Weird Wildlife: 35+ Times Mother Nature Showed Off Her Edgy Side

By Jhoana C May 31, 2023

We run to nature’s embrace if we need to recharge ourselves by disconnecting from the busy demands of work and social life. We want to bathe in the forest, meditate with the sound of the waves hitting the shore, and do our downward dog pose with birdsong in the background. Nature has the power to heal you and make you whole again.

But nature has another side, another face that is surprisingly hair-raising. Numerous bizarre-looking creatures—both in our backyard and in the wild—have the power to send us running for our lives just by their appearance alone. We don’t consider ourselves as the sort to scare easily, but these insects and creepy crawlies are downright terrifying. From deadly arachnids to bees that enjoy rotting meat, here are some of the things in nature we would rather not come across.

Gooood morning

This is a heart attack waiting to happen, and we don’t wish anyone who’s not in the best physical form to see this, especially first thing in the morning. Luckily for those who don’t want to wake up with their hearts racing, this fearsome-looking insect is nocturnal.

Image courtesy of GoldenChinchilla/Reddit

But we have bad news for people who live near the water because the giant male Dobsonfly loves it. They don’t even have to raise their heads or open and close their jaws to intimidate us. We’d just freeze and drop on the spot. Death, take us, please!

Work is canceled today

Now this motivation for you not to go to work and not to go anywhere. We don’t care how urgent something is; it will have to wait if your bike looks like this. Unless you have a penchant for getting stung at least a hundred times, you’re not gonna go anywhere near that thing.

Image courtesy of savage-dragon/Reddit

Yes, the bees might only be looking for a new home, but would you be willing to give them your bike? This photo might put to the test just how courageous you feel, but surely you’d be back some other time with reinforcements.

Have it framed!

All this needs is a frame and some glass, and it’s going to become an instant conversation piece at your next dinner party. It will get people talking, though we’re just not sure if it’s in a good or bad way. Some conversations might start with, “What the heck is that?”

Image courtesy of chainley/Reddit

As if this wasn’t horrible enough, some of the bugs stuck on that sticky paper got so hungry that they started eating the other stuck bugs. This was found under a serving table in an older home. They ought to fumigate the place or just burn the whole thing down and build anew.

Busy as a bee

One day you’re sitting in your garden enjoying a cup of joe and reading a good book and the next day you’re fainting in horror because of this sight. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say this was a scene from a horror movie.

Image courtesy of EXTSZombiemaster/Reddit

We’re thankful that this is a statue because we can’t even imagine how much it would hurt if there were wasps trying to get out of your head. Wasps build nests both above and below ground, though the latter are usually built in sheltered locations, including wall voids and hollow statues.

This is giving us the heebie-jeebies

On the next episode of “Food That Eats You Back” we have an artichoke with sharp teeth. The tables have turned and now it’s the vegetables that want to take a bite. Photoshopped or not, this is unnerving for a lot of people.

Image courtesy of kadavids23/Reddit

We don’t want to pay so much for fine dining only to have vegetables getting a piece of our tongue. “Feed me, Seymour!” Evil laugh in the background. “Cause if you feed me I can grow up big and strong.”

Is the plant trying to walk away?

We’re continuously amazed at all sorts of macabre and weird things that can be found in nature. We’ll add this plant with tarantula legs to that list. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say that the plant was trying to walk away.

Image courtesy of officialdiscoking/Reddit

This is not the plant we’d want in our garden because if we came home late one night and saw this, we might just wake the neighbors with our loud screams. For those curious and who might want this in their garden, the name is Rabbit’s Foot Fern.

This fellow counted 150 spiders in his bedroom

The first question we had was, “you still had the courage to count the spiders in your bedroom? Or was that just an estimate?” If we saw this, we’d have taken them outside right away, driven to a far away forest, and dropped them off.

Image courtesy of captiandad421/Reddit

We’d be doing anything but counting. How can anyone even stand that sight? No, we don’t have arachnophobia but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stick around and poke our fingers in there trying to account for each spider. No way, Jose!

This gives us The Last of Us vibes

Those who are fans of the HBO show The Last of Us will understand when we say this thing gives us the same vibes. The show is based on a real fungus called Cordyceps, also known as the zombie-ant fungus, and though this looks different, it scares us just the same.

Image courtesy of mattgphoto_bos/Instagram

As nondescript as fungi are, they have the power to turn you into an empty shell by controlling your body. Though studies say they are not likely to evolve and infect humans, you can never know. For all we know, fungi could be the reason for the end of the world.

