Let’s face it—animals are cool! They are unique, and there are some pretty amazing animals in the world to explore. Switch off your TV and look at the many different wild animals, letting them amaze you with their strange ways of being closely related to the most unlikely species.
Not many animals have a claim to being boring—not even people like you or me are boring (that’s right, people are animals too). So, let’s find out about some other cool creatures that share this ball spinning around the sun today.
Our animal journey starts with cool animals—cool for different reasons than you think.
The okapi is a type of antelope with extraordinary markings on its legs and a very strangely shaped body. It looks like it’s part zebra, part giraffe, and part cow, but the coolest thing by far is its tongue.
The okapi can lick its own eyes! Its tongue is so long it can even swat flies on its neck.
The Maned Wolf
This shaggy hairiest breed is more dog than wolf, though it may look like a fox too. The maned wolf has unique “socks” on each of its legs, making its legs look really elongated, and it also has a triangular head like a fox.
Yet, the maned wolf doesn’t yap like a fox or howl like a wolf; instead, it barks like a dog. Its secret power lies in its skunk-scent glands that leave a foul smell to warn off other predators.
Heading to the ocean, the blue dragon (Glaucus Atlanticus) is one tough fish. It can eat larger venomous prey animals, and it keeps its stingers as weapons to use against its own predators (talk about taking trophies).
Don’t be fooled by the slow loris’s cute appearance, as this is one mean little furball. The slow loris is a type of primate, but it’s the only venomous primate. It secretes a poisonous substance from a gland on its arms, which it uses to deter predators.
The slow loris also has two tongues—talk about a mouthful. The jagged tongue is used like a toothbrush, while the long tongue sucks nectar from flowers like a straw. Another cool fact is that these little primates have twins and can breed from nine months old.
Staying with fluff balls, I simply adore the Angora rabbit with its lush fur coat and long hairy large ears. Angora rabbits’ wool is highly sought after for weaving dense textiles and knitting cashmere-like jerseys and coats.
The blobfish may have been labeled the ugliest fish, but it also has strong family instincts, which is why I’ve noticed the female or male may sit on their clutch of hatchlings, from the pink eggs and newborn blobfish, to ward off predators.
When diving or taking a submersible to the ocean bottom, you will see the blobfish swimming by with their mouths open, simply scooping whatever swims inside—lazy chef, right?
The pacu fish is a relative of the piranha family, but it has another creepy but cool characteristic to look out for. While the piranha has a sharp tooth to cut through fish and other aquatic animals, the pacu fish has a set of square teeth that look so much like human teeth; you’ll think they swallowed a set of dentures!
The large cat native to Madagascar is something different indeed. Fossas have the build of a cat, but they sport a long tail like a monkey. They have semi-retractable claws, unlike a cat’s, so they can walk down a tree, where a cat would have to jump down. Fossas are quite solitary animals.
The axolotl is a truly amazing creature that’s amphibian and a salamander. I find the axolotl a very colorful and cute creature with the body of a late-stage tadpole with sensors that scan the deepest waters for predators and prey.
Like most amphibians, the axolotl lives a decade, and it is able to regenerate limbs, such as their legs, and it can even recover from brain damage.
Native to South American countries, the glass frog is see-through from beneath; you can see its organs and even its beating heart. Taking transparency a step further for daddies all over, the glass frog watches over the eggs his mate will lay, taking responsibility for the clutch to hatch and keeping them safe.
Nature can be scary and dangerous, but these insects know how to blend in and stay safe—they look like sticks. The stick insect family are all wonderfully camouflaged as sticks, some even sporting leafy attachments to really blend in.
When you hear the word “bear,” you probably think of a fish-catching beast that’s ready to devour you, but the sun bear is an omnivore with a difference—they also like insects. Equipped with a ten-inch-long tongue, the sun bear can lick right into fallen tree trunks to get to its favorite delicacy—insects.
Native to Australia, the lyrebird is an oddity with its ability to mimic other animals, even copying the sound of predators to scare off other predators.
