Reddit | deftchaos

16+ Pics Showing Off Strange Things We Never Expected To Find In Nature

As fascinating as it is to talk about nature's deadliest and most aggressive animals, it's not all that nature has to offer us. And while a tiger pouncing on its prey can make for an incredible photo, it's also not showing us anything we're not used to.

We know that wild animals can be ferocious because that's how they survive encounters with the hundreds of similarly vicious creatures they might come across. But how often do we explore what we don't know about the natural world?

New species are being discovered all the time, but the ones that scientists have already found can still seem very new to us. So let's take a look at some of nature's lesser-known marvels.

1. If an animal has "honey" in its name, you can bet that it's as tough as they come.

Reddit | starrychloe

That's well-known about the infamous honey badger, but we can see here that the honey hawk or honey buzzard isn't easy to intimidate either.

After all, if it doesn't break its concentration while being chased down by a swarm of angry bees, it's not likely to care about too many things.

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2. Although this isn't the rarest scene nature has to offer, a lot more is going on here than it might seem.

Reddit | nature-is-gangster

That light blue blur on the left side of the photo is a bluebird trying to protect its eggs from the snake climbing this pole.

However, it turns out that it didn't have to worry so much because the snake apparently couldn't get past this cone.

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3. The vaquita porpoise is a pretty adorable creature, but that doesn't express how valuable it is to get a photo of one.

Reddit | HeresJohnny993

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the vaquita is the world's rarest marine mammals with only about 10 of them being known to exist today.

They were first discovered in Mexico's Gulf of California in 1958, but their population was devastated in recent years by illegal fishing operations.

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4. We've seen some seriously cute hedgehogs in our time, but they don't usually have such long ears.

Reddit | Dragon_Scale_Salad

However, your perspective on this may be different if you live in Central Asia or the Middle East, where the long-eared hedgehog is known to dwell and munch on beetles, caterpillars, and worms.

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5. If you see a particularly chubby grasshopper, it may be a member of one of the 17 species of "flying gooseberries."

Reddit | Decapod73

More formally known as the bladder grasshoppers, these bugs have large air-filled sacs that give them one of the loudest calls of any insect.

It kind of sounds like someone is playing a very low-pitched wind instrument.

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6. It's hard to differentiate the stonefish from mossy rocks or coral, but that's unfortunate because it's full of deadly venom.

Reddit | squidgy-beats

As ABC News reported, one person received a small knick on their finger, which left them feeling like much of their body had been worked over by a sledgehammer over the course of hours.

Not only that, but it gave them periodic issues with their kidneys for years after the fact.

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7. You'd think this peacock spider would stand out in the wild, but it's actually pretty tricky to spot.

Reddit | HellsJuggernaut

Despite the impression you might get from this photo, that's because they tend to be about the size of a grain of rice.

According to the BBC, the male spiders tend to be the more colorful specimens among this species, which helps a lot with the mating dance they do to attract females.

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8. Here we see a pair of colorful birds known as northern carmine bee eaters.

Reddit | ncnotebook

And while that name is pretty indicative on its own, the fact that one of them happens to be snacking on a bee in this photo really helps to illustrate how they earned it.

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9. Although it's probably pretty hard to identify it as one, the tasselled wobbegong is a shark.

Reddit | idiosynchrony

That's right, we're looking at a fish here and not just a coral reef. But it's counting on how hard it is to identify it because this impressive camouflage makes it an effective ambush predator.

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10. The marble fox is adorable to behold, but it may be a little too cute for its own good.

Reddit | Rabano11

It's often found in the colder parts of Canada and Alaska, but the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center explained that it's not unheard of for marble foxes to be bred for use as pets.

This practice, however, is illegal.

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11. While this would be a dazzling shell to find on the beach, this one has something living in it.

Reddit | future_beach_bum

You might have noticed a couple of little antennae poking out of the bottom and those belong to the Priotrochatella snail.

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12. This long fellow almost looks like a big worm, but it's actually the Mexican mole lizard.

Reddit | Hotel777

According to Wired, these creatures are usually found underground, but also break from other animals of their type (which aren't lizards by the way) by having two little arms that we can see under its head here.

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13. This jaguar isn't a particularly new sight for a lot of us, but this is probably the only safe way we can see it make this face.

Reddit | Promille

Still, this picture does teach us something interesting about the big cats. Namely, that it can dive fairly deep underwater if it wants something down there badly enough.

Obviously, this one really wanted that meat chunk.

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14. Most pigeons couldn't hope to be anywhere near as fancy as the frill-back here.

Reddit | Unicornglitteryblood

As compiled by J. Matthews Eaton, early naturalists figure that this bird originally came from the Friesland region of The Netherlands, as more than one type of frilled bird are native to that area.

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15. If this vampire crab seems both dazzling and a little intimidating, then you have some insight into how it got its name.

Reddit | Comboxer

According to Livescience, these crabs originated from the Java island of Indonesia and were named vampire crabs due to the way their yellow eyes contrast with their bodies, which are usually either purple or orange.

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16. The red-lipped batfish's name is pretty self-explanatory, but it's easier to explain how weird it is when you learn where it was discovered.

Reddit | IamUMFA

Its scientific name is Ogcocephalus darwini, which indicates that it was part of the treasure trove of exotic creatures that Charles Darwin described during his voyages to the Galapagos Islands.

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17. Considering that this was spotted in Australia, it's understandable that someobdy thought they were looking at a furry snake at first.

Reddit | deftchaos

Instead, this is actually a line of processionary caterpillars.

Such caterpillars are found throughout the world and it's apparently not unheard of for some to climb on top of other caterpillars and hitch a ride.

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18. If you're wondering what sort of spider could possibly look like this, it's helpful to note that none of them turn out this way on their own.

Reddit | SirBallBag

This is a wolf spider, but the extra spines developed after it was infected by a cordycep fungus. That's not an encounter that insects tend to survive.

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19. This hiker may have had a rough journey to get here, but she's not sitting down by choice.

Reddit | 5_Frog_Margin

She's perched on top of Mt. Adams, but she was knocked on her butt by the force of an eruption on Mt. Saint Helen's, which we can see unfolding in the background.

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20. Believe it or not, the giant spider is losing this fight.

Reddit | TheMightyTroy10

While it's well-known that Australia's massive huntsman spider isn't very harmful to humans, it apparently didn't fare very well against this tarantula hawk wasp either.

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