We live in a world with all sorts of exciting creatures. Some are really cute and fuzzy, while others can be creepy, crawly and rather ugly. In this post, we will explore the animals that are plain old ugly. What you are about to read is a list of the horrendously hideous animals, birds, fish and reptiles. They may not be good-looking, but they are still truly fascinating.
01. Star-Nosed Mole – Pink Appendages
The Star-Nosed Mole is a strange looking creature. It is found in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. It prefers wet lowland areas and will even forage in the bottom of ponds for food. It is one of the ugliest animals in the world. This rodent measures up to 7.9 inches in length (20 centimeters) and only weighs 2 ounces (55 grams). It has 44 teeth.
This funny animal has a body that is covered in thick, blackish-brown, water-repellent fur. It also has a long, thick tail, which it uses to store fat. This animal has 11 pairs of pink, fleshy appendages sprouting from its small snout. These tentacle-like organs called rays are used to feel for food. In fact, each one has over 25,000 tiny scent sensors. The Star-Nosed Mole also has large scaled feet with long sharp claws on the end.
02. Hercules Beetle – Strong and Mighty
The Hercules Beetle is the strongest creature on earth for its size. This unusual animal can lift 850 times its own body weight. This animal weighs 0.7 ounces (20 grams), which means it can lift 37 pounds (16.7 kilograms). That is an amazing feat of strength!
This beetle can reach sizes of 6.75 inches in length (17 centimeters) and is the biggest of the Rhinoceros Beetles. It is found in the rainforests of Central America, South America and as far as Arizona. The male Hercules Beetle has two long pincher-like horns protruding from its head. These can measure as long as the beetle’s entire body and are used to fight other beetles. It will grab another male Hercules and slam it to the ground when competing for a female.
03. Frilled Shark – A Living Fossil
The Frilled Shark is an odd and old creature. Fossils show it has been around for 18 million years. Today it lives in the deep ocean depths of Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, West Africa, Chile and the Caribbean.
This ugly animal can reach a length of 6.6 feet (2 meters) and has a dark brown, eel-like body. Its fins are placed far back on its body. It also has 6 pairs of frilly gill slits running along the side of its head. It maybe the ugliest animal ever. The Frilled Shark has dead eyes and a huge mouth that holds 25 rows of 300 triangular-shaped, needle-sharp teeth. Its skin is like sandpaper. It lives out of sight far below the sea at around 660 feet (200 meters).
04. Warthog – Old Wart Face
This strange pig-like animal is found in Africa. The Warthog is neither pretty nor graceful. It enjoys rolling in the mud in the rainy season and taking dirt bathes when it is dry. It also likes to rub against trees and termite mounds.
This funny looking animal can grow up to 30 inches at the shoulder (76.2 centimeters) and weigh 250 pounds (113 kilograms). It has a flat face, high set eyes and an elongated snout. It is black or gray in color with thin bristles covering its skin, with a longer bristled mane. The Warthog has two sets of tusks coming from its face; the upper one’s curve into a semi-circle, while the lower ones are small and pointed. Plus, this animal’s face is covered in thick warts.
05. Softshell Turtle – A Leathery Pancake?
The Softshell Turtle is not your normal turtle. It is an aggressive animal and will bite. These unusual animals like to spend their time underwater, buried in the soft sand. They can be found mostly around Florida – Where they eat mainly aquatic insects, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and amphibians.
Females are larger than males and can grow up to 24 inches long (61 centimeters). Males usually grow to only 12 inches (30 centimeters). Rather than having a hard shell, this turtle’s shell is soft and is covered in skin with soft edges. They have long, rounded noses, a long neck and webbed feet. They can be brownish-green in color with splotches on their skin.
06. Wolf Spider – The Stalker
The Wolf Spider is an odd Arthropod. It doesn’t build a web like other spiders. Instead it stalks its prey like a wolf. This ugly animal is common in Britain. It is a fast and agile land predator, running after and pouncing on its prey.
The Wolf Spider is brown in color with distinct markings on its underside. It has 8 legs and can grow up to 0.3 inches (8 millimeters) in length for females and 0.25 inches (6.5 millimeters) for males. The Wolf Spider’s head is full of eyes. Eight eyes arranged in three rows. The first row has 4 small eyes, the second has 2 larger eyes and the third row has 2 medium-sized eyes. All these eyes help the spider hunt and tackle its prey.
