10 Unbelievably Weird Animals That Don’t Play By Nature’s Rules.

Published on June 2, 2024

Credit: Mattias Banguese

Nature seems to have a tendency to break its own rules. From the depths of the ocean to the highest peaks, the animal kingdom never ceases to amaze us with its many strange and surprising creatures.

Join us on an expedition to find rare (and not-so-rare) animals that seem to swim against the stream of nature in one way or another.



Credit: Studio Crevettes

Resembling a walking pinecone, pangolins are the world’s only scaled mammal. They are covered in tough, overlapping scales made of keratin, the same material found in human fingernails. These elusive creatures, native to Africa and Asia, can curl up into a ball when threatened, making them nearly impervious to predators.


Star-Nosed Mole

Credit: Dan MacNeal, CC BY 4.0

With a face so strange it could give H.P. Lovecraft nightmares, this quirky creature of the eastern North American wetlands is certainly a sight to behold. The star-nosed mole possesses a bizarre appendage on its snout consisting of 22 fleshy tentacles. This unique adaptation allows it to rapidly probe its surroundings and detect prey, making it one of the fastest-foraging mammals in the world.


Yeti Crab

Credit: A. D. Rogers et al., CC BY 2.5

Have you ever wondered what the cross of a lemur and a crab would look like? Neither did we. But this elusive crab species might have the answer. Discovered in 2005 near hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, the yeti crab sports long, silky hairs on its claws, giving it a striking resemblance to the mythical Yeti. These hairs are thought to harbor bacteria that the crab feeds on, representing a fascinating example of symbiotic relationships in deep-sea ecosystems.


Japanese Spider Crab

Credit: Macrophyseter, CC BY-SA 4.0

Hailing from the waters around Japan, the Japanese spider crab holds the title for the largest arthropod in the world, with a leg span reaching up to 12 feet. Despite its nightmare-inducing appearance and intimidating size, this crab is a gentle giant, primarily feeding on mollusks and carrion on the ocean floor. Amazingly, it can also camouflage itself by attaching sea sponges and other animals to its shell.


Duck-Billed Platypus

Credit: Michael Jerrard

Endemic to Australia, the duck-billed platypus is a fascinating monotreme mammal known for its unique combination of features, including a duck-like bill, webbed feet, and the ability to lay eggs. A true exception to every rule in nature, their weirdness doesn’t end there! With venomous spurs on its hind legs and electroreceptors in its bill, this peculiar creature is one of Earth’s most unique animals.


Leaf-Tailed Gecko

Credit: Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0

Inhabiting the forests of Madagascar, the leaf-tailed gecko possesses extraordinary camouflage abilities, blending seamlessly with its leafy surroundings. With a flattened tail that resembles a yellowing leaf, and an intricately patterned skin, this reptile is a true marvel of evolution.


Mantis Shrimp

Credit: Amber Wolfe

Despite its diminutive size, the mantis shrimp packs an incredibly powerful punch, capable of striking its prey with its claws with the speed and force of a .22 caliber bullet. Even if the attack misses, the resulting shockwave might be more than enough to kill or stun it. Also, this colorful crustacean possesses compound eyes with trinocular vision, allowing it to perceive a broad spectrum of colors and detect prey with astonishing accuracy.



Credit: Mattias Banguese

Axolotls are amphibians native to Mexico and world-famous for their regenerative abilities. Astonishingly, these creatures can regrow not only limbs but also parts of their brains and spinal cords. Additionally, unlike most amphibians, they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis, retaining their larval features throughout their lives. Still, metamorphosis can be induced if given the necessary hormones, resulting in a land-dwelling axolotl that resembles a salamander.



Credit: nomis-simon, CC BY 2.0

Found only in Madagascar, the aye-aye is a peculiar primate known for its elongated middle finger, which it uses to extract insects from tree trunks. Considered a bad omen by some locals, this nocturnal creature possesses large eyes and bat-like ears, adding to its eerie looks.


Blue Dragon Sea Slug

Credit: Sylke Rohrlach from Sydney, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Glaucus atlanticus , also known as the blue dragon sea slug, is a strikingly beautiful but tremendously venomous creature found drifting on the ocean's surface. With its vibrant blue and silver coloration, this small mollusk feeds on Portuguese man o' war - as it is immune to its deadly venom - and absorbs the toxins, storing them for its own defense. In fact, it can concentrate the original venom, delivering an even more powerful sting than the animal on which it feeds.


Discover The Life Of R.L. Stevenson, The Ultimate Writer-Adventurer!

Published on June 2, 2024

Credit: kladcat

The sea breeze blowing our hair. The wind pushes the sails towards the sun rising on the horizon. Life as purpose, celebration, challenge, and legacy. The adventure lies ahead every day, and an inescapable villain, ruthless and tenacious, following in our footsteps.

