What it looks like:
Either a porcupine or a hedgehog or what happens when porcupines have wildly uncomfortable sex with hedgehogs. If you look beyond the quills, you might notice that it has a beak and, well, that's not right. Get really close and you'll notice it has a pouch like a kangaroo. Get closer than those of us without an official grant from a university are legally allowed to get, and you'll notice that it's got the egg-laying reproductive organs of an amphibian.
Image By Nachoman-au
Also, one of its ancestors was apparently a medieval flail.
Only one other animal looks so much like an elaborate fraud.
What it actually is: The closest cousin of the platypus
... and possibly the only creature with a more baffling path down the evolutionary Plinko board. When scientists discovered the platypus, they spent the next few days waiting for Ashton Kutcher to spring from the brush and explain who had Punk'd them. Prior to the echidna, the platypus's duck bill, beaver tail, webbed feet and kangaroo pouch made it the one creature that worked equally well as an argument against evolution and intelligent design.
Image By Peterdw
"Oh yeah, well how do you explain the platypus?" -- The only time science and Christianity ever jinxed each other.
Scientists now think the echidna was once amphibious like the platypus, and subsequently decided that it preferred to live on land, meaning its journey has actually been more wandering than the thing that looks like the result of a fire in a Disney novelty candle store.
Usually calling something the evolutionary version of something else is a compliment. But in this case, it just means that around the time the platypus was waking up from evolution wearing nature's equivalent of what happens when you get dressed while drunk, the echidna was still out drunk-shopping at nature's Chess King.
Image By Skyring
"What the ... Are these flippers? I knew that last shot of tequila was a bad idea."
Science is just learning all of this since the echidna is a quiet creature that travels alone and never stays in one place for too long, suggesting that it finally evolved a trait that seems appropriate for its body: a sense of shame.
4-3 Rock Hyrax
Image By Hans Hillewaert
The rock hyrax looks like a confused groundhog or a woodchuck who would chuck wood if it wasn't suffering from what appears to be the most uncomfortable case of hemorrhoids in the Animal Kingdom. When not busy looking confused about where its body parts are located in the fur covered pile of pudding attached to its head, it spends its time being absolutely freaking terrified.
Image By Derkarts
That's because the hyrax is the fat kid in nature's most terrifyingly bully filled high school: Africa. Its natural predators include leopards, Egyptian cobras, puff adders, wild dogs, eagles, and presumably the Queen from Aliens. The only reason it's not extinct is that look on its face up there. The hyrax is never not terrified. It's got three modes: eating, looking out for predators and being eaten by the most terrifying animals on the African continent.
Image By Arikk
Above: Nature's equivalent of bringing a Nerf gun to a Blitzkrieg.
What it actually is: The elephant's closest living relative
Image By nickandmel2006
The hyrax is actually the disappointing little broth of the only good reason to ever use the word "Majestic." While the hyrax wedged itself in the rocks and learned to be super scared of stuff, its cousin was chilling out on the savanna getting huge and learning to use its nose as a hand/squirt gun combination.
Even stranger, the hyrax isn't the goofiest looking dipshit in the elephant's royal family. That distinction would fall to the manatee, which you might know as "that morbidly obese, mentally handicapped seal at the zoo.
While they look like walruses, manatees evolved completely independent of other aquatic mammals. Some several million-odd years ago, a group of small, fat, Jamaican mammoths called Prorastomuses started spending too much time foraging in the water. A few million years later and they're bloated, bald and so slow they make the act of floating look exhausting.
So ... out ... of ... breath.