07. Longhorn Cowfish: A Cow without a Moo
The Longhorn Cowfish is one strange looking fish. It is closely related to the Puffer Fish and is poisonous. It can be found living on reefs in the Indo-Pacific. region. It also likes to be in bays and harbors with a sand or mud bottom.
This ugly creature can grow up to 20 inches long (50 centimeters) and weigh up to a maximum of 2 pounds (0.45 kilograms). It ranges in color from yellow to olive with white-blue spots on its body. This fish can also blow jets of water into the sand to uncover sea worms. The fish has 2 large horns protruding from its head. These are much longer than any other species of cowfish. Its eyes sit high on its long, narrow head.
08. Long-Beaked Echidna – Spiny Egg-Layer
The Long-Beaked Echidna is prickly creature found in New Guinea. It is nocturnal and hunts for insects on the forest floor. It is a monotreme, which means this mammal lays eggs. The female lays one egg inside of her pouch-like patch on her stomach. Here the egg hatches, and her young will remain safe while it feeds and grows.
The Long-Beaked Echidna grows up to about 20 pounds (9 kilograms). This strange creature has a long tongue covered with rows of tiny spikes. It uses its tongue to grab onto worms and insects. This echidna is covered with prickly spines and fur on its body. It has a long tubular snout with a very small mouth. This animal is very smart and will pull its legs and head in when it feels threatened.
09. Proboscis Monkey – A Huge Honker
The Proboscis Monkey lives high in the trees of the Borneo jungle. It likes to be around water and will only feast on un-ripened fruit. If the fruit is too ripe it will cause this animal’s stomach to bloat. If this happens the monkey could die. This funny animal measures between 24 to 28 inches (60 to 70 centimeters) and can weigh up to 50 pounds (23 to kilograms). They live in social groups called harems. There is one dominant male monkey with several female monkeys and their young.
The Proboscis Monkey got its name from its oversized nose. It is thought this huge honker can make an impressive call to attract a female and to scare off other male monkeys. Its nose will continue to grow, getting bigger and bigger as the proboscis matures.
10. Sphynx Cat – A Hairless Pet
The Sphynx Cat is a subspecies of the domestic feline. It is widely known for its lack of a fur coat. Since it is a pet, it can be found in households throughout the world. This ugly pet does not occur naturally in the wild. Instead it has been carefully bred since the 1960s. Most of its unique look comes from two lines of genetic mutations in Canada and Minnesota.
A Sphynx Cats hairless body gives it wrinkly appearance that many people find ugly. This skin would be the same color as their fur – If they had any. Another weird thing this animal has is a prominent pot belly which gives it an ungainly look.
11. Flying Fox – The Mega Bat
The Flying Fox is a large fruit and nectar eating bat. It is found in northern and eastern Australia. It is the biggest species of bat on the planet. This strange creature is covered in dark colored fur and can measure 9.8 inches long (25 centimeters). It has large eyes and a fox-like face.
This bat prefers to eat blossom, flowers, nectar, fruit and occasionally leaves of native plants, like the eucalypts, tea-trees, and figs. The skin on this bat’s wings is almost transparent. It has a wingspan of up to 3.2 feet long (1 meter). During the daytime, Flying Foxes will form colonies of up to a thousand members. At night their numbers fill the sky in search of food.
12. Blobfish – An Ooey Gooey Fish
The Blobfish lives about 2,624 feet (800 meters) below the sea off the coast of Australia and Tasmania. No one has really seen a Blobfish, other than fisherman who have accidentally scooped it up in their nets.
This fish can grow up to about 2 feet long (0.6 meters). It does not swim, but rather waits on the bottom of the ocean floor for its meal to swim by. They eat sea urchins, mollusks and crustaceans. It is perhaps the world’s ugliest fish. This weird & endangerous ocean creature looks like a big lump of jelly. It has a triangular head, with 2 big eyes, a nose and a mouth. This fish has no muscles and only very small fins.
13. Aye-aye – A Bug-Eyed Critter
The Aye-aye is a primate, like a monkey. It is found only in Madagascar where it spends its time in the rainforest trees. This means it rarely comes to the ground. This weird looking animal is gray and black in color and measures 14 to 17 inches in length (36 to 43 centimeters) and can weigh up to 4 pounds (2 kilograms). It is nocturnal and feasts on fruits and insects.
