#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.
"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?"
#3. Orangutan + Crab = Orangutan Crab
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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?"
#2. Seal + Frog = Hooded Seal
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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.
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.
#1. Fish + Spider = Gurnard
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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.