This is why we’ll never live in Australia

The Land Down Under may be a paradise for those who love the outdoors, but it’s also where the weirdest and largest insects and animals live. So no, we’re not going to move there. We’re okay where we are, thanks for asking.

Image courtesy of theblackbeltsurfer/Reddit

This is a good example of why we’re not eager to hop on a plane to visit, either. This person got in his car for a drive and when he turned around, guess who said hello? A Huntsman spider! These long-legged spiders can move up to 3 feet per second and are venomous. We rest our case. 

Nope, we’re not sleepy anymore

If we saw this critter on our pillowcase, we’d lose interest in getting some shuteye, no matter how exhausted we are. Normally, we drift off to dreamland as soon as our head hits the pillow, but this is a different story.

Image courtesy of rometickles/Reddit

These creatures, no matter how tidy your house is, just seem to find their way into your clothes, bed, food, toilet, and pretty much all parts of your house. We don’t want new roommates who have way too many legs.

Pucker up!

How would you like lips so pink that you don’t even need to put lipstick on? That would surely make getting yourself ready for a night out fast. We might not have that, but it seems this weird plant does. Meet Conophytum pageae, the plant with humanlike lips.

Image courtesy of Pinkibanik14/Reddit

Native to South Africa and Namibia, the succulent is also known as cone plant or lips plant. It is a good choice for beginners in gardening because it isn’t difficult to care for and can live up to 50 years.

Snake party, anyone?

This isn’t a sight people with ophidiophobia will be happy with. It might just scare them out of their wits. These are garter snakes coming out of hibernation in Southern Manitoba, which has the largest concentration of garter snakes in the world.

Image courtesy of Tracy Langkilde/Facebook

Because of the extreme cold, snakes go into sinkholes created by the limestone bedrock to avoid the frost line during winter. These areas easily attract up to 20,000 snakes at a time. If that’s not Indiana Jones’ worst nightmare, we don’t know what is.

Hungry?

Rotting meat isn’t appealing to us, but there is a species of bees who love feasting on them. Yup, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Bees who love rotting meat? That’s news to us, too. Vulture bees, otherwise known as carrion bees, are carnivorous.

Image courtesy of Paczki sa nalepsze z dzemem/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

These bees are stingless, and their diet of dead animal flesh wasn’t discovered until 1982—we can thank entomologist Davi Roubik for that find. They are found in parts of the world where nectar-rich flowers are scarce. Well, that’s one way to deal with a food shortage.

Is that you, Pennywise?

Pennywise must have gotten tired of spending his days in sewers and he got out for some sunlight. And what better way to do so than on a banana tree? This banana blossom has a striking resemblance to the maniacal killer clown.

Image courtesy of PepperMillCam/Reddit

Banana blossoms or banana hearts don’t bite, and we guarantee you they’re harmless. But we’re not sure about this one because this is the first time we’re seeing Pennywise banana blossoms. Best to stay away until they conduct further studies.

The earth is going to swallow us all

If some monstrous creature comes out of this huge crack and devours all the residents in this town, we won’t be surprised. If you happen to be living nearby, you better pack your things and never look back. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Image courtesy of fartfan141/Reddit

We don’t know why, but things like this fill us with a sense of foreboding. We might be exaggerating a little when we talk about monstrous creatures, but this still doesn’t feel safe. It could be tectonic faults, but it could also be the work of the devil, for all we know.  

Hope your butt doesn’t get bitten in the morning

We usually go to the bathroom and relieve ourselves first thing in the morning while still half asleep. However, seeing something like this is going to jolt you into your senses. How would you like a snake bite on your bum?

Image courtesy of Frank Curtis/Facebook

Yes, folks, that fear of being bitten by a snake in the toilet is not impossible. It could happen anytime, so you should make a quick inspection before you start unloading your bladder. Sleep crust can wait; check for snakes first.

Release the Kraken!

If this is what happens when you’re at sea, then thanks but we’ll stay on land. Imagine how surprised and horrified you would be if you were paddleboarding and just minding your own business when this huge squid decides to get into your personal space.

Image courtesy of James Taylor/YouTube

But there’s a sad backstory to this photo. The poor squid was actually dying, and if you watch the video on YouTube, you’ll see that half of its body has already been eaten by another sea creature. Yup, that’s just the natural order of things.

