These strange-looking animals are a bit weird, unusual, some even call them ugly, but all of them are really exceptional specimens of animal world. In order to see them, many people are ready to travel the world, or at least half of it. The abundance of animal life is amazing! Here we present some of the most unusual animal species from our planet, with detailed instructions on where you can find them – if you are interested in doing something like that and if you can afford it.
This must be the most well-known weird animal, since it looks like more animals stitched together into one. When people first discovered platypus, they tried to remove its beak, thinking it didn't belong to its body. Platypus has a flattened tail, fur and over-sized duck beak – no wonder it had confused the first scientist who saw it. What's specific about platypus? Besides its look, the strange thing is that it is one of two mammals on our planet who lays eggs. Where can it be seen? Well, platypuses most commonly inhabit areas near rivers in southeast Australia. They can be seen in the dusk, there are even special platypus eco-tours, that take curious tourists see these rare animals.
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2. Great anteater
The name says it all. This creature is not that big, its similar to golden retriever in size, but it can eat enormous amounts of ants and termites (about 35 000 a day)! Great anteater's paw is so strong that it can break a petrified anthill. Its big bushy tail allows it to keep the balance on its rare legs. While digging, its long muzzle and sticky tongue allow it to reach its favorite food easily. Where can we meet one? Great anteaters are usually found in forests and savannas of Central and South America. They are an integral part of west Brazil's wildlife and many travelers go there to see them.
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3. Pygmy marmoset monkey
A long tail and golden fur make pygmy marmoset monkey look like tiny lion, while it is, in fact, the tiniest monkey in the world. Males are not bigger than a lemon. These monkeys can communicate very well between themselves. What makes them unusual? They possess some kind of low frequency voice people can't hear. They can be seen near Amazon and in countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. As it is the case with platypuses, tour guides often take tourists to the places where they could see Pygmy marmoset monkeys.
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4. Sea snail
Sea snail draws attention with its color, looks and amazing ability of adapting. About 3000 different kinds of sea snails live in the coral reefs. Also, they are very frequent “models” on the pictures of divers around the world. Why is it unusual? Well, their dissimilarity is just the thing that makes them unique. Some are tiger-colored, others shine like neon lights, some are like leaves of spinach, others have horns… But each and every of them has the same message for you – you eat me at your own risk! They feed on poison from corals and deposit it in their bodies, so most of the snails are poisonous. Where can we encounter one? There are organized tours for divers in Australia, Red Sea, California…
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5. Jackson's chameleon
Jackson's chameleon? What is that? Well, our dear readers, it is a three-horned creature which resembles a small prehistoric triceratops. As other chameleons, this one, too, has eyes that can see and move independently, a long tongue that moves a hundred times faster than the rest of their body and an ability to change colors depending on the environment in order to avoid predators. Jackson's chameleons are known for their aggression – especially the male ones when another chameleon is found on their territory and that is the opportunity to use their horns. The watchers will probably find this aggression more funny than dangerous. Where can it be seen? Be sure you'll find one if you visit Kenya, and there is a certain number of them in Tanzania.
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6. Magnificent frigatebird
This sea bird is similar to other sea birds, except for its sexual behavior. And it's weird why exactly? Male Magnificent frigatebirds have a red “bag” on their necks and chests and it is much alike to a balloon. Every year in mating season (in March and April), the red balloon inflates and its purpose is to attract females. As they cannot fly during that time, they prance on the rocks and branches, flapping their wings around. Magnificent frigatebirds can be encountered in southeast of USA, along the shores of Florida and Carolina and on the Galapagos Islands.
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We can also call them unicorns of the sea world if you wish. Narwhals are mammals of the order of dolphins, only with a long tusk. They are middle-sized with dark spots all over their bodies. Males have long spiral tusk (or horn, if you wish), which can reach a longitude of 3 meters. What makes it unusual? Isn't it obvious? Well, the thing is, no one can say for sure anything about the purpose of this tusk, except that it may be to impress females. Some skulls that have been found uncovered that they have another horn inside. It is very hard to see one live, because they inhabit the waters of Arctic, especially near east and west shores of Greenland. Nevertheless, many lovers of these animals go searching for them and the biggest surprise for them is to see Narwhals swimming in icy waters among icebergs.
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The Malayan one is the biggest of all the tapirs. It has black and white patterns all over the body, similar to pandas, and big movable muzzle which makes swimming in the rivers easier. What makes them unusual? The thing is that they change their looks drastically from the early childhood to completely grown up age. While they're young their fur has stripes which protect them from predators. The stripes disappear when they turn 6 months. If you would like to see one, you can do it in Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra Island. Still, it is quite hard to see one in the wild, so the best place to see one is in Taman Negara National Park in Malaysia.