Another cool fact about the lyrebird is its remarkable tail, which features two extended feathers, much like a peacock. These feathers fold in behind him, forming a heart shape, when the male performs his mating dance.
Staying in Australia, we find the amazing wombat with its cute and chubby body and a stomach pouch that it carries its young in—just like a kangaroo.
I was shocked to discover that these cute animals can reach a meter in length, making them formidable animals indeed. Despite their chubby-sized bodies, they can reach speeds of 40 miles per hour.
Ocean reefs keep growing and require maintenance, like a hedge that needs to be pruned. Luckily, the parrotfish is up for the task.
While chewing on the reef, a single parrotfish can produce as much as 320 kilograms of sand from the coral bone (that they regurgitate), helping to form nutrient-rich sand and silt that plants grow in. To do this chewing, the parrotfish needs a hardened beak, much like a parrot’s, to chew on the coral.
Known as the flying lemur, the Sunda colugo has the longest glide distance of all flying lemurs. It does all this thanks to the gliding membrane that stretches from their mouth to their wrists and back to their body before stretching down to their ankles for a full-body glide surface.
Cool Animals To Research
Below are such animals you will want to research about.
King Brown Snake
Ever milked a snake? While this may sound gross, researchers have to do just that to obtain venom so they can make anti-venom, which saves lives.
Well, in the snake milking world, the king brown snake is the Jersey cow of milking. It produces the most venom in a single milking, a whopping 1.3 grams each time.
Owls may look so funny that you’d believe them to be a hoot. When they need a closer look at something they are interested in, an owl can twist its neck around 270 degrees. This means they can see behind them and even around to the front, eliminating blind spots.
Okay, so the next creature may not exactly sound impressive if you think they roll poop for a living, but dung beetles are the Incredible Hulks of the insect world. In human terms, a single dung beetle can move the equivalent of 80 tons.
It’s time for some fireworks, at least, the fireworks jellyfish kind. The Halitrephes jellyfish is a native of Baja California, off the Mexican coast, and it’s actually translucent, except when light is shone on it.
Imagine swimming at night and suddenly lighting your flashlight only to see a sea of fireworks—wow!
The pangolin is a type of anteater that is fully scaled. It looks like a medieval tank, and it’s a very shy creature that shuns human contact, and for a good reason.
Pangolins are the most trafficked animal on the endangered species watchlist, and their scales and meat are sold for thousands of dollars on the illegal trade market around the world.
The snail is a mystery. These slimy critters are constantly taking their homes with them since their shells are permanently attached to their backs.
Of course, every home needs renovation, and snails can heal from crushing injuries in their shells. When the need to rest hits, a snail can hibernate for up to 3 years, during which time they heal from injuries.
Called the ship of the desert, the Arabian camel can down 30 gallons of water in 15 minutes, which they store as water-rich tissue in their humps for when they don’t have access to water.
Here are some of the best animals for you.
An iconic member of the cat family has to be the Bengal tiger. While the Bengal tiger is originally from the Bengal region in India, they are often seen in zoos across the world due to its impressive markings.
Bengal tigers often terrorize local villagers, which is why people customarily wear masks with eyes at the back of their heads to frighten off the cats.
Since seeing Jane Fossey’s Gorillas in the Mist, I couldn’t wait to meet a mountain gorilla. When I finally got my chance, it was a huge thrill.
These gentle yet powerful primates are native to the Congo basin, but they are an endangered species because of deforestation and hunting. The hands and feet of mountain gorillas are often cut off as trophies by poachers as these resemble a human’s hands.
The orangutan is a large primate that has mastered something incredible—toolmaking! These primates can use sticks for fishing, and they also use weapons when there is a conflict between two family groups.
The orangutan is a highly intelligent primate; scientists have even taught them to use sign language to communicate in labs.
I like to think of the humpback whale as the Josh Groban of the sea because seeing them breach really does “lift me up.” These whales, with their barnacle-covered skins, can produce a stunning array of sounds that they sing to the deep, with some sounds lasting as long as 35 minutes.
