Freaks of Nature: Terrifying Plants and Animals on the PlanetBy Barbara Norris
Mother nature is the greatest artist in the cosmos. From breathtaking scenery and spectacular places to captivating plants and animals, Mother Nature is nothing if not inventive. However, even nature has a dark side. Although we have only discovered a portion of the lifeforms we share this planet with, we have seen a lot of creatures that are completely out of this world. Indeed, spiders are nothing compared to the frightening creatures on this list?
Get set to see a 5-foot tall bat, a flower that looks like an ornament from the devil’s garden, and a creature that looks like the Sarlacc from Star Wars. These are just some of the things that we were able to gather, and we’ve got more than enough to make you cringe. Without further ado, get set for nature’s version of a horror show.
For those who are fans of classic horror movies, you know what we’re talking about. This photo looks like a claw from hell capable of piercing any human soul. In reality, this is a mother centipede providing warmth and protection to her hatchlings. Contrary to popular belief, mother centipedes are actually very protective of their offspring.
Centipedes can survive in almost any climate; well, except for Antarctica. In addition, centipedes have recently been nicknamed the “Deadpool” of the animal kingdom as they have the ability to regrow and regenerate body parts.
Deathmask Flowers, Anyone?
When we think of flowers, we automatically associate them with the words beautiful, colorful, and elegant. Flowers are often given as a gift by humans, but they have most likely been on the planet longer than we have. Indeed, the existence of flowers has been dated back to 140 million years ago by scientists.
Though they may be famous for being pretty, some flowers are downright scary. We’ve all heard about the well-known carnivorous venus flytrap. Now, here’s a picture of a flower that looks like a death mask. Creepy.
Stinky Alien Fungus
No, this isn’t photoshopped and it definitely is not from the film Tremors. What you’re looking at is the Clathrus archeri fungus, commonly known as “Devil’s Fingers.” Its bright red colors and octopus-like tentacles earned it another nickname – “Octopus Stinkhorn.”
The fungus might not be toxic or poisonous, but its appearance can make you feel sick. Its smell is not that pleasant (as you probably guessed from the “Stinkhorn” part of its name). Indeed, the aroma is often described as “penetrating” or “stinging.” Yikes!
This is a nightmarish creature straight out of the depths of hell. These creatures live below the freezing Antarctic and Southern oceans. Don’t be fooled by its gold feathers as its head resembles one of the monsters in Resident Evil. The good thing about it is, this creature is hidden from all of us as they only survive in freezing-cold ocean water.
Due to its habitat, little is known about the Antarctic Scale Worm. Nevertheless, this is one of the most bizarre creatures ever recorded.
Vampire or Giant Bat?
Countless adaptations have been made about vampires and bats. As early as 1933, a movie was created wherein bats were depicted as blood-sucking killers. This portrayal gave bats a bad reputation. However, the innocent creatures help sustain equilibrium in the animal kingdom.
Still, seeing a human-sized bat dangling outside your property would be terrifying. The biggest flying fox recorded in history was seen in a province in the Philippines. The flying fox inspires fear by its mere appearance, but there’s no need to worry as these species are actually vegetarians.
Marvel tried to shift our fears with spiders by introducing Spider-Man, but it clearly didn’t work because these spiders are just flat-out scary. Apart from being venomous, spiders are feared due to their appearance. What is scarier, a huge spider or a venomous one? We say both!
What you’re seeing is a true representation of the size of a huntsman spider. This is no trick of the camera. These spiders can grow up to 12 inches in leg span, and although they are one of the biggest, they are not venomous. Huntsmans actually help in killing other venomous spiders such as wolf spiders.
Ride or Die?
By merely seeing this picture, we can all agree that walking would be better than riding that bike. Imagine the swarming of bees in all directions as you took off. Insect stings happen all the time, and most people are fine, but bee stings can sometimes be fatal.
Whoever owns the bike can leave it there and buy a new one as these bees seem to be too comfortable on the saddle. Perhaps one day they’ll move on of their own accord.
We Can’t Believe What We Sawfish!
Make way for the carpenter shark – another creation of Mother Nature that leaves us dumbfounded. Due to its flattened rostrum and transverse teeth, it earned the name “sawfish.” Initial studies stated that they belonged to the shark family, but it turns out they are actually rays.
Like any other rays, the sawfish isn’t considered dangerous to humans. In fact, they tend to avoid us at all costs. Sawfish are an endangered species, so selling or buying them is illegal.