This big-eyed critter has a really long tail that is twice the length of its body. Also, the claws on its spindly fingers are very sharp. It uses these to tap on the trunk of a tree in search of insect larvae. Once it “hears” its food, it will dig a hole into a tree and grab the larvae out.
14. Goblin Shark – Super Snout
The Goblin Shark lives far below the sea at around 656 feet (200 meters). It can be found all over the world from Australia in the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico in the Atlantic Ocean. The species was first discovered in Japan.
This funny animal is pink or blue in color and can measure up to 10 feet long (3.1 meters) and can weigh up to 460 pounds (210 kilograms). It will dine on deep sea fish, crabs and squid. Unlike other sharks, the goblin shark has a long protruding snout. When hunting it will suddenly protrude its jaws, then use its tongue-like muscle to suck the victim into its sharp front teeth.
15. Alligator Snapping Turtle – A Spiked-Shell Specimen
The Alligator Snapping Turtle is found in rivers, canals and lakes of southeastern United States. It is among the largest species of freshwater turtles in the world today. This male turtle can measure up to 26 inches (66 centimeters) in shell length and weighs about 175 pounds (80 kilograms). Some turtles in this species have been known to grow even bigger, up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms).
The alligator snapping turtle can stay underwater for up to 50 minutes without taking a breath. They live to be 50 to 100 years-old. This dinosaur of the turtle world has thick spikes on its shell, a beak-like mouth and a scaly tail. It is black in color and has a bright pink, worm-like tongue. This turtle sticks out its tongue to attract prey (mostly fish) while underwater.
16. Snub-Nosed Monkey – A Tiny Nosed Primate
The Snub-Nosed Monkey is one of the oddest looking monkeys in the wild kingdom. It can be found high up in the trees of western-central China. In the summertime it likes to hang out in large troops of up to 200 individuals.
This monkey is 29 inches tall (76 centimeters) and can weigh up to 85 pounds (39 kilograms). It ranges in colors from black-grey to silver to orange, or a combination of all three. Its main diet is bamboo shoots, fruit, buds, leaves and pine needles. The snub-nosed monkey has a flattened nose that is set high on its muzzle. The nostrils are wide and face forward, something like a pig. It also has two small flaps of skin above the nostrils that almost touch its forehead.
17. Ganges River Dolphin – The Blind Bumbler
The Ganges River Dolphin does not have any eye lenses, but is not totally blind. It swims on its side, dragging its flipper along the bottom of the river floor. This helps it dig up food.
This dolphin is found in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. It prefers freshwater with deep, slow moving pools and rivers of its habitat. It is a mammal, so it must surface to breathe air. It measures up to 8.7 feet long (2.67 meters) and is grayish-brown in color. Unlike other dolphins that have a cute “smiling” face, the Ganges River Dolphin has a long, thin snout. It is also stocky in its body with large flippers and tiny, beady eyes.
18. California Condor: The Carcass Feeder
The creepy California Condor is in the Vulture family. Its habitat spans southern California to Arizona. This bird can soar up to heights 15,000 feet in the sky (4,572 meters) and travel 150 miles a day (241 kilometers) searching for dead animals to feast on. This funny animal has keen eyesight and is considered “nature’s cleaning crew.” It loves to dine on large dead animals like, deer, cattle and sheep, but when supplies run low, it will eat smaller carcasses.
The California Condor stands 50 inches tall (127 centimeters) with a wingspan of up to 9 feet (2.7 meters)! It will weigh in at about 25 pounds (11 kilograms). It is black in color and sports a bald head. The skin on the condor’s head can be white to reddish purple in color with very few feathers. It has a ring of black fluffy feathers around its neck.
19. Sea Cow – Mostly a Manatee
The Sea Cow is also called a Manatee. It is a slow moving mammal that can be found from the North American east coast from Florida to Brazil or along the Amazon River and the west coast and rivers of Africa.
They are graceful swimmers with a powerful tail. They can measure up to 13 feet long (4 meters) and weigh a whopping 1,300 pounds (600 kilograms). It is an herbivore which means all of its bulky body weight comes from eating plants. This lumbering beast is gray to brown in color and may have algae growing on it. Most manatees also have scars along their bodies from boat propellers. Its head and body meld into one, with tiny eyes and a stubby snout.
20. Yeti Crab – A Furry Lobster?
The Yeti Crab is one furry critter. It was only discovered in 2005, so we are still learning about this crustacean. This crab was spotted by a submarine in the south Pacific Ocean at 7,217 feet below the sea (2,200 meters).