On the African continent, the lion is the undisputed king of all animals. Given the size and sheer power of these big cats, I’m not surprised they form family units called a pride of lions.
They certainly have a lot to be proud of. Lions are some of the only animals on earth that have no natural predators.
With such a large set of teeth that are capable of biting through the neck of their prey from behind and instantly killing them, it’s quite ironic that jaguars are covered in spots in the shape of roses. Most jaguars have these spots, but 6% of wild jaguars have a rare mutation that makes them all black.
I sometimes tease my cat by sneaking up behind them, which makes them jump about 9 feet high. Snow leopards have evolved this unique ability to jump 50 feet into the air when startled or to catch prey.
Interesting Animals: Most Unique Animals
Keep reading to know more about some of the most unique animals.
The hyrax are also known as rock rabbits or dassie (in South Africa), and it’s native to the African continent, where they can be seen basking on the rocks in the early morning. These small furry animals have a surprisingly large set of teeth, and they are considered cloven-hooved, like goats, making them quite the enigma.
While most birds fly, the kakapo is one of the last remaining flightless birds in the world. This type of parrot is a ground dweller, and even more extraordinary is that it is also a nocturnal animal, only coming out during the night.
Before you think I’ve dived into myth, the hydra is a real creature, and it does have tentacles resembling many heads. But don’t be afraid, as the hydra is a tiny invertebrate animal that populates rivers in the tropics.
If Pinocchio were a shrew, it would look like the Hispaniolan solenodon (aka agouta) with the body of a rat and a seriously long and upturned nose. Even more, interestingly, the agouta is a venomous insect eater, so be wary if you try to pick one up, as they will protect themselves with a toxic bite.
While you won’t think it odd if a lizard decides to snack on a fly or a butterfly, it becomes a whole different ball game when you see a giant-size version tackle an antelope and devour it as a lion would.
The Komodo dragon is a lizard from the Komodo islands. These lizards weigh 150 pounds (more than some people do) and eat around 80% of their body weight in each meal, swallowing prey whole.
I love armadillos, but the nine-banded armadillo reminds me of a Harley Davidson biker (all dressed up in leather with studs and strings). This burrowing mammal is covered in armor plates, and the greater the number of bands it has in its armor, the more mobile and flexible they are.
While they are shy and avoid people, they are often killed because they are the only animal other than people who can get leprosy.
When I hear the name “sperm whale,” I always wonder just what gave these whales (the largest of the toothed kind) this unique name. I had a suspicion about the head shape, but it’s deeper than that.
Sperm whales have a reservoir of oily fluid inside their heads. When it makes contact with cold water, it takes on a biologically appropriate consistency that convinced early whalers that it had to be sperm.
Not only are sloth babies the cutest ever, but the sloth is super maternal (who wouldn’t want to look after such cutesies offspring?). Some of their interesting traits include moving so slowly that their hair grows moss, and their long claws are actually for climbing trees, not catching animals as sloths are herbivores.
You may have heard that koalas get a little trippy from eating eucalyptus leaves, but these cute primate ancestors can also be fingerprinted if they were ever policed for their habit. This is because koalas have fingerprints, just like people do.
What a cool name! Assassin bugs are, as their name states, quite the killer. These Malaysian bugs are ferocious killers, specifically feasting on ants, which they collect and then drain all life fluids during the kill.
Owls are so majestic, and the male barn owl certainly believes he’s a gift to all female barn owls. At least until he finds the one and mates for life. However, before the two owls can fully commit, the young male barn owl usually has a roving eye, and it may mean he’ll end up with the ugliest owl mate instead.
Not exactly the most beautiful bird on earth, but the Marabou stork has a mean reputation as it loves to kill flamingos, which I find ironic since the ugliest bird loves killing such beautiful birds. (Jealousy, maybe?) Marabou storks have long legs and a bald head that is adapted to feed on carrion and not contract disease.
Still with us? Here is a list of some exciting animals.
The movie Madagascar introduced us to different lemurs, but I adore Magic Steve, and real-life ringtail lemurs are just as quirky. In reality, ringtail lemurs have the equivalent to the French tradition of slapping someone through the face with a hankie, except they use their tails.
