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So often, when Mother Nature gets drunk and tosses two perfectly normal animals into the blender, what results is a completely new (and completely fucked up) miracle of life. We've discussed some of these lazily designed creatures in the past, but it turns out nature wasn't done haphazardly stapling DNA together and calling it a day. How else would you explain ...

8
Catfish + Octopus = Medusa Pleco

Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images, Ion Prodan/Photos.com, planetcatfish.com

When the Great Old Ones come and the gasps of the doomed signal the birth of a new age and a slithering dominion over man, will you have the proper tank filter and decorative coral to ensure that your new pet is happy and healthy in his adopted home?

The Planted Tank
A little bubbling treasure chest or two would please the Master.

That thing is Medusa Plecu, a Brazilian catfish, and at first glance it looks like Cthulhu in the flesh: pitch-black, ugly as can be, and a whole mess of tentacles where a mouth probably should've been. Hell, it even looks angry! We have awoken the Dark One, and he ... cleans our fish tanks.

Well. Winning the war was easier than we thought.

In its natural habitat, the Medusa uses its decidedly non-evil tentacles as feelers to forage for food. Thus, it's a natural transition to baby's first bottom-feeding, cuddly algae slurper. This mythos is getting worse by the second.

Jeremy B. via cichlids.com
That is not dead which can on the bottom lie, and with strange tentacles even algae may die.

Shockingly, Medusa Plecu don't like each other. Sticking two of them together in the same tank can provoke an all-out, um, mild tussle for the ages. So ... don't do it? Or maybe you should; it might be more fun. Nobody tell Cthulhu's cult about this, OK? It would severely bum them out.

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7
Squid + Cockatiel = Taonius Borealis

Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images, StAphan Dupont/Photos.com, MBARI via tolweb.org

Oh God, make it stop staring! Those are the eyes you see on the neighborhood sex offender as you're jogging by his house.

MBARI via The Featured Creature
If someone ever decides to build a zeppelin for pedophiles, this is pretty much their concept model.

Combine that with this thing's beyond-creepy grin and you have to wonder if it has plans for us. Humanity is officially doomed, thanks to a see-through bird with Steve Buscemi eyes and hatred in its clearly visible heart. Luckily for us, Taonius borealis (only known by its Latin-y scientific name) lives in the deep ocean, its nightmares secure under a trillion tons of water pressure. It's a large squid, roughly 20 inches in length, and that pretty cockatiel pompadour it's sporting is actually its tentacles.

Unlike your grandma's precious birdie, T. borealis' crown houses tons of razor-sharp teeth at the tips. Because -- bird jokes aside -- these are squids, and squids hate everything.

Richard E. Young via tolweb.org
"You worthless humans have 24 hours to give me a real name."

Haven't shat your pants yet? Look at those eyes again. Notice how they fucking rotate? Like Satan's telescope, this guy's eyes can bulge out and move in most any direction imaginable, and its sockets tag along for the ride. This means more visibility for the borealis, and less sleep for the rest of us.

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6
Mole + Earthworm = Mexican Mole Lizard

Marcin Pawinski/Photos.com, Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images, The Reptile Report

So fate rolled the dice and decided that you were to be a lizard. Maybe you wanted to be a hulking, poison-mouthed Komodo dragon. Unfortunately, fate gave less than a negative shit about your goals, shrunk you down to worm size, and took away half your legs. Sorry, bub; you're now a Mexican mole lizard.

Gary Nafis via CaliforniaHerps.com
Too creepy to be cute, but still too adorable to kill with a shovel.

Mole lizards might as well call themselves worms; they are segmented like them, slither like them, and hang around in the dirt like them. They use those little mole-like forearms to dig down and waddle around, and they mainly eat insects and smaller lizards. This is somehow enough to make local fishermen shit their pants in fear, though we'd also wager that a loud gust of wind could do the same. Seriously; this is one of the most feared animals in its native Baja peninsula. According to local folklore, "Its long claws grip the walls of the rectum and serve to anchor it within the intestinal tract. The short limbs are used to locomote deeper into the body."

Gary Nafis via CaliforniaHerps.com
On second thought, let's obliterate these things with a pipe bomb of shovels.

Now obviously, a long, fleshy tube plunging deep into somebody's asshole would never happen, and the mole lizard is actually quite harmless. Unless you're an insect, apparently.

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5
Giraffe + Zebra = Okapi

Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images, Comstock/Getty Images, Raul654

If you're not seeing the "giraffe" part, look at the head. So maybe this is three animals -- zebra, horse, giraffe. Or maybe it was just supposed to be a zebra/giraffe and Mother Nature realized she didn't have enough black and white paint and was like "Fuck it, I've got plenty of brown I can use. Now where's my bourbon?"

The okapi is actually related to the giraffe and is its last living relative, which must make for depressing family reunions. They both have sloping builds, large ears, and freaky long tongues that can rip leaves off of trees (and make lonely mateless nights all the more enjoyable).

Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Using this picture on OkCupid will NOT make the ladies "get the idea."

This thing is, by the way, not related to the zebra at all. So why the stripes? Camouflage, for one; the okapi hides in the forest and lets the sunlight bounce off its white markings, making the animal near-impossible to see. They also aid calves when following their mother around, because no two pairs of Zubaz leggings look alike.

Though tame, they aren't recommended as house pets, no matter how rich, insane, or insanely rich you may be. Why? Well, they hate you. Okapis are solitary creatures that don't interact well with others. They won't gore you or anything, but don't be shocked if they destroy everything you own in an attempt to escape while screeching the okapi version of "FREEEEEEEDOOOOOOMMMMMMM."

SEZARC
"Cesar said we have to be dominan- CHRIST HE JUST LICKED MY EYEBALL!"

