Every once in a while you find yourself at a zoo or an aquarium fascinated by strange animals you never knew existed. As it turns out, there are hundreds of these strange creatures. Here are a few strange animals that you might not know even existed.  

Beware of the Blob! The Blobfish literally won the prize in September 2013 as the World’s Ugliest Animal. Found deep under the sea off of Australia’s southeast coast, this strange animal looks like a 1940s Killroy cartoon made from pink lemonade Jell-O. The fish is squishy, jiggly and has the face of an old man with a big nose. It has such a cartoon-esque face that you might not believe it exists – however, numerous internet searches gives this guy much more credibility than either the Loch Ness Monster or the Chupacabra, so even though the Blobfish seems far-fetched, the endangered Blobfish does exist.

In August of 2013 National Geographic announced the discovery of the world’s newest mammal, the Olinguito. It’s the first carnivore found in the Western Hemisphere in thirty five years. The Olinguito is an adorable creature – he looks like a cross between your two favorite childhood stuffed animals with maybe a little Ewok thrown in. He’s a member of the raccoon family and active only at night. Some of the reason that he was only recently discovered is that he lives in the cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador, which are difficult to explore and study. However, the olinguito has actually been in zoos since the 1960s, where he was misidentified as an olingo, which is a similar, larger animal.

The Aye-Aye is a small primate (lemur) that looks like something straight out of a movie inspired by the collected works of J.R.R. Tolkien. With his wide green eyes, giant bat-like ears and Albert Einstein hairdo, this long-fingered little guy from Madagascar looks like he’s about to tell you all about his “precious” but he’s actually quite solitary.

The Maned Wolf sounds like a totally normal animal, but if you see his picture you’ll see why he’s strange. He looks like a red fox standing in front of a carnival mirror – he has a beautiful red coat, nice pointy ears, a pretty dog-like face and then these giant stretch legs, like he’s standing on stilts. He lives in South America – specifically in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

After decades of watching of vampire movies, some people are surprised to learn that, in fact, there does exist an animal known as the Vampire Bat. Unlike most bats, which tend to eat fruit, the Vampire Bat actually does feed on blood. Native to Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, there are three species of the Vampire Bat. The Common Vampire Bat, the Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat – not something you want to find in your bedroom at night – and the White Winged Vampire Bat. Although they do feed on blood and the Common Vampire Bat has even been known to feed on humans, the main danger in these bats lies only .5 % of them, a small percentage that may carry rabies.

From the depths of the seas to the cloud forests of South America as scientists and researchers continue to explore they’re learning that there are a lot of strange animals out there, with more to discover every day. 

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