But wait, it gets worse! Their tails act as a fan, waving a foul scent secreted by scent glands toward their opponent, actually “out-stinking” them.
Talk about “man-power” as the male seahorse sets an epic example, actually giving birth to over 2,000 baby seahorses at a time. The female lays her eggs in his pouch, where the eggs hatch, birthing live young. When danger approaches, the young also swim back to daddy’s pouch.
With their black and white striped fur, a honey badger may look dignified, but don’t be mistaken; these animals are tough guys. A honey badger is poison-proof.
Their tough skin can deter any bite or sting, and they are immune to most poisons. They are poison-proof due to eating so many venomous snakes.
This is no laughing matter, but clownfish can change their gender. At birth, all clownfish are male, but as the need to reproduce arises, some of the school will become female because clownfish are born with both sets of reproductive organs.
Look closer, and you’ll see a creature that’s been into outer space. The tardigrade is a microscopic animal that’s almost too small to see. The tardigrade also has a unique defensive strategy: When stressed, it simply goes to sleep to protect itself.
Do you want to live forever? The immortal jellyfish can do just that. When they face famine, they can regress back to their original state before hatching a second time (or more).
The fish world is usually divided into saltwater and freshwater fish, which are then subdivided into tropical fish or cooler-temperature fish. However, the pupfish manages to survive and thrive in all temperatures and salinity levels.
I love dolphins, and these aquatic mammals are a firm favorite at aquatic shows as they are highly intelligent. But did you know that dolphins are also… well, high?
Dolphins love to play with pufferfish, which releases the pufferfish’s deadly toxin tetrodotoxin into the water, triggering a psychedelic high in dolphins. No wonder dolphins always look happy.
Swifts and swallows manage to migrate long distances, traversing oceans and continents to move from their seasonal breeding grounds to warmer climate areas.
I found it interesting to discover that some never stop flying. In fact, the Alpine swift can stay in the air for as many as six months, even catching insects and sleeping while in flight.
Coolest Rare Animals
Mentioned below are some of the coolest and most unique animals.
With large spiral horns, the markhor is a large-size goat native to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they live in the highest mountain ranges. The markhor has large horns that spiral upward in large bands.
A set of markhor horns can weigh as much as 110 kilograms, making them very strong to carry so much weight on their heads.
Lowland Streaked Tenrec
These shrew-like creatures are just fascinating. I can imagine them with a set of spectacles on their noses as they peer at me over their whiskers.
The lowland-streaked tenrec is a very unusually marked animal with yellow and black markings on a body that’s part hedgehog and part shrew.
Indian Purple Frog
Frogs usually have rounded noses, but this frog is rather pointy in its appearance. In fact, it looks like a pig’s nose, down to the pinkish color, while the body of the frog is a dark purple color.
Instead of oinking or croaking, the Indian purple frog makes a harsh clucking sound like a chicken, making for one strange animal.
The panda ant looks like a panda in ant form, down to the white furry body and black spots. The panda ant is nothing like its docile bear namesake, and the warrior ants are known to be aggressive. The ant even stings and squeaks to warn off predators.
In the early days, people used to write with a quill instead of a pen, where this animal got its unique name. It looks exactly like a quill dipped into an inkpot on the ocean floor. The sea pen expands and contracts according to diurnal rhythms, and it then feeds on microorganisms that ebb in on the tide.
Chinese Water Deer
The Chinese water deer is a ruminant feeder that closely resembles the hyrax but with longer legs and the characteristic Chinese mustache that drapes around the deer’s mouth.
Far from being hilarious, the deer seems quite distinguished. This deer species doesn’t grow horns or antlers but has elongated canines to fight with.
Australian Peacock Spider
While I love animals, I loathe spiders; however, I instantly fell in love with the Australian peacock spider. The colorful arachnid is the spider version of the colorful bird’s tail. The male spider dances with its abdomen flattened into a disk to show off its bright colors when courting a female.
