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13 of the MOST Mysterious Animals on Earth!

There are so many different animal species in the world that it can be difficult for humans to keep track of them all. However, some mysterious animals have piqued the interest of many people due to their uniqueness.

Some of these animals are extremely rare, while others are elusive and difficult to find. In this article, we will look at some of these animals and their behaviors, as well as how they differ from other species.

13 Mysterious animals

1. Dugong

Dugong snorkeling
Dugong snorkeling | Image by Hans Dietmann from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Dugong dugon

The dugong is a type of marine mammal that’s related to the manatee. They’re also known as sea cows because they frequently graze on sea grasses. These creatures can grow to be up to 8 feet long and 900 kilograms in weight.

The elephant is this large animal’s closest land relative, and both have ivory tusks that dugongs use to forage for seagrasses.

2. Blobfish

Scientific Name: Psychrolutes marcidus

The blobfish, also known as the “ugliest fish,” is a deep-sea fish that lives at depths of up to 2,000 and 4,000 feet below sea level. Blobfish have an unusual appearance due to their gelatinous flesh and lack of bones and skeletons.

The pressure beneath the sea provides this animal with the structural support this animal requires, which is why its body decompresses when brought to the surface since they lack the pressure necessary for body support. However, blobfish don’t appear strange in their natural habitat when compared to when they’re above the water.

3. Southern Cassowary

Southern cassowary in a paddock
Southern cassowary in a paddock | image by Anne Adrian via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Casuarius casuarius

The Southern Cassowary is a mysterious bird that lives in Indonesian, Papua New Guinean, and northeastern Australian forests. It’s known to attack people with its sharp claws, making it the most dangerous bird on the planet.

This ancient animal is a flightless bird that stands more than 5 feet tall and has an interesting appearance. It has a long neck, a small blue-colored head, and a large beak that it uses to eat fruit, small animals, and even dead animals.

4. Tufted Deer

Tufted Deer
Tufted Deer | image by Heather Paul via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Scientific Name: Elaphodus cephalophus

Deer are typically herbivorous animals, so seeing a tufted deer may seem unusual to some. This is a deer species found from Myanmar to China.

They’re distinct in that they have two sets of fangs, which give them a frightening appearance, but they‘re only used to fight off other males because the antlers on their foreheads are so small. These deer will also bark in order to communicate with their own kind.

5. Leafy Sea Dragon

Leafy seadragon
Leafy seadragon

Scientific Name: Phycodurus eques

The leafy sea dragon is a small, thin-bodied sea dragon that lives in Australian waters at depths of up to 98 feet. They get their name from their leaf-like appearance, which they use to hide from predators in the ocean.

These majestic creatures can reach a length of about one foot, with a thin snout and a long tail. Leafy sea dragons are yellow-brown or greenish in color with pink markings and feed on mysid shrimps or sea lice. Some deep-sea species are red in color, which helps them blend in with their surroundings.

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6. Goblin Shark

Scientific Name: Mitsukurina owstoni

Goblin sharks are one of the most mysterious creatures in the ocean. They’re rarely seen because they live in deep waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, usually at depths of at least 4265 feet. These sharks have an unusual appearance, with a long snout and a protruding mouth that can retract and is filled with sharp teeth.

7. Alligator Gar

Alligator gar
The alligator gar | Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

Scientific Name: Atractosteus spatula

Alligator Gars are large, prehistoric-looking fish that can reach lengths of over 8 feet. They hunt fish and other small animals with a long snouts and two rows of sharp teeth. These fish are commonly found in rivers, lakes, and ponds across the southeastern United States.

Aside from their appearance, one intriguing feature that makes them mysterious looking is their hard fins that protect their body. These fins provide the fish with armor, making them difficult to prey on by other animals.

8. Blue sea dragon

Blue sea dragon in shallow water
A blue sea dragon in shallow water | image by lostandcold via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Glaucus Atlanticus

Blue sea dragons are aquatic slugs found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. They can be seen floating on the water’s surface and have a distinct diet of Portuguese man-o-war and bluebottle.

You’ll be astonished to see this blue slug because of its angelic appearance, which includes appendages on its feet that enable it to float on the water, blue and silvery-gray stripes running from its head to its tail, and a flattened body. These creatures also store stinging cells from Portuguese man-of-war in their appendages and use them to fight off predators.

9. Frill-necked lizard

Frill-necked lizard
Frill-necked lizard on a Tree | image by Eric Kilby via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii

A frill-necked lizard is a type of lizard found in Australia and New Guinea. They can be red, orange, or yellow in color, and their body length can reach 1 meter. Frill-necked lizards have a pink or yellow mouth and tongue and feed on insects, spiders, and small lizards.

When threatened, this lizard has a unique ability to expand its neck frill, making it appear larger than it is. This deters predators, allowing them to flee.

10. Long-Wattled Umbrellabird

Long-wattled umbrellabird on tree branch
Long-wattled umbrellabird on tree | image by ryanacandee via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Cephalopterus penduliger

A long-wattled umbrellabird is a type of bird found only from Colombia to Ecuador, primarily along the Andes range. Its long wattles, which hang down from its throat and are distinctly recognizable, giving rise to its name.

Wattles are most commonly seen in males and can grow to be up to 28 cm long, but females’ wattles are much shorter. They can inflate these wattles and use them to attract females, especially during the breeding season.

11. Red-Lipped Batfish

Red-lipped batfish
Red-lipped batfish

Scientific Name: Ogcocephalus darwini 

The red-lipped batfish is a fish that lives on the Pacific ocean floor at depths ranging from 3 to 76 meters. The red-lipped batfish is one of the more mysterious sea creatures you might encounter, thanks to its unusual body shape and bright red lips, which are used to attract other members of its own species.

They primarily consume crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish that they find in their surroundings. Instead of swimming, these fish use their limb-like fins to walk on the ocean floor in search of food.

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12. Barreleye

Barreleye underwater
Barreleye underwater

Scientific Name: Macropinna microstoma

Barreleye is a solitary fish that lives at depths of 2,000 to 2,600 feet. They’re small fish that can reach 6 inches in length and feed on zooplankton.

This animal is known for its transparent head, which allows you to see everything inside it, from their eyes, brain, and even the nerves that work together to keep this creature alive. However, the rest of their bodies aren’t transparent and are brown in color. Because this species is difficult to find, only a few facts are known about it.

13. Narwhal

Narwhal couple
Narwhal couple

Scientific Name: Monodon monoceros

A narwhal is a type of whale that lives in the Arctic Ocean. This whale can be found in the waters off the coasts of Greenland and Canada, as well as the Arctic seas off the coasts of Russia.

The narwhal has a long single tusk that can grow to be over 10 feet long, giving them the appearance of a sea unicorn. They use it to detect water temperature, pressure, and motion.

Since they’re shy and rarely seen in the wild, these species are mysterious in nature. They were once even regarded as mythical beings.