Locking yourself indoors isn’t a bad idea

It’s important to get some sun and to engage in outdoor activities that will stimulate your senses. A lot of doctors recommend against a sedentary spent indoors in front of the computer and the television, but if this is what’s waiting for us at the door, we’d gladly be couch potatoes forever.

Image courtesy of Vampsgold/Reddit

This is not one but two insects. It’s a wasp and a Huntsman, and before you even think of asking, no, the photo was not zoomed. That’s their actual size. You want to take a guess where this photo was taken? We have an inkling that it’s Australia.

We’re not going anywhere near that

The person who took this photo described that thing as oozing when touched. What?! They touched that? We won’t even dare to go near that. We’re shaking our heads because people just surprise us every day. That’s a slime mold right there.

Image courtesy of ecanem63/Reddit

It’s a name given to several kinds of organisms that live in rotting logs, garden beds, woody ornamental plants, and lawns. This fellow seemed to have lost his way and built a home on the light switch. Time to burn the house down.

Your dinner is still eating dinner

Your eyes are not deceiving you; what you see is not an optical illusion. It’s a snake-eating lizard that’s eating a snake that’s eating a lizard. Confused yet? Don’t worry there’s a lot that we’re still trying to come to grips with.

Image courtesy of offthemapbooks/Facebook

That snake may be going down, but it’s bent on taking the lizard with it. We’re curious if the photographer used an expensive camera with a high-powered zoom or if they tried to go near the snakeception that’s happening in the photo.

They’re reaching for you

This plant has creepy little hands that we don’t want anywhere near us. It could start poking and scratching us, and heaven knows other things which we don’t even want to think of anymore. This is creepy, especially if it’s dark.

Image courtesy of _roosterman_/Instagram

If you’re looking to add this to your creepy little garden, it’s the Fatsia japonica. Also called the false castor oil plant, the plant is native to southern Korea and southern Japan. The evergreen shrub has small, white flowers that bloom in early winter or late autumn.

Wow, more snakes!

As if that snake pile wasn’t enough, here is yet another snake, but this one is also a safety latch. Look at it making sure that no toddler ever comes near that kitchen drawer again, and messes up whatever is stored in there.

Image courtesy of -rock-bobster-/Reddit

This is guaranteed to drive away not only toddlers but adults too. For what it’s worth, no one’s going to go near the kitchen again, so you might end up ordering take-out and delivery for all your meals in the future.

We’re not going anywhere near this

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, you surely must have noticed that this tree stump has an uncanny resemblance to the Sarlacc. The Sarlacc can be found in the Great Pit of Carkoon. It is buried, except for its massive mouth, similar to this tree stump.

Image courtesy of Viacra/Reddit

Imagine passing by this when only the moonlight is illuminating your path. You’d immediately run for dear life, thinking that some monster from deep down the Earth’s recesses is out to get you. We want to know where this is so we can avoid this place.

How did that get in there?

Spiders get into all the nooks and crannies of homes. Believe us when we say so because we have proof. Just look at the photo below. We’re still scratching our heads and wondering how that little guy got in there.

Image courtesy of JoelRobisonPhotography/Facebook

Was the photographer still able to use his camera or did he throw it after seeing that it has been infested by an arachnid? Such a waste if you think of the price tags of professional cameras today, but there’s no way we’re using that thing again.

Time to pack

What would you do if you went up to your attic and saw this? Would you be rooted on the spot? Would you faint or would you scream your head off? We’d pack our bags right away, no questions asked.

Image courtesy of pavol99/Reddit

At the rate these things are going, they’d be taking over the whole house in a month. From the angle, we think it’s hornets, but we wouldn’t risk going closer, nor would we ask anyone to do that. We’ll just back away quietly…

We never knew ants liked gloves

Ants are attracted to different types of food sources, including crumbs, fruit, and syrup, but we never knew that ants were attracted to synthetic polymers. If you saw this from a distance, you’d think that the glove had a life of its own and was moving on its own accord.

Image courtesy of ri4nn3/Reddit

We have one question, though: what did the ants do to the rest of the body? Did they dispose of it somewhere, or did they eat all of it? Just kidding! Ants may be nature’s cleanup crew, but we’re not on their diet.

Another creepy crawlie

We’re all for the preservation of life, but that doesn’t include hideous-looking insects and other varieties of creepy crawlies. They are much too scary to share space with, and you can never be sure if they will bite you or just look at you menacingly from a distance.