Leafy Sea Dragon
Don’t be surprised if you’re swimming in the ocean off the Australian coast, and a piece of seaweed suddenly changes direction and swims past you. You’re lucky and have encountered the rare leafy sea dragon.
This creature is a relative of seahorses, and it resembles seaweed, providing amazing camouflage ability. These flotsam bits are actually its many fins, which it uses to propel itself forward.
Another cute animal makes the list, and the echidna doesn’t disappoint on the cool animal scale. The long straw-like snout of this spiky creature is specialized to help it slurp up ants from nests and inside tree trunks. Its body is defended by blunted quills, giving it a porcupine appearance.
Tall Skinny Animals
Tall and skinny animals never fail to captivate us with their unique grace and beauty. Here are a few examples.
The polecat is often seen as a ferret animal; in some cases, this is true (but not all). Both animals have the same triangular faces with round, fluffy ears and a long body and tail. Females are jills, and males are hobs. With black lines on their backs, polecats can be mistaken for skunks.
No animal has left so a mark on people that a weapon was named after it as the pike fish. Pike are found throughout Europe, and these predatory fish are renowned for their sharp teeth, which they use to strike other fish for a quick meal.
There are 3,500 snake species in the world, and these animals are always cool (they are cold-blooded) and thrilling (if scary) to see. Snakes are found all over the world, and they offer a range of colors, scale patterns, and behavior that has kept us enthralled for centuries.
Meerkats are a mongoose species native to Africa. Since Timone made the meerkat cool in the original Lion King, we’ve all developed a fondness for these curious little animals that love to stand erect on their hind feet and study the world beyond their burrows.
This great white bird is a popular sight next to rivers or in wetlands. After rain and fires, one can see them gathering for a feast as they burrow their long beaks into the soil for a tasty morsel. Like all herons, the great egret has a neck that’s longer than its body.
Ferrets are a domesticated version of the polecat, and it was originally used to catch mice and rodents. Today, ferrets are popular pets in the US, though they aren’t legal in all states.
Their long body, rounded head, and peculiar bunny-shaped body hump when they sit, are quite endearing features, and since ferrets are social animals, they blend perfectly with human company.
Needlefish are so aptly named; their long and serrated mouths are needle-shaped. You can look for these fish in open water and freshwater, but take care, as needlefish will rip through your skin and can cause death by impaling humans with their sharp jaws.
Imagine being killed by a 1.5-meter fish passing through your body—terrifying!
This little tree salamander is native to Mexico and is simply adorable. Its name literally means “tree” lizard, and its habitat is found beneath the bark of rotting trees.
Cool Looking Animals Benefits
There are several benefits to being a cool animal. For starters, you’re likely to enjoy protection from excessive hunting, and tourists will travel thousands of miles to come and see you.
Being cool also means you:
- Attract attention and admiration
- Are unique and special in your own way
- May make an excellent pet with a loyal owner who will look after you
What Is the Coolest Animal in the World?
The coolest animal in the world has to be the blue dragon. Imagine eating venomous animals and keeping their stingers as weapons to use against your enemies. It doesn’t get better than that, and the blue dragon is quite beautiful too.
What Is the Most Interesting Animal in the World?
The tardigrade is one of the most interesting animals in the world. It’s a complete enigma, which is why science fiction shows have often used it as an example of what a creature from outer space would look like. Imagine hibernating to get out of trouble. This animal is cool as a cucumber.
What Is the Best Animal in the World?
The best animal in the world has to be a hyrax. These small rodent-like animals are so bizarre with their cloven-hooved feet and sharp teeth. Their screech when danger approaches is something that’s even been turned into memes and adverts for different companies.
These are some seriously cool animals, and while I believe all animals are amazing, there are many species that have that X factor when it comes to the animal kingdom.
From fluffy Angora rabbits to whales that deflate their lungs, badgers with resistance to bug bites, and even a marsupial with two sets of tongues (with one for cleaning teeth and the other for sucking nectar), we don’t need human superheroes as the animal superpowers are just so much more interesting.