All these qualities that build the spirit of an extraordinary literary character are embodied in one of the greatest adventure writers of all time. Robert Louis Stevenson - The Man Who Lived.


Builders of the light.

Credit: Dylan Chan

If anyone seemed to have his destiny assured, it was Robert Stevenson. Like his grandfather, father, uncles, and cousins , the Stevenson illuminated the world: Three generations of lighthouse builders along the entire coast of Britain. Over 50 buildings since 1791, some of which are still standing, attest to their outstanding work.

And although he did not know it yet, Robert would also light up the world in his unique and marvelous way.


Bad Guy closes in.

Credit: Luke Southern

When he was a child, it became apparent that Robert Stevenson's health was too fragile to follow in the family's footsteps. Like his mother, he suffered from respiratory conditions that later developed into tuberculosis , which plagued him for the rest of his life.

Robert spent extended periods in bed, during which he was cared for by a loving but strict Calvinist nanny. She often told him macabre tales that fed his imagination , both terrifying and captivating him.


The call of Adventure.

Credit: martin bennie

As a teenager, Stevenson frequently traveled along the coast of Scotland with his father, a lighthouse engineer. These experiences gave him a deep appreciation for the dramatic landscapes of northern Britain, which would later inspire some of his writing.

But his path was not in engineering, but in literature.

Chased by tuberculosis, he had to emigrate to more favorable climates. But precisely these circumstances led to his first travel books, including " An Inland Voyage" , which narrates his journey through France and Belgium, as well as a book about his adventures traveling on the back of a donkey.


The American years.

Credit: Ashim D’Silva

While in France, Stevenson met Fanny Osbourne , an American woman, separated and with two children. They both fell in love, and she left for California to file a divorce. A year later he followed her, although the journey left him bankrupt and almost cost him his life. His experiences were captured in the book " The Amateur Emigrant" .

Already married, the couple settled for a time in the American West , where Stevenson wrote stories of travel, adventure, and romance along with essays and poems.


The Treasure Map.

Credit: Suhash Villuri

Back in Scotland, the end of a rainy summer forced Stevenson to shelter from the inclement weather, spending his days painting to ease boredom.

Soon, the map of an island began to shape. When it was finished, the painting, with its extremely detailed depiction of bays, beaches, and small docks, intrigued the writer: What did those names suggest? Who had been the unfortunate occupant of " Skeleton Island "?

Trying to discover its meaning, R. L. Stevenson gave rise to his first novel and one of the greatest adventure stories in universal literature - Treasure Island .


The dream of good and evil.

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Three years later, Stevenson was trying to create a story about the duality of good and evil in human beings.

One morning, Fanny heard her husband's horrified screams and woke him up from what she believed to be a nightmare. Stevenson angrily scolded her for waking him up from what he called "a sweet tale of terror."

He immediately set to work on a new manuscript, and in just three days , he completed the first version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde .

The novel, which was a monumental success , predates by decades the studies of personality disorder that Sigmund Freud outlined in his work.


Journey through the southern seas.

Credit: Alonso Reyes

In 1888, Stevenson embarked on a long voyage traversing the South Pacific with his family to escape his persistent illness once again.

They sailed on a schooner and visited several islands, starting from the Marquesas Islands and moving on to Tahiti. From there, they went to Honolulu, where Stevenson became close friends with the king. After that, they reached the Gilbert Islands and ultimately landed in Samoa .



Credit: Alfred John Tattersall

After spending some time in Sydney, Stevenson returned to Samoa and settled there permanently with his family.

The locals were very fond of him and gave him the nickname Tusitala , which means "the storyteller" in their language. He was actively involved in defending the rights of the people of Samoa, and he even spoke out against the archipelago's domination in the British press.


The last years.

Credit: Unknown Author

During his years at Vailima , his residence in Samoa, Stevenson's health markedly improved .

He produced some of his greatest masterpieces: "Catriona," "Tales from the South Seas," "Bajamar" (which he co-wrote with his son), and "Saint Ives." Most notably, he embarked on his most ambitious novel, "Weir of Hermiston," which remained unfinished. In this work, he revisited the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and incorporated elements of his own story.

One night, after working on the manuscript with his son Lloyd, he was conversing with his wife when he suddenly exclaimed, "What is this? Does my face look strange?" and then collapsed .



Credit: Peter Gill / UK, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

R.L. Stevenson passed away on December 3, 1894 , aged just 44 . He left behind a monumental body of work for universal literature and the celebration of a life that persevered every day through all adversities.

At his tomb on Mount Vaea overlooking the sea, his poem Requiem guards his grave: ¨Under the wide and starry sky / dig the grave and let me lie / Glad did I live and gladly die / And I laid me down with a will / This be the verse you grave for me / Here he lies where he longed to be / Home is the sailor home from the sea / And the hunter home from the hill.¨

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