The Stuff Of Nightmares

Hi everyone. Seeing as its Halloween, I think it is only fitting that my post today be on nature’s very own monsters. Here is my top ten most scary looking animals on Earth.

Be warned. The following pictures may disturb you.

Ten: the star-nosed mole

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The star-nosed mole isn’t what may pop into your head when I say creepy, but you have to admit it’s unusual looking nose makes it look like a weird alien. It’s nose, in fact, is it’s greatest weapon. The star-nosed mole is blind and it’s highly sensitive nose, particularly those fleshy tentacles, is used to feel its surroundings, identify prey and prevent soil from entering its nose whilst the mole is digging.

Nine: the lobster moth caterpillar

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This bizzare creature is truly strange in appearance and it derives it’s name from the fact that its enlarged abdomen looks like a lobster tail. This creature is harmless in all honesty, but it’s bizarre appearance not only freaks us humans out, but potential predators as this creature is very good at acting like it is some kind of venomous spider or deadly insect.

Eight: the Texas horned lizard

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The Texas horned lizard, is the most common species of horned lizard and is hardly the most terrifying creature on this list, apart from the fact that it looks like some kind of dinosaur. But what makes this creature worthy of being on this list is its bizarre defence mechanism against predators. It, alongside most other species of horned lizard, can shoot blood out of its eyes! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the clip below.

Seven: the spotted hyena

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The spotted hyena is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and is truly terrifying. With its bear like build, huge fangs and jet black eyes, it would make any man shudder in fear. But what makes this animal truly creepy is it’s famous laugh which makes people often think that it enjoys being an aggressive monster. Below is a clip of this animals disturbing vocal patterns in action.

Six: the giant squid

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If you’ve watched Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, you may recall the monstrous kraken. The giant squid is our real life kraken. It can grow to be the size of a school bus and whilst it actively hunts other squid and fish, it has been known to eat small whales (which isn’t very small). It is only really hunted by the giant sperm whale and even then it doesn’t go down without a fight (sperm whale carcasses often have wounds made by a giant squid on it, and vice versa).

Five: the goliath bird-eater spider

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This list wouldn’t be complete without some kind of spider on it right? The goliath bird-eater is one of the biggest spiders on the planet and easily, as the name may suggest, the most terrifying. These tarantulas use their fangs to capture prey and inject venom into their poor victims. The venom dissolves inside the prey and the spider sucks up its meal, leaving behind skin and bones. Goliath bird-eater spiders typically eat small birds, snakes, lizards and frogs. However, these formidable and aggressive arachnids will attack anything if they feel threatened. They are also capable of using the bristles on their legs to make a loud hissing noise (which is just down right unsettling). Just be thankful that their venom is harmless to humans.

Four: the anglerfish

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The anglerfish is a type of deep sea bioluminescent fish. The females of the species have a glowing bulb of flesh that hangs down from their head and acts as a lure to attract prey. This monstrous fish can eat prey twice its size with its huge mouth and inwardly pointing sharp teeth. If you doubt this creatures presence on my list just watch this famous clip taken from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo.

Three: the tapeworm

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Tapeworms deserve to be on this list just because of what they are, let alone how they look! Tapeworms are a type of parasitic flatworm that live within the digestive systems of their hosts. These strange and disgusting looking organisms have hooks and suckers around their scolex (head), which helps them to attach themselves to their hosts intestinal wall. Their long bodies can reach up to 20 ft and these creatures survive by stealing nutrients from their hosts. Talk about a freeloader right?!

Two: the white-shouldered bat

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When you think of horrifying bats, the first thing that may come to your mind is the world famous blood sucker, the vampire bat. However, the white-shouldered bat is far more grotesque looking with its large eyes, pointed pug nose and small, sharp teeth, which gives them a truly menacing appearance. Don’t be alarmed though. These natives of South and Central America pose no threat to humans and lives on a diet of fruit and insects.

One: the black dragonfish

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The black dragonfish, like the anglerfish, is a type of bioluminescent fish that lives in deep ocean waters. Also just like the anglerfish, the females of the species are far deadlier and more terrifying. Female black dragonfish possess sharp fang-like teeth and a long barbel that hangs from their chin (the barbel contains photophores, which produce light and lure in prey). Adult female black dragonfish can reach lengths of around 2 ft and resemble an eel in appearance, though far more dragon like (as you can see above).

So so there you have it everyone, my top ten scary animals. Feel free to comment on the animals in this list if you feel I got the order wrong or if there was an animal even more deserving a place on this list. Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

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