Nest from Hell
Animals can be unique and creative in constructing their homes. Bees and Wasps are no different, but the picture below is exceptional. Paper wasps create their hives from a mixture of fibers, stems, and sometimes leaves. The process is lengthy, but as you can see from this picture, the hard work is well worth it.
Who would have thought that wasps could create their hives from a windchime? Yes, you are reading this correctly – a windchime! Hopefully, when the wind blows, we hear a melodic sound not a crackling or popping sound from the wasps.
It is safe to say that climbing these trees is not a good idea. Not only does the sticky web provide a spine-tingling reaction, but imagine the number of spiders it took to create all those strands. The picture was taken in Pakistan in 2010. A flood took longer than expected to recede, so the local spiders reacted and adapted quickly.
Instead of drowning, the spiders were able to create a habitat for their protection. Locals stated that the webs didn’t only save the spiders but some insects as well.
According to a recent poll, snakes are one of the most feared animals in history. They aren’t all deadly creatures, but some snakes can kill a person with one single strike. Snakes are able to camouflage themselves in their surroundings while waiting for their prey.
As we can all see in this picture, the shoe seems to be normal at a quick glance. However, what you’re seeing right now is a coiled rat snake. Their scales resemble the webbed material on the shoe, and although they are not venomous, it is probably a good idea to check your shoes prior to slipping a foot in.
Eye Can See You
Here’s another creation from Mother Nature that is highly questionable. It is no secret that nature can be full of mutations, but still, we are not ready for some of the results. We have seen animals with extra limbs and extra heads, but the picture below is absolutely freakish.
Yes, the frog’s eyes are actually inside its mouth! This phenomenon is called Macromutation, wherein substantial defects have an impact on an animal’s ability to function. Few variants of this mutant frog have been found, so it is also considered an endangered species.
Orochimaru and Jiraiya!
To those who are familiar with the anime series Naruto, there’s no explanation needed. The picture almost depicts the time when Jiraiya summons frogs while Orochimaru summons a snake.
This once-in-a-lifetime picture was taken in Australia. Reports stated that there was a massive storm in the area which filled up the lakes quickly. Subsequently, the area was overrun by a fresh brood of poisonous cane toads. Are they attacking the snake? Not really. They are simply using it as a faster mode of transportation.
These cute lizards were found living behind a dresser. The woman who posted the picture stated that she usually cleans her dresser but was shocked when she saw multiple lizards and some eggs waiting to hatch. Lizards might not be as deadly as a snake or even a spider. However, their appearance can be creepy.
We are pretty sure that the homeowner phoned pest control in order to remove these lizards and their babies. It is easier to pay the experts than to deal with creepy-crawlies yourself.
When somebody says caterpillar, we automatically associate it with butterflies. An adorable and beautiful-looking creature. However, even some caterpillars possess nightmarish looks. This caterpillar, for example, looks like it’s morphing into a snake.
Nature is indeed full of wonders, but this right here is baffling. Caterpillars are known to have at least 12 eyes with over 4,000 muscles, but we are not ready to deal with this kind of appearance. Hopefully, it will still turn out to be a beautiful butterfly. Nobody wants a butterfly that looks like a snake!
The Gate to Hell
What you are looking at is a bottomless pit that looks like the entrance to hell. The gray area is like human souls being sucked into the abyss. Remember the movie, Drag Me To Hell, wherein the accountant, Christine Brown, struggled to resist attacks from the underworld?
This lava pit exudes fear and death. We are also wondering why the lady in the picture is smiling. Either she has no fear or feels right at home. Either way, we’re impressed!
Wasp Architecture 101
If you have spheksophobia (fear of wasps), then we understand what you are feeling right now. Spiders and wasps are two of the cleverest creatures when it comes to creating their living quarters. However, these wasps are out of control. I mean, just look at the picture.
These wasps could have created their nest beside that tree branch, but no, they want to impose more fear and uneasiness on the people who pass by. Wasps are not that lethal, but their stings are more than enough to put you in a world of pain.
Wall of Honey
Talk about unusual places to build a hive. Technically, wasps are a lot scarier in their hive construction, but these bees easily take second place. How would you react when suddenly honey started dripping from your wall sockets?
By merely looking at the picture, we can all agree that with the amount of honey oozing down the wall, there could be thousands of bees inside. The homeowner probably called pest control. Then again, they might have moved to another house. We certainly wouldn’t blame them!
