From an eel that can produce 400 times their volume in slime, to a fish with human teeth, here are some really weird animals from around the world.
Meet the longest animal in the world, the siphonophore. Yes, it’s even longer than the blue whale. At 45m (150 feet), the blue whale with a maximum confirmed length of 29.9m (98 feet) is a mere baby in comparison. This specimen, seen here arranged in a feeding spiral, was encountered in 2020 as part of Schmidt Ocean Institute’s deep-sea expedition.
But be warned; it’s a relative of the Portuguese man o’ war, and is trailing deadly, stinging tentacles through the water. Think of it a bit like a wall of death, albeit a very different type to the Butlins ride with the same name.
Often referred to as the ‘barking deer’, the muntjac deer is a small, stocky mammal with fabulous glands. Native to parts of Southeast Asia but now common in the British countryside, these deer have adapted well to various habitats and are often found in woodland areas.
Their petite size, robust build and impressive jumping ability allow them to navigate dense vegetation, but it’s their inflating facial glands that have captured the attention of the public. These glands can open so wide, that they can actually turn inside out!
Surely the Hoatzin is one of the weirdest Amazonian birds. As babies, the chicks have claws on their wings which they use to climb trees. Adults ferment vegetation, much like a cow, albeit in a specialised crop. It gives them a manure-like odour, hence their nickname, the stinkbird.
No, they haven’t been washing with beetroot, but the healthiest males do have the reddest faces. Females seem to know this, and choose their mates based on how red the male’s face is. Who says beauty isn’t skin deep?
This awesome slime ball can spew out thick, sticky goo that will clog up the gills of any predator that dares dine on it. The hagfish is a type of agnathan, a jawless fish with an eel-like body. But if you’ve seen this slimy surprise doing the rounds on social media, you’ll know that it produces copious amounts of thick slime as a defence mechanism when threatened, allowing it to escape predators.
Hagfish are ancient – they evolved around 500 million years ago – so these slimy scavengers are clearly doing something right.
Here’s to survival of the slimiest!