ve ever seen? We’re not sure whether to say it’s cute or terrifying. The Umbonia Spinosa is also known as a species of “treehopper” that’s identified by its large dorsal horn. Located in South America, particularly the southern regions, this insect is pretty much harmless despite looking like an alien.
8. Lobster Moth Caterpillar
The Lobster Moth Caterpillar is pretty ugly. That we can say for certain. It’s known for its lobster-like appearance as a caterpillar before it eventually transforms into a shaggy brown moth. It’s mostly located in England, but has also been found in North Africa. According to scientists who’ve studied the moth, it’s particularly good at camouflage.
7. Goblin Shark
Imagine going for a swim and seeing that face coming straight for you? We’d probably die of a heart attack right then and there. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about running into the Goblin Shark because it’s a rare species of deep-sea shark. Growing between 10-15 feet long, this shark is known for its long nose, nail-like teeth and flabby body. It usually hunts for smaller prey deep below the surface and can quickly snatch it up thanks to its jaw’s ability to swiftly unhinge. When it comes to human interactions, they pose no threat and only a few have been captured. Unfortunately, those placed in captivity have died shortly after.
6. Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat
This bat immediately makes us think of a vampire or an alien from Planet X. Thankfully, it’s neither and is simply a tube-nosed fruit bat. First discovered in the Philippines in 1984, it is easily identified by its large and bizarre nostrils. The bat is currently endangered with its population dramatically in decline. The population is isolated to several islands and females only give birth to one baby at a time, which slows their chance for population growth. Another problem is deforestation, which has destroyed the lowlands they usually inhabit.
5. Naked Mole Rat
Yikes, this is one scary animal! The naked mole rate is also known as the desert mole and is a burrowing rodent native to East Africa. It’s highly unusual traits allow it survive in harsh underground environments and due to being cold-blooded it can regulate its body temperature. One interesting fact about this creepy fella is it’s body has no pain receptors, meaning it can handle living in areas of extreme heat or cold. Pretty neat, right?
4. Red-Lipped Batfish
No this is not a joke from Adobe Photoshop, it’s actually a real fish. The red-lipped batfish is known for simply that–it’s bright red lips! Usually found near Cocos Island off the coast of Coast Rica, these fish walk along the bottom of the ocean on their pectoral fins. They mostly feed on small shrimp and mollusks, and are completely harmless!
3. Wolf Fish
This is straight out of our worst nightmares. The Wolf Fish has the very rare ability to survive in pretty much any tropical climate and has been found in small streams, rivers, puddles and lakes. It can reach 39 inches in length and can weigh up to 88 pounds full grown. While experts say that the fish is shy most of the time (we don’t believe that for a second) some can be aggressive. Personally, we never want to meet one.
2. Bat-Eared Fox
The bat-eared fox looks like a cross between a fruit bat and your normal everyday fox. While not scary, it’s certainly weird to say the least. Usually found in the short-grass plains of Southern Africa, these small foxes are normally active at night and live in underground dens. They are known for being excellent escape artists and can easily maneuver away from predators, making this strange fox extremely resourceful.
1. Hummingbird Hawk Moth
The Hummingbird Hawk Moth is a species of moth that is often mistaken for a hummingbird. Found in the Old World ranging from Portugal to Japan, this moth can be encountered at any time during the year. They usually can be found in gardens and meadows, feeding on honeysuckle and red valerian. Cute or creepy? You decide!