Africa’s landscapes and seascapes have an other-worldliness that you just don’t find on any other continent. Sometimes the scenery, culture and food almost seem too fascinating to be real. The wildlife and sea life are no exception. Here are 12 freaky looking animals in Africa that are real.
No,it’s not a cow that someone put a giant jester’s hat on as a joke. It’s an Ankole longhorn. This species is thought to have originated in the Nile Valley in 4000 B.C. and spread throughout Africa, including Ethiopia and Southern Africa. The horns can be about eight feet long each and weigh up to 100 pounds each.
It’s less scary to think that octopi grow to be giants and spew ink when you see this cartoon-like species. These long-eared octopi live off crustaceans at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean in several parts of the world including off the coast of Guinea.
For obvious reasons this terrifying and trippy creature is nicknamed the “blue dragon.” It’s a sea slug, usually measuring around an inch long and lives off the coast of South Africa. Those spiky parts are meant to look scary — this animal gives a powerful sting.
The ring-tailed lemur’s tail has such perfect stripes that you’d think somebody painted them on. The tail is long enough for the animal to wrap it around itself like a little shawl. It lives in Madagascar where it jumps around from tree to tree on its flexible limbs. Lemurs are endangered due to destruction of their habitat.
It might feel like you’re not supposed to see this, but don’t worry; it’s totally PG and it’s just a type of sea cucumber. That red region is the animal’s mouth and the insides are exactly what they look like. This animal lives at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Nigeria.
Is it an elk? A giraffe? A horse? Nope. It’s a gerenuk (Somali for giraffe-necked) and it’s a species of antelope that lives in the Horn of Africa. To reach high branches, the animal stands on its hind legs.
This creature from your nightmares lives throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans including over the Vavilov Ridge off West Africa. To catch its prey, the frilled shark coils up its body and lunges forward like a snake. See: creature from your nightmares.
Did you need a dose of adorable after the frilled shark? So did we. So we bring you the African pygmy hedgehog which lives in Algeria and Egypt and can fit in a hat. Guess what? Breeders domesticate these little balls of cuteness. Look into your state or country’s laws to see if you can get one.
This fish looks like it would be found on Mars before the ocean, but it’s a real fish with four eyes, two of which sit on the sides of its head. The creature has been spotted in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean near Cape Town, South Africa.
If you ever want to sleep again do not look up videos of this animal eating its prey. The goblin shark has been spotted off Senegal, Mozambique and South Africa. It has a pink, slimy skin, a long, flat snout and nail-like teeth.
You can’t help but wonder if Gollum from “Lord of the Rings” was modeled after this little wide-eyed-creature. We like to think he strums his long fingers together when he plots how he’ll take over the forest, but actually this rodent-like animal just digs holes in trees in Madagascar. Aye-ayes’ long middle fingers allow them to reach flesh from hard fruits such as coconuts and ramy nuts.
Remember when you were a kid and you thought that if you just closed your eyes, nobody could see you? Well for this gecko of Madagascar, that’s true.