Image courtesy of ilyket/Reddit

This is another Huntsman spider who’s just casually chilling in the bathroom. They eat roaches, and we are thankful for that because we can’t stand roaches, but that doesn’t mean these spiders are welcome to hang out with us, either.

This would freak us out

Oceans and bodies of water are homes to some of the weirdest creatures, many of which we don’t normally see in shallow areas. At first glance, this looks like a monster from the deep, but it’s not as scary as you think. It’s an alligator snapping turtle.

Image courtesy of Niemeyer’s Rugged River Resort/Facebook

They’re huge and are native to freshwater habitats. One of the heaviest and largest freshwater turtles in North America, they are also called the dinosaurs of the turtle world because of their appearance. These turtles can live up to 100 years old.

Is that an armadillo in your mouth?

Neither the armadillo nor the catfish are happy with the choices they made in life. The catfish is an omnivorous bottom feeder, and some of its favorites are fish, seeds, larvae, mollusks, and crustaceans. This catfish, however, doesn’t have any of those things in its mouth.

Image courtesy of Pablo_The_Diablo/Reddit

It has got a whole armadillo in its mouth. Is this a one-off deal or a mistake, perhaps? How did the armadillo even get to the river? The universe never ceases to surprise us, sometimes in the most frightening way.

The monsters are coming!

This photo is not for the faint of heart, so look away if you’re easily frightened because this will give you nightmares for days! If we saw this, we’d be running for our lives, thinking that some alien invasion is happening.

Image courtesy of jan.vorster26/Instagram

Who wouldn’t be scared out of their wits if they were walking your dog on the beach and this horrific lineup came into view? These things are perfectly harmless, though. They are just upside-down, dried-out Aloe ferox leaves washed ashore.

Don’t annoy the bird

When you go birdwatching at the park, don’t play with your jacket zipper like this kid did. He clearly annoyed the bird to the point that it saw no other way out but to try and take away the green sweater. If someone pulled his zipper up and down nonstop in front of you, what would you do?

Image courtesy of 55chris/Instagram

You’d surely be annoyed and try to attack that person. This should serve as a lesson to everyone, Wedge-tailed eagles don’t like annoying people. Keep your zippers closed, unless you want a trip to the hospital—those huge talons can hurt.

Are you happy with your Uber?

Imagine going for a leisurely drive or rushing for work or school only to find that somebody, rather something, was riding shotgun without your knowledge. This is more common than you think. Snakes like dark and warm places, especially during winter.

Image courtesy of reddit.com

A car’s engine is both, and that’s why it’s one of their favorite places to hide. The next time you go for a drive, it’s best to check to ensure that you don’t have any surprise passengers. Surely, you wouldn’t want to be their Uber.

Yup, that bear is stuffed all right

If you’re wondering what happens when a stuffed teddy is neglected, you’re looking at it. We pity the kid who lost their toy, but we doubt they’ll want it back in this state. Mushrooms are growing on it! And they’re not the edible kind.

Image courtesy of Mush4Brains-/Reddit

If you don’t look at it closely, it looks like a piece of meat that’s been left outside for too long—minus the maggots and other insects. We’re getting some serious The Last of Us vibes here, since it looks like the fungus has taken over the teddy bear’s nervous system.

Bigger, better, and creepier

You’re not seeing multiple spiders, but that doesn’t make it any better. This is the same spider that has chosen to go back to the same place to molt 4 times. To grow, spiders need to get rid of their exoskeleton through a process called molting.

Image courtesy of Yoddlydoddly/Reddit

Through molting, spiders can grow and replace their skeleton with a newer one, and it’s more common with younger spiders. We wonder what that book is that the spider seems to love so much. Perhaps it’s a large-print copy of Charlotte’s Web.

Just buy a new car

This person bought a used car and wondered why he kept finding spiderwebs. He bug-bombed the car, and this was what he saw afterward. Well, the next time you buy a car, it’s best to check with the seller why they want to get rid of their car.

Image courtesy of SoNotCool/Reddit

It turned out that the car was infested by black widows, the most venomous spider in North America. They have a venom that’s 15 times stronger than the rattlesnake. This guy should count himself lucky; he could have been bitten.

Send it back where it belongs

The ocean is a mystery, and currently less than 10% of it has been mapped and explored. Its dark depths are home to many fascinating and sometimes terrifying creatures, and this is one of them—the blackmouth catshark. Yes, it’s one of the weirdest-looking creatures ever.

