#7. Dumbo Octopus
Finally, something from the abyss that does not make us want to fire nukes into the deep blue, "just in case." Dumbo octopi are the deepest-living octopus known, showing that after miles of vertical water and untold horrors, deep sea creatures start turning into Disney cartoons.
Thank God, because we were beginning to believe nothing but fright could live in the deep dark ... oh, there it is.
His favorite foods include small fish, shrimp and your face.
As with all things that appear sweet, hiding under the cuddly exterior is a vampire squid.
#6. Stalk-Eyed Fly
Stalk-eyed flies are what happens when logic takes a back seat to boners.
Imagine if only men like Ron Jeremy got to reproduce. On second thought, don't.
Because females are more likely to mate with dudes with long stalks, the male eye stalks keep getting longer and longer. And sex is the only reason, by the way -- the stalks are not beneficial tools against predators and are in fact detrimental to the fly's ability to fly, because its eyes are located so far away from its body.
It's the only bug built to clothesline its fellow insects.
It's evolutionarily idiotic. It would be like if male humans found a way to make their dicks bigger, but every additional inch makes the guy slower, and fatter, and generally more terrible. Like greasier, and just useless, evolutionarily speaking.
#5. Long-Necked Turtle
On the subject of retardedly long body parts, these things look like you could pick them up in a dollar store. Instead of toys that look like Stretch Armstrong mixed with a Transformer, in this case, it looks like someone threaded an eel through a turtle.
It's like a dick joke mated with a sea monster.
Their necks are so long that they are unable to pull their heads inside their shells like every other turtle on earth, which, yes, is the only good thing about being a turtle. They are forced to fold their giant freak necks alongside their bodies, the turtle equivalent of standing next to a guy wearing armor when something bad happens. On the other hand, they have skunk superpowers and can ooze horrible-smelling musk if agitated. So we guess it's more like standing next to a guy wearing armor who farts nerve gas.
And the rest of their personal hygiene leaves something to be desired.
When humans mix up two animals names to name another animal, the results are usually disappointing: dragonflies are uglier than regular flies and nowhere near as cool as dragons, spider crabs can't spin webs and aren't delicious and the sharktopus isn't even a thing. So it's pretty surprising to see that frogfish are actually more interesting than the sum of their namesakes' parts.
Frogfish are shallow-water anglerfish that swapped hideousness for leg fins and kick-ass fashion. They are so varied in appearance that sometimes two of the same species appear to be completely different types, because fashion fish would not be caught dead at the reef social wearing the same outfit as another frogfish.
"Oh shit! We both came dressed as the rest of the ocean."
If you think we're exaggerating, run a Google image search on "frogfish." Just make sure you wear sunglasses.
#3. Rhino Mice
Sadly, rhino mice do not have tiny nose horns that they use to shank Tonka trucks. Rather, they're mutated mice afflicted with a range of skin and nail disorders and glandular problems. Their condition leaves them looking like a mouse bred with a raisin. Or if Master Splinter had a baby with Krang. Here's a picture of either two rhino mice from a scientific study or Edward James Olmos hanging out with Keith Richards.
Just one more: Rhino mice look like God said, "Sure, mice are OK, but what if I made them out of scrotum?"
#2. Marsupial Mole
Wait, you didn't think we would make a list of freak-ass animals and not include one exclusive to Australia, did you? Filling our Australia quota is the marsupial mole. They spend almost all of their time digging though the dirt, to the point that they no longer have ears and their eyes are reduced to lenses that serve no purpose. They also dig no permanent tunnels, allowing them to fill in behind them as they dig.
They resemble a mink-covered sock with claws, showing that nature went back to the same dealer she was seeing when she designed the platypus. We'd make a joke about this remarkable photograph of a marsupial mole eating a centipede, but we don't even know for sure that's what we're looking at. That could just as well be its butt. Does it poop or eat lobsters?
#1. Assassin Spiders
Along with "shotgun battleaxe" and "tyrannosaurus lion," "assassin spider" is one of the most kick-ass and terrifying combination of nouns on earth. The reality is appropriately freaky looking, and it's called "assassin" because it feeds exclusively on other spiders. Also it looks like a haunted staircase made of spiders.
No, you aren't seeing things -- that spider has jaws as long as its freaking neck. Oh, right, and it has a neck. That is a completely bizarre ancillary body part, much like having an extra eyebrow, but it apparently helps the little bastards murder other arachnids, and it successfully elevates them to the level of "more disturbing-looking than usual for a spider." And here is a piece of amber showing that they have been terrorizing other spiders since about 40 million years ago:
They live in Madagascar and Australia, which should come as a surprise to absolutely no one who has ever heard of either place.
David is a sometime editor and full time webmaster and contributor over at WordPlague.
For more things that look fake but aren't, check out 18 Old-Timey Photos You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped and 15 Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped.