Reddit | twilitreyn

15+ Dazzling Surprises That Nature Was Keeping From Us All Along

When we're bored and browsing random parts of the internet, we may come across a picture of an animal that really stands out and makes us raise our eyebrows.

Whether it's just way more colorful than we would expect it to be or features a part that we've never seen on that type of creature before, it doesn't seem real when we first look at it. And since we know that some people out there aren't above photoshopping random animals with eye-catching results, it's natural to figure that it can't be real.

However, sometimes these seemingly impossible creatures do exist, but are just a sight that nature apparently doesn't feel like showing us very often. But it only takes one person with a camera to spot them before the secret is out and we have quite a few to thank for this gallery of nature's wonders.

This is a New Zealand Kea and it's considered the world's only mountainous parrot.

Reddit | HellsJuggernaut

Although it's definitely a charming and apparently intelligent creature, the sad truth is that there are only between 3,000 and 7,000 left.

As The Guardian reported, this is partially because humans give them the wrong food or accidentally hit them with cars, but its other big threats are invasive species and lead poisoning from the old huts dotting New Zealand's South Island.

It's really not clear just how muscular a kangaroo is until you get close to one like this.

Reddit | NulloK

Of course, getting this close to a kangaroo when it doesn't want you around is a great way to find out just how strong it is in the most painful way possible.

So it's no wonder that's not more commonly known.

Although a sea slug may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of cute animals, it's hard to deny how adorable this one is.

Reddit | Jhenning04

Although we have to chalk it up to pure accident that the Costasiella kuroshimae looks like a cartoon sheep, that's not the wildest thing about it.

Research has shown that slugs of this kind are actually able to engage in photosynthesis to a limited degree. That green coloration definitely seems appropriate now.

This monkey is called a Zanzibar Red Colobus and there's one thing that makes it distinct from other monkeys of its kind.

Reddit | PathToExile

As Richard Wrangham wrote, it's actually smaller than the rest of them, which is likely because it had to adapt to the conditions of the islands that make up Zanzibar, which is the only place in the world you can find the little guys.

It's unclear how this happened, but it looks like this is one snail we wouldn't want to mess with.

Reddit | TwitchyPath9920

In case it's not clear, a wasp nest somehow ended up attached to this snail's shell.

However, this picture also illustrates why that doesn't usually happen because the nest looks old and abandoned. Despite the wasp's best efforts, they weren't able to turn snails into mobile command centers.

Lucky for us, isn't it?

This is a horned screamer and it's known as the unicorn of birds.

Reddit | pansycam

As you might have guessed, that's because of that peculiar, thin cartilage spike growing out of its head.

As National Geographic reported, that spike isn't actually a weapon and is known to break off and grow back many times as the bird ages. So it's actually unclear why the horn is there at all.

Camouflage is a valuable method of surviving in nature, but it's not just for lizards and insects.

Reddit | lowchan_r

Although it's likely difficult for this jaguar to blend into many environments, we probably wouldn't notice it if we happened to walk by this tree until it was too late.

This is a bristlecone pine and in addition to looking very distinct, it's probably looked that way for longer than most things have existed.

Reddit | joeepeterson03

According to the National Park Service, these are among the oldest living trees in the world with two notable examples living to be 4,900-years-old and 5,065-years-old.

This is a red-eyed crocodile skink and it's apparently much more shy than its rough-edged appearance would suggest.

Reddit | Brilliant__Miner

As Reptile Magazine reported, that doesn't mean that it isn't resilient as some have managed to live among piles of coconut husks on plantations that wouldn't otherwise be a suitable habitat for them.

The Chinese hourglass spider has markings that seem more like they were carved onto a stone tablet than like they occurred on an animal's body.

Reddit | IronBTWxD

Indeed, The South China Morning Post confirmed that people were just as amazed by their odd look when this spider was first sighted 1,000 years ago.

However, they're also so rarely seen that they've only been sighted in the wild six times. Fortunately, someone brought a camera during one of them.

It's clear from its odd leg structure that the lesser Egyptian jerboa is a unique creature.

Reddit | happywithsushi

Unfortunately, it seems that it's almost too distinctive for its own good as research suggests that the endangered creature is exceedingly hard to breed.

Unlike most jerboas, it also doesn't hibernate during the winter.

These macabre figures are called sea squirts and the way they defend themselves is even more intense than you might expect.

Reddit | Waaaaaah6

According to Science Magazine, they actually squirt their entrails out of their bodies when they're threatened. More specifically, they can lose their stomachs, rectums and part of their intestines while doing this.

They're able to grow it all back within 12 days, though.

While it's generally not a good idea to touch strange birds, in the case of the hooded pito hui, that's not because it'll peck you.

Reddit | Hotel777

As confirmed by Joe Schwarcz at McGill University, that's because it'll actually poison you with a potentially lethal batrachotoxin.

This makes it one of the only if not the only poisonous birds in the world and it apparently got its rare defense mechanism from the Melyrid beetles it likes to eat.

Although it's very rare, it's actually possible to see a blue white-lipped pit viper as opposed to the usual green.

Reddit | Bunnystrawberry

According to Australian Geographic, all current signs seem to suggest that any pit viper of this kind that turns light blue will stay that way forever.

No matter how beautiful it looks, though, it's best to keep your distance. White-lipped pit vipers are known as the most common venomous bite hazards in Bali, Indonesia due to how aggressive they are.

That owl figure is supposed to stop birds from nesting, but it's obvious that not all of them are falling for it.

Reddit | Uncorrelated_AF

These two neighboring ospreys, for instance, are the kind of fearsome birds of prey that you might expect not to be too intimidated even if this was a real owl.

So while the fact that this "owl" isn't moving seems to be a source of curiosity for the one on the right, it was obviously comfortable enough to set up its nest.

It kind of looks like nature has managed to create its own pearl necklaces, but that's not quite what we're looking at here.

Reddit | tjoelips

Instead, these are actually drops of dew that formed on a spiderweb. It's amazing how two common sights can look so dazzling when you put them together.

It should be pretty obvious why this bug is called a Cyclommatus metallifer, but those huge mandibles aren't there for the reason you might expect.

Reddit | jupark

Although I'm sure these would come in handy when the beetles need to pinch something, it's worth noting that only male members of the species have them.

That's right, nothing attracts lady beetles like some massive mandibles.

Speaking of buggy romances, here we can see two slugs sharing a nice meal together.

Reddit | twilitreyn

Of course, it would probably be difficult to agree that this would be so appetizing if you aren't a slug yourself.

Why? Well, it turns out that they're eating yet another slug that they apparently weren't as fond of.

Although some screech owls are known to make terrifying noises, the Eastern screech owl sounds about as cute as it looks.

Reddit | NulloK

As one video of one makes clear, these little fellows are known to make a high-pitched trill or warble rather than the blood-curdling screams you might hear from other owls.

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