Nature's weird and wonderful creations
Some of the planet's inhabitants are so bizarre that humans can't help but mimic them. Check them out alongside some strikingly similar objects.
Tue, Nov 13 2012 at 5:54 PM
From "bleeding" fungi to super furry caterpillars, it's safe to say that nature produces some weird things. Often, these creatures or natural phenomena seem to be reflected in man-made objects, so we've collected some of nature's most bizarre creations and compared them to physically similar items. Take a look below and see if you can tell which ones come from Mother Nature.
The puss caterpillar, which lives in the southern U.S. and parts of Central America, may look cuddly (and rather toupee-like), but try to resist petting one. The insect’s “fur” contains venomous spines that cause painful reactions in human skin upon contact. The furry skin acts as a protective covering for the larva, and even its molted skin can cause a reaction when touched by humans.
The largest individual flower in the world, Rafflesia arnoldii is native to the rain forests of Sumatra Island and grows to a diameter of 3 feet and can weigh up to 24 pounds. The flower produces no leaves stems, or roots, and it lives as a parasite on a type of vine. Its strong odor of decaying flesh, which attracts flies to pollinate the plant, has earned it the nickname of the “carrion flower.”
Flamingo tongue snail
This species of snail used to be common, but its unique markings have made it a target for snorkelers and scuba divers who make the mistake of thinking the bright colors are the animal’s shell. However, the shell is actually plain white — the colors are due to the live mantle tissue that covers the shell.
The aye-aye is the world’s largest nocturnal primate, and it's known for the unique way it finds food. The animal taps on trees to locate insects, then gnaws holes in the wood and inserts a finger to pull its food out. The bizarre-looking animal’s signature trait is its fingers. Its third finger, which is its thinnest, is used to tap on trees, and its fourth finger, which is the longest, is used to pull out insects.
This type of frost is created from clusters of thin, curved ice filaments and has the appearance of hair or feathers. The rare phenomenon typically appears on water-logged wood when conditions are just right to allow ice filaments to be pushed from the wood’s pores and frozen.
Bleeding tooth fungus
Hydnellum peckii is a type of fungus known for its tooth-like projections that “bleed” a bright red liquid that has anticoagulant properties. Its strange appearance has earned it several descriptive nicknames, including bleeding tooth fungus, strawberries and cream and Devil’s tooth. The fungus is found in North America, Europe and Korea.
Although many mistake it for a caterpillar, the butternut woolyworm is actually the larva of a sawfly. The grub lays its eggs on butternut and black walnut leaves, and fully grown larva are densely covered in white, cottony flocculence.
The blobfish’s gelatinous appearance is due to its habitat. It lives off the coasts of Australia at depths of 2,000 to 3,900 feet where the pressure is several times higher than at sea level. Because the blobfish has a density slightly less than water, it can float above the ocean floor without expending energy on swimming. Instead, it simply floats and swallows small invertebrates that float in front of it.
Click for photo credits
Photo (puss caterpillar): Caterpillar hunter/flickr
Photo (toupee): greg801/flickr
Photo (Rafflesia arnoldii): Wikimedia Commons
Photo (flower pot): plantomes.com
Photo (flamingo tongue snail): Wikimedia Commons
Photo (nightlight): Susan Stevenson/Shutterstock
Photo (aye-aye): Getty Images
Photo (troll): Todd Huffman/flickr
Photo (frost): Wikimedia Commons
Photo (feather): huddiemm/iStockphoto
Photo (bleeding tooth fungus): Wikimedia Commons
Photo (muffins): Ulga/Shutterstock
Photo (butternut wooly worm): Iowa State University
Photo (cotton): ksena32/iStockphoto
Photo (blobfish): ZUMA Press
Photo (flan): jmarconi/flickr
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