Extra Foot, Anyone?
Lizards have the capability to detach their own tails if they feel threatened by an unexpected attack. This tactic allows them to distract their enemy and make a quick escape. Lizards, like snakes, are sit-and-wait predators. They camouflage themselves with their surroundings, waiting for their prey to make a wrong move.
The photo above is very weird, to say the least. While it is widely accepted that lizards can regrow their tails, it is unnatural for one to regrow an extra foot on its tail. At least it seems to be a useful mutation!
These pythons are not something to be messed with. Although they are part of the reptile family, they are actually non-venomous. However, they can kill prey by constricting the unlucky creature’s body. Their immense size and enormous weight are too much to handle and can lead to fatal bone fractures for those unwary victims.
Pythons, like any other snake, can vary in color. Looking at the picture, we see the common snakeskin on the right-hand side, and on the other, we have a flesh-like color that resembles a large intestine or a bundle of uncooked sausages.
This Fish and Its Human Teeth
This is not the product of Photoshop – there really is a species of fish that has human-like teeth. The sheepshead fish was discovered in 1792, and ever since, it has been mystifying people and bringing its strange brand of terror to new audiences whenever a new photo surfaces.
If this fish is already making you feel uneasy, you don’t want to know about the species that haven’t been discovered yet. We have no idea how many creatures are living in the darkest depths of the ocean. According to recent studies, we’ve barely explored a drop of the ocean’s secrets.
A Three-tailed Beast
No, we are not talking about Isobu from the Naruto anime series. This three-tailed gecko isn’t as frightening as advertised. For some reason, its tail resembles that of a jester hat. Also, due to the popularity of the car insurance commercial, this gecko is not feared by many.
Apart from its whacky tail, this gecko is no different from others. It still possesses the innate ability to stick to any surface with ease. However, its extra tails are undeniably bizarre.
Survival Mode: Snake vs Bird
For years, snakes have earned their reputation as cold-blooded killers. While that may apply to many snakes, some don’t fit the narrative. For instance, smaller snakes tend to be the prey of bigger animals. If snakes have nightmares, they would be about the mongoose, which is an aggressive carnivorous mammal, or the secretary bird.
Props to the photographer who was able to capture this rare moment wherein the snake is fighting for survival against a powerful secretary bird.
Crab in a Mussel
One of the most popular kinds of seafood in the world can also bring danger to anybody. Mussels are known for consuming algae and plankton. However, there are a few accounts in which mussels have captured other species inside their shells.
A great example can be found in the picture above. This is not a rare case as bigger mussels can sometimes attract other species that want to make their shells into a new home. Fortunately, the lady who was about to eat this sumptuous meal was able to spot the tiny crab inside the mussel.
Waste Not, Want Not
At first glance, the photo almost illustrates what an ouroboros is. For those who are not familiar, an ouroboros is an ancient symbol portraying a serpent or a dragon eating its own tail. It symbolizes eternity and endless return. While detaching its tail is a common thing for lizards to do, eating their own tail is another story.
This picture is indeed rare and astonishing as the lizard seems to be enjoying its own tail. Maybe this little fellow did it on purpose since he knows he can always regrow his tail, but when you’re hungry, you’re hungry!
Ants from Hell
What hurts more than a fire ant’s sting? A thousand fire ant stings. We don’t know whether to feel bad about the fact that it brings us joy and happiness to see these creatures from hell carried away by a flood. There’s only one rule if you see fire ants, and that is to avoid them. They may be tiny in stature, but their sting can hurt like hell.
It was stated that the fire ants were accidentally transported north by a cargo ship from South America. If there was a way to send them back, we would have done it by now.
For some reason, many people are scared of lobsters. Perhaps this fear arises from their menacing claws and pincers. Some lobsters have a second set of pincers, and it does add some creepiness to their appearance. They aren’t considered rare, but it’s still remarkable finding one.
Today, lobsters are synonymous with the word pricey. Back in 2018, a pound of lobster cost around $10 to $12. They are exclusively served in luxurious restaurants in major states in the USA.
Lizards and other reptiles are best known for shedding their skin. It is a delicate and long procedure that snakes and lizards need to endure. There are some accounts wherein their skins were perfectly shed, creating astonishing masks that make unique decorations.