Oh, and they leave tar footprints behind. Just the thickest, stickiest gunk imaginable, used to mark their territory. And this happens every single time they walk. Suddenly, Fluffy tracking litter into the kitchen doesn't seem so bad.

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4
Mouse + Anteater + Deer = Elephant Shrew

Hemera Technologies/Photos.com, Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images, Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images, Truus & Zoo

Two blatant cut-and-paste jobs just aren't enough sometimes, as the elephant shrew requires THREE animals to give it life. And like any good rodent abomination with the body of a mouse, the nose of an anteater, and the legs of a deer, this has to be Australia's fault, right?

Nope. It's from South Africa, and isn't a rodent in the slightest. As its name implies, it's actually a very close cousin of Dumbo. It's also related to the tenrec and the hyrax, for no conceivable reason, until you learn that its alternate name is "sengi." Then you realize that Mother Nature just lumped all the animals with goofy Dr. Seuss names into one convenient category.

Jomak14
"Natural selection cannot explain this, Darwin, first name Chuck; for here is a creature that will make you gasp 'What the fuck?!'"

But don't get visions of an elephant shrew using its schnozz to lift twigs or squeak out tiny little trumpet tunes of adorableness. Its snout is mainly used for sniffing out bugs and invertebrates, which make up its diet. Also, they suck at family living. Couples live separately, and even their babies have their own private place. So lest you fret over our sky-high divorce rate, take comfort that, unless we achieve 100 percent splitsville, the elephant shrew has our asses beat.

Klaus Rudloff via Trek Nature
"99 problems, am I right?"

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3
Orangutan + Crab = Orangutan Crab

Kenishirotie/Photos.com, Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images, Rodger Klein/Waterframe/Getty

If you saw this creature, you'd probably mistake it for a clump of hair that came out of a shower drain. But if you leaned in close, you'd see what appears to be a crab with the long, furry arms of an orangutan. This may possibly be why it's called the orangutan crab.

E.F. Dixon via Lembeh Resort
And now for another mystery: How the hell did this one get EYEBROWS?

The reddish hair serves a legitimate purpose (other than satisfying its mate's ginger fetish) -- they use the unkempt tufts to gather plankton, one of its main sources of food. It also feasts on random tiny particles that fall from the sea-sky, gathering them with its front legs and then chewing away.

Luckily, when it starts to lose its hair like your typical old dude, its arms are still equipped with tiny follicles that are perfect for grabbing dinner. No word on whether they too comb their follicles over and overpay for useless shiny junk designed to attract the young she-crabs at the market.

Lisa Collins / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty
"Hey baby, want to come back to my place for some Werther's Originals and vaguely racist remarks?"

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2
Seal + Frog = Hooded Seal

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images, Grace True/Photos.com,Fred Bruemmer/Biosphoto

Yes, yes, we also wish that was a picture of a seal getting hit in the face with a dodgeball. It's not -- all of that is part of the hooded seal. They're basically normal fish-eating seals, until mating season. That's when they do their very best croaking-frog impression, inflating their nasal cavity into a big pink balloon structure in an effort to make the ladies as wet as can be.

We're serious about this; to a hooded she-seal, nothing says you're a badass, virile love machine like expanding your nostrils to the point of near-bursting.

Fred Bruemmer / Getty
"Dammit, Jerry, quit stuffing a sock in your nose!"

There are two variations of this lusty pose. In the first, shown above, the handsome fellow pumps up his nose until it looks like a cancerous mole is consuming his face. In the second, shown below, he expands his septum and blows it out of his nose, so that it appears like he's coughed up a lung.

National Geographic
It's easier than writing cheesy poetry, and almost as ridiculous.

Also, this nose-inflating business can serve to scare off rivals, provided it's big enough. So while meathead douchebros have dick-measuring contests, hooded seals have snot-inflating contests. Is that really any weirder?

Yes. Yes it is.

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1
Fish + Spider = Gurnard

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images, chiptape/Photos.com, Reinhard Dirscherl/WaterFrame/Getty

Why yes, that IS a fish with spider legs. And yes, it can walk on them. In case you were running short on reasons to never ever go into the water ever.

This is the gurnard. It's also named the sea robin, because when a sea creature develops the legs of a land creature, why not name it after a sky creature? It helps keep the birds of the world on notice, in case the gurnard decides to become them next.

Herb Segars via NJ Scuba
"Form of: Bearodactyl!"

Those long spidery nubs that you are loudly weeping over right this second are actually spines. Originally, they were a part of the pectoral fin, but they separated over time and are now hanging around outside the fish, helping it walk and feel for food.

And boy, do they like food. These little guys (most are only a foot long, on average) are secret garbage disposals that eat anything they can wrap their gaping Mick Jagger maws around. This includes shrimps, crabs, herrings, and goddamn squids. Since most squids are at least twice their size, we're just going to jump to conclusions and say that gurnards regularly feast on colossal squids, and that's why we've only found one.

Rich Galiano via NJ Scuba
"Kraken? Never *burp* heard of it."

Oh hey, did we mention that these things talk as well? Or more likely, they curse; they tend to make various angry noises, such as grunts, croaks, and knocks, when competing with other gurnards over food. And, if you catch them, they're liable to angrily grunt and croak at you, meaning they don't stop ranting, even as they're slowly suffocating. No wonder we cook and eat so many of them. We know what would happen if they were left alone for too long.

Rich Galiano via NJ Scuba
"The second we learn to breathe air, you become food."



Monte Richard, E. Reid Ross, and Andrew Burch all do stuff over at RealToyGun.com.



For more reasons why animals can be funny, check out The 6 Cutest Animals That Can Still Destroy You and 6 Animals That Prove Nature Has a Childish Sense of Humor.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 8 Scenes in 'Percy Jackson 2' Ripped Off from Other Movies.

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