Scientists feel this crab is carnivorous and may feed on bacteria as well. It is 6 inches in length (15 centimeters) and has 2 long arms on the front and 4 smaller legs on the side of its body. The Yeti Crab is covered in silky blond fur. It has 2 claws sprouting from its giant arms. These are thought to be used as a filter for bacteria. This crab has 2 eyes but they lack color, so it may be blind.
21. Sunda Pangolin – Scales From Head to Tail
The Sunda Pangolin is a weird and fascinating animal. It is only found in Asia and Africa. It can curl itself into a ball, creating a protective coating against predators. It is very secretive.
This animal measures up to 25.6 inches long (65 centimeters) and can weigh up to 22 pounds (10 kilograms). It has very poor eyesight, but an excellent nose that will sniff out termites and ant hills. It likes to hang by its prehensile tail and also uses it for balancing along the branches of trees. The Sunda Pangolin is covered in scales. These scales are made from keratin, like horns or our fingernails. It has small eyes and ears and stumpy legs.
22. Mole Salamander – An Eye-Popping Critter
The Mole Salamander is not really handsome, but it is fascinating. This species is found in North America and lives underground. It is often sold as a pet.
This salamander measures in at 3 to 4 inches long (7.5 to 10 centimeters). Females lay dozens of eggs in the water. When the eggs hatch the young have gills and will soon grow limbs. They have four toes on the forearms, and five toes on its hind legs. The mole salamander has a short, stout body with large, flattened heads. This ugly pet is black, brown, or gray in color with pale bluish or silvery flecks.
23. Babirusa – The Pig-Deer
The Babirusa is not a pig or a deer, but it is an ugly animal. This endangered animal is found on the islands of Indonesia. This funny animal prefers to live near the shores of rivers and lakes. It is an omnivore, eating mostly fruit, leaves, or grasses. It will also eat fungi, nuts, insect larvae, small rodents, birds and carrion.
This strange beast grows to about 3.6 feet in length (1 meter) and can weigh up to 220 pounds (99 kilograms). Females will live together in small groups with their young. Males prefer to be alone. The Babirusa is brown to gray in color and is hairless. It has two sets of tusks erupting from its snout. These overgrown canine teeth curve back toward the eyes.
24. Trapdoor Spider – Small, But Smart
The Trapdoor Spider is a marvel of nature. It is found in the warm climates of the world; southwestern United States, Argentina, Africa, Australia and Japan. It feeds on a wide variety of insects, small fish, mice, snakes, birds and frogs.
This spider is smart. It builds long tunnels underground. At the end of the tunnel will be a trapdoor. This is built out of silk and dirt and has a hinge. The door measures about i inch wide (2.5 centimeters) and is covered up by small stones and branches. The spider will shoot through this door and consume its unsuspecting prey as it tries to pass by. The trapdoor spider is only 1 inch in length (2.5 centimeters). It has a hairy body, glossy stick-like legs and can range in color from brown to reddish to brownish-yellow. It has 8 eyes; 3 on each side and 2 in the center.
25. Anglerfish – Deep Sea Ugly
There are more than 200 species of Anglerfish. Most of them live in the deep, dark depths of Atlantic and Antarctic oceans. These fish can live as far down as 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) under the water.
This fish can grow from 8 inches in length (20 cm) up to 3.3 feet (1 meter) and weigh up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms). The female Anglerfish carries a light to catch her prey. This fishing-pole like dorsal spine hangs above her mouth and lights up. This world’s ugliest animal is dark gray to dark brown in color. It has a huge head and an enormous crescent-shaped mouth. This big mouth is filled with sharp, translucent teeth.
26. Wrinkle-faced Bat – Scary but Eats Fruit
The Wrinkle-faced Bat may look like something out of a scary movie, but it is really quite harmless. It lives in and around Central America. This bat is a frugivore, which means it dines only on fruit. It has a special pouch in its mouth that allows it to store food. Its jaws are also very powerful which gives it the ability to eat harder fruits.
This ugly critter only weighs about 0.5 of an ounce (17 grams). Its face is hairless and is covered with growths of skin. The male has so much skin it can actually cover its face with it.
