#3. Maclaud's Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus maclaudi)
Via Natalie Weber
What the fuck are we even looking at there? Can you even tell? That's not a face. That's not even an animal. If you saw it out in the wild, you'd say, that there is a goddamn mushroom, and an extremely poisonous-looking one at that. Intrigued, you'd lean forward for a closer look. And that's when the Maclaud's horseshoe bat would unfold its wings and calmly, calculatedly pee on you.
This particular breed of horseshoe bat, discovered in 2007, resides in remote regions of eastern Guinea. Its neglected floral arrangement of a face is actually rather typical among the various different species of horseshoe bat in the Rhinolophus genus. All horseshoe bats have these leaf-like protuberances on their faces, in varying sizes and shapes. The effect can sometimes be relatively innocuous, but usually results in Lovecraftian absurdity.
Via Natalie Weber
OK, who gave the Thing mushrooms?
If you're lucky, you might even catch a female Maclaud offering its children the ugliest transportation of all time: Maclaud girl-bats come equipped with two crotch-nipples where the baby bats cling for their first few days of life. So, if one day you're hanging in Guinea, avoid LSD at all costs. Seeing a fungus-snouted bat monster fly by, boob-towing two smaller versions of itself that go "Whee!" is a difficult enough experience with a clear head.
Via Dr. Peter John Taylor
She didn't say yes. You're just making her head bob up and down with your fingers.
#2. Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat (Nyctimene rabori)
If there's ever been an animal that screams "Photoshop!" it's this smug-looking bastard right here. There's no way that thing is anything but a photo-op construction -- right away, we can spot bits of squirrel, seal and goat, to name but a few. Hell, someone's even thrown in a Santa beard for good measure. That Shrek-ear nose is a tough one, mind you. Maybe someone played with filters? Hell, we give up. Let's zoom the camera out a bit, and see what the whole animal looks like:
Via Mike Trenerry
The satisfied smile is because your soul just tasted delicious.
Once you get past the self-satisfied, unnerving stare, the main thing that stands out on the tube-nosed fruit bat is the feature for which it's named. There's no solid information as to why these bats' noses took this particularly cocaine-friendly form, but it is assumed they use them more or less as face-grafted echolocation vuvuzelas.
This particular species, discovered in 1984, is endemic to the Philippines and critically endangered. Hunting isn't a problem for them, as they are so covert that it was found that not even the locals were aware that it existed. So we're forced to assume that the reason for their dwindling numbers is that their sex face looks like this:
Via Rainforest Explorer
And its orgasm sounds like that noise Jim Carrey made in Dumb and Dumber.
#1. Hammer-Headed Bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus)
Dr. Bruce J. Hayward, Western New Mexico University
There's a multitude of things that spring to mind upon seeing the hammer-headed bat, and all of them are variations of "WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT?" That animal is to the generally accepted natural order of things like fingernails are to chalkboards. It scoffs at everything you hold dear and beautiful with its never-ending face that looks like it was designed by a toddler who ransacked his mom's medicine cabinet.
Of course, the absurdity of a face that just begs for a special-needs helmet becomes horror incarnate when you see the body it's attached to:
Via Bob Golding
Suddenly it's a bat-winged horse.
Holy shit, that's the spitting image of a devil in at least half of the world's belief systems. You could show a picture of that bastard to us in a cryptozoology book between "photos" of Nessie and Bigfoot, and we'd think it was the worst designed of the three.
Thank goodness, then, that the hammer-headed bat is just a tiny, goofy herbivore. Right? Please?
Via Jack Bradbury/Cornell University
"It's a trap!"
But of course not! The hammer-headed bat is a bona fide, grade-A bloodsucker of the worst kind. What's more, it just so happens to be easily the largest bat in its native continent of Africa. With a wingspan that reaches over three feet, they meet the qualification of "megabats." These guys are scientifically supersized.
Via Bob Golding
"How's about a kissssss?"
And while we're on the subject of hideous things, let's discuss the creature's sex life.
The whole elongated snout thing is because of sexual dimorphism -- only the males sport a devil face, formally known as a rostrum, and it's totally a sex thing. The long face allows their mating calls a much greater volume and resonance -- the racket they can produce using this "instrument" during mating season rivals a car alarm in both loudness and repetitiveness. Because what a giant, Ebola-spewing, blood-sucking, devil-looking bat monster really needs is the ability to shriek like a dive bomber as it swoops at you.
But that's not what you really need to know about the hammer-headed bat. What you really need to know is what one looks like with its mouth open:
Via Alain Devez
For more animals you should probably be scared of, check out 6 Animals That Just Don't Give A F#@k and 13 Real Animals Lifted Directly Out of Your Nightmares.