A perfect example can be found in the photo we have shared above. It might not be scary, but we’re pretty sure it’s fascinating. The owner of that lizard was probably shell-shocked when he saw the gift the creature left behind when it shed its skin.
Eel of death
Seriously, if the picture of this creature doesn’t scare you, we don’t know what will. The lamprey should be called the devil’s pet as it has a very interesting build. Not only does it possess a series of razor-sharp teeth but its mouth also resembles a suction cup.
The lamprey is a vicious parasitic fish native to the Atlantic ocean. Its mouth is designed to suck out all the fluids of its prey, and its razor-sharp teeth are used to shred its prey’s skin. We’re getting flashbacks of the Sarlacc from Star Wars!
Spider Gecko? Gecko Spider?
The photo that you are about to look at is quite disturbing. If you think this spider just gave birth to a gecko, then you are not alone, but you are wrong. Lizards and spiders are different species, and it is impossible for them to breed.
Of all the places that the gecko could have retreated, it chooses a toy spider’s behind. Imagine arriving home from work and seeing this. Either you’d run, scream, or both. This creature almost seems to have a sense of humor.
Hermit Crab Doll
Hermit crabs are interesting creatures with itinerant lifestyles. They are known for abandoning their shells whenever they outgrow them. As soon as the hermit crab finds an ideal place, it will occupy it and consider it to be a part of itself until the time comes to find a bigger home.
Some of these hermit crab decisions are questionable. Of all the places and things that could be used as a new shell, this crab chose an old doll. Talk about taking creepy to another level – this crab sure knows how to do it!
Relocate and destroy
Here’s another creature that doesn’t play by the rules in creating its habitat. Compared to wasps, bees are not considered to be all that dangerous. However, this photo says otherwise. How would you react if you saw swarms of bees occupying such a huge portion of your garage wall?
The homeowners were probably shocked and willing to relocate as soon as they saw those bees. Pest control might be able to help, but moving out is a lot easier. Good luck to the new homeowner!
If a normal picture of eels makes you feel uneasy, then allow us to introduce you to Satan’s eel. The reaction of this enraged eel is somehow disturbing and funny at the same time. It’s like a person getting photographed without permission and being furious when they see the result.
Despite having this wild appearance, the eel in the picture is not deadly. However, make no mistake – it might not be able to kill you with an attack but it can paralyze you with fear. Just look at that picture!
Face Your fears
Ironically enough, this bat didn’t stand any chance as this parasite decided to make its face his new home. Recent studies state that parasites are the most common living organism on Earth.
These parasites are relatively small, and some cannot be seen by the naked eye. There are different kinds of parasites; some feed off humans, but mostly they affect animals. Parasites like the one pictured here have multiple hairy legs which they use to latch onto other creatures.
Nope at the Bottom of the Ocean
In another installation of Mother Nature’s bizarre imagination, this unearthly squid makes its appearance. This creature was spotted more than 7,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. The video was intriguing, to say the least, but when a still shot was shared, nobody was ready for it.
The creature resembles a squid, but since little is known about it, there are more questions than answers about its existence. Based on the video, experts estimate the creature might be 26 feet long.
Shuma-Gorath, is that You?
Marvel comic enthusiasts will know what we’re talking about when they see the next picture. All Shuma-Gorath jokes aside, what on Earth is this creature? It’s no secret that our ocean is a cache of weird and unexplainable creatures, but this defies belief.
What you are looking at right now is a sea anemone, which is a predatory animal of the order Actiniaria. It might not have the right amount of venom to kill a human being, but it is still best to avoid them. Their sting can produce a burning session similar to jellyfish but far more painful.
The photo seems to be normal until you closely investigate the scenery. There’s this strange feeling that is created as soon as a flock of birds gather together and just sit there calmly like they’re waiting for something to happen. It reminds us of the moment in the Naruto series wherein Itachi Uchiha uses his crows as a form of intimidation.
There’s also a persistent belief among many people that a flock of blackbirds is a bad omen. The picture above was taken in San Antonio, Texas. It is safe to say that no person wanted to be part of this eerie gathering.
This is not scary or bizarre, but it is impressive. The spider who created this web must have seen Spider-Man. Creating intricate spider webs takes time, and this photo shows just how stunning a well-made web can turn out, even once it’s started to disintegrate.
There are types of spiders who spend more time creating their webs than hunting for their next meal. These spiders take it seriously, and their designs are masterpieces. This design, however, brings happiness on another level as the web design resembles the face of Spider-Man.