Image courtesy of rfedortsov_official_account/Instagram

It’s common in the Atlantic Ocean, from Iceland to Senegal. Its face is way too human-like for our liking. If you fished something that looked like this, would you throw it back into the ocean or take it home to show the kids?

Australia is a no-no

Again another reason not to move to Australia. The country is teeming with all the weirdest and biggest creepy crawlies that we don’t want near or inside our house. It’s bad enough if you live alone; how much more dangerous is it if you have curious children?

Image courtesy of PM_me_yr_bonsai_tips/Reddit

This is what you should expect if you go for a picnic in Oz. imagine being gone for less than ten minutes and when you come back, something is already going through your things, and we’re not talking about the two-legged kind.

Time to call the professionals

Snakes just have a way of sneaking into houses, especially the kitchen where lots of yummy food is stored. Imagine that you woke up in the morning, went to the kitchen to make some scrambled eggs, and you were greeted by this. What would you do?

Image courtesy of Rezenebe/Reddit

We’d throw up our hands and leave the house, never coming back. Ever. Seriously though, that would turn us off from eating eggs. We’d call the professionals and have this slithering intruder evicted. We’d also make sure to check our cabinets, no matter how groggy we feel in the morning.

Alien-looking spider web

At first glance, we thought that this was a spider web of an enormous and monstrous spider, but it’s just a plain spider web that’s been covered with ash. Why ash? Because the abandoned building where it was located caught fire.

Image courtesy of gynecologuy/Reddit

What was it that the bard said? “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” After seeing all these bizarre-looking things in nature, we believe him now. Who knows what else we may encounter in the wild?

Spiders the size of your palm

As if the thought of spiders wasn’t scary enough, how about spiders the size of your palm? Would that make things better or worse? If you saw a spider that size in your yard, would you be staying indoors for the rest of your life?

Image courtesy of Fat_sandwiches/Reddit

The Golden orb-weaver is the biggest orb-weaver in the world and lives in countries all over Oceania, East, and Southeast Asia. This might be a compelling reason to move away from the tropics and live somewhere cold, where the air hurts your face.

Spider casually hanging out on the fence

As if this list needed more Black Widow spiders, here’s another one. Though they’re notorious for their venomous bite, not all people who have been bitten by this spider suffer serious injury, let alone death. It seems that some people blow things out of proportion and give Black Widows a bad name.

Image courtesy of t_ste5k/Reddit

Venom or not, we don’t want those things near us or our property. This guy found the spider in his fence and caught it. Not sure if he’s planning to set it free somewhere far from his backyard, but it might just find a way back.

We never thought sea urchins were creepy

There are more than 900 species of sea urchins, but if they all look like this, looking at only one up close is more than enough. They inhabit the depths of the oceans and they thrive in all climates. As scary as they look up close, they come in all sorts of beautiful colors.

Image courtesy of rfedortsov_official_account/Instagram

You just have to be careful around them because some of them have enzymes in their venom that are powerful enough to cause muscle contractions and unbearable pain. You should definitely run in the other direction if you see a flower urchin.

This thing demands human sacrifice

This strange plant formation looks like something that brings he** upon you if you don’t give it a human sacrifice. Imagine passing by that side of the road in the dead of night. We’d be running scared like a headless chicken, thinking that death has come to take us.

Image courtesy of Adrianthrax/Reddit

Surely we’re not at the end of our life yet; we haven’t done all the things we wanted to do and said goodbye to the people who matter to us most. If you’re glib, you might just convince the thing to sit down for coffee with you and discuss a few things.

A cricket that scares us

Crickets are generally not frightening and dangerous, but you can’t say the same thing about the Bulldog raspy cricket found in Australia. Researchers have tested the bite force of countless crickets, and this one has the strongest. Where do these people find time to do to research things like this?

Image courtesy of Bugs_and_Biology/Reddit

Anyway, these things are found in wet forests, woodlands, and grasslands., but if you don’t live in or anywhere near Australia, you should be safe and have nothing to worry about. Oh, these fellas can produce silk, too, unlike other crickets.

Thissssssssssss iiiiissssssss mmmmy housssssssssssssse

Theft is rampant in certain neighborhoods, and if you live in such a place, you should either move or get the best security system. This isn’t high-tech, but it will work pretty well. You do need to feed it a few chicks in a week, though.

Image courtesy of Fritzkreig/Old.reddit.com

This “system” isn’t going to warn you when there’s someone trying to get inside the house; it will just sink its fangs into the intruder. That should be a good thing, especially when you’re trying to get some shuteye after working the whole week.