27. Northern Bald Ibis – 1.8 Million Years Old
This kooky looking creature called the Northern Bald Ibis has been around for 1.8 million years! It lives in southern Morocco and also inhabits Syria. It prefers to hang out in barren, semi-desert or rocky habitats, usually close to running water.
This bird measures from 28 to 31 inches (70- 80 centimeters) and can weigh up to 2.8 pounds (1.3 kilograms). It has black feathers that will turn bronze-green and violet in the sunlight. It feeds on insects, lizards and other small animals. The Northern Bald Ibis has a wispy ruff of feathers around its dull red, bald face. It has a long, pinkish curved bill. The legs are long and spindly.
28. Asian Sheepshead Wrasse – Big Bumpy Head
Though little is known about the Asian Sheepshead Wrasse, we do know it is kind of ugly. This fish lives in the waters of China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea. It likes open seas, along with shallow seas and coral reefs.
The young of this species of wrasse does not look at all like the adults. They are a bright, vivid yellowish-orange in color, with a white stripe from its eye to the tail. It has black patches on the fins and tail. The adult Asian Sheepshead Wrasse has a bulbous, swollen protrusion on its head and jaw. It is pinkish-grey in color.
29. Tapir – A Gripping Trunk
A Tapir looks something like a pig, but it is actually more closely related to the horse and rhinoceros. It can be found in the grasslands of Central and South America.
This strange looking animal can grow up to 42 inches at the shoulder (107 centimeters) and can weigh from 500 to 800 pounds (227 to 363 kilograms). The tapir eats leaves and fruit. The tapir has a stocky body that is black to light brown in color. Its main feature is its prehensile snout. This special gripper is an extension of its nose and upper lip. The ears are large and high set.
30. Alligator Gar – A Freshwater Giant
The Alligator Gar is the biggest and, perhaps, the ugliest of its species. It can be found in the waters of North and Central America. It prefers lakes, bayous, bays and slow-moving rivers. The eggs from this fish are poisonous to humans.
This freshwater giant can measure up to 10 feet long (3 meters) and weigh an astounding 300 pounds (140 kilograms). It feasts on fish, small turtles, waterfowl and dead animals. This menacing-looking fish is olive green or yellow in color and has a lot of scales. Its snout is long and thin, like an alligator and it has a mouth full of sharp, pointy teeth.
31. Naked Mole Rat – A Tiny Walrus?
The Naked Mole Rat is indeed an ugly little creature. It has been compared to a hideous-looking mini-walrus. There are 30 subspecies of the mole rat. Most live in the sub-Saharan Africa. They prefer soft sandy areas where they can build their underground tunnels and dens.
This mole can grow from 3 to 13 inches long (8 to 33 centimeters) and can weigh up to 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms). They live in colonies. Worker rats dig the burrows, while the others attend to the female or queen. It has a pink, hairless, tubular, wrinkled body. It has tiny eyes and ears, with a large snout with two teeth protruding above its mouth.
32. Greater Adjutant: I Have a Neck Sack
The Greater Adjutant is a large bird in the Stork family. This bird is found in South-East Asia and India. It prefers to wade in lakes, swamps, paddy fields and stagnant ponds. It prefers foods like fish, frogs, crustaceans and reptiles.
This massive bird can stand 5 feet tall (1.5 meters) and have a wingspan of 8.2 feet wide (2.4 meters) Its odd-looking bill can measure over 12 inches long (30 centimeters). It has dull white to gray feathers on its body. The skinny legs of this bird are white because of its own droppings. The male has a large neck sack that turns bright orange and enlarges during breeding season. The head of the greater adjutant is nearly featherless.
33. Deep Sea Hatchetfish – A Flat Fish
The Hatchetfish is perhaps the ugliest fish in the world. It lives in depths from 164 to 4,921 feet, (50 to 1,500 meters) below the surface of the ocean. It can be found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
They range in size from 1.1 inch (2.8 centimeters) to the 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) depending on the species. These fish all have bioluminescence. This means they can produce a light from within their own bodies. The Hatchetfish has a flat body that is shaped like a hatchet. It has two large, tubular eyes which point up and are extremely sensitive to light. The general appearance of this fish makes one glad it lives so far underwater.
Discover the World Around You
We have visited 33 of the world’s most ugly and weird creatures, but there are so many more to be discovered. Take a look around and see if you can find any other unusually unattractive animals, birds, bugs or fish. This is a fun way to learn about nature and to appreciate the cute animals we see every day.