When it comes to the natural world, it can be easy to think we’re surrounded by the most beautiful plants and animals anyone could imagine. While that might be true for the most part, these might be the scariest-looking animals Mother Nature has created.
If you find yourself walking around parts of Africa, then you might want to keep an eye out for the child-sized shoebill stork. Not only can they reach five feet tall, but their wings are a whopping eight feet wide. They even use their famous bill to make a chattering noise when they feel threatened. Feel like you’re being watched? That’s probably the shoebill stork activating its binocular vision. Thankfully, they’re harmless to humans.
Portuguese man o’ war
Believe it or not, but the Portuguese man o’ war isn’t actually a jellyfish – it’s a siphonophore. This makes it seem even more like something from out of space as this sea dweller is made from different organisms working together. Some of the tentacles have been known to reach up to 160-foot long, and they can live in groups of up to 1,000.
For years, many of us believed dinosaurs were long gone. While the southern cassowary might not be from the Jurrasic period per se, the flightless bird would look right at home. They are found across northern Australia, where they run up to 30 mph and can jump seven feet in the air. The worst part? If they feel threatened, these birds will use their lethal giant claws to kick and stab someone until they feel safe again.
Giant by name, but not giant by nature. The giant hatchetfish is only four inches long. However, it’s still one of the scariest-looking animals Mother Nature has ever created. Special organs mean these fish look almost like underwater fireflies as they use the lights to lure prey to its demise.
They might come with shark in their name, but basking sharks aren’t anything like their cousins, the great white or bull shark. Instead, they are harmless to humans. Although they can grow up to lengths of 45 feet long, basking sharks mostly eat zooplankton, it’s how they collect it that’s scared so many people over the years as they swim with their mouths wide open. Plus, these sharks like to swim to the surface of the water to bask in the sun, scaring plenty of people in the process.
The star-nosed mole might be one of the scariest-looking animals Mother Nature has created, but they’re also one of the most adorable. Their nose is filled with sensory receptors that allow the almost-blind moles to find their way around underground. Here, they spend their time eating bugs as one of the fastest eaters on the planet. Bugs beware, as the star-nosed mole can eat one in 0.25 seconds.
Although these might be the scariest-looking animals Mother Nature has created, it seems that looks might be scarier than the results as, thankfully, most are nothing but harmless additions.