Planet Earth’s creatures with ridiculous names

By Stef Zisovska
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Planet Earth’s creatures with ridiculous names

Stef Zisovska
 
Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko  - Author: Frank Vassen - CC BY 2.0
Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko - Author: Frank Vassen - CC BY 2.0
 
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Giving names to animals is a science, and to be precise, a science with a spectacular sense of humor. You have heard about weird-looking or strange-behaving animals that inhabit our planet, but have you ever heard about the animals with the most ridiculous names? You probably know some of them, but some are just outrageously funny. Here are some of the ridiculous animal names in the world. Let’s get started!

Spiny lumpsucker

Toad and spiny lumpsuckers
Toad and spiny lumpsuckers

The lumpsuckers live in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific. The lumpsuckers have pelvic fins that they use to stick to rocks, wood, underwater debris, or even human fingers as seen in the photo. Scandinavian chefs use the spiny lumpsucker fish in their cuisine.

Wunderpus photogenicus

Close up of W. photogenicus, showing its distinctive color patterns – Author: Jenny (JennyHuang) from Taipei – CC-BY 2.0
Close up of W. photogenicus, showing its distinctive color patterns – Author: Jenny (JennyHuang) from Taipei – CC-BY 2.0

Wunderpus photogenicus is a rare octopus species living in the crystalline waters around Bali. Its dots are unique to each animal, so the scientists use photos to identify who is who. The name of this rare octopus reminds people of an announcement in a circus show: And now, Wuuunderpuuus Photoogeniicuuuus! Funny, eh?

Pleasing fungus beetle

Pleasing Fungus Beetle on Mushroom – Author: Katja Schulz – CC BY 2.0
Pleasing Fungus Beetle on Mushroom – Author: Katja Schulz – CC BY 2.0

Pleasing fungus beetles feed on fungi, plants, and fruits. They are pollinators of the ancient cycad trees. Inoffensive and without great importance for people, pleasing fungus beetles are divided into more than 100 species.

Rasberry crazy ant

Rasberry crazy ant – Author: Bentleypkt – CC BY-SA 4.0
Rasberry crazy ant – Author: Bentleypkt – CC BY-SA 4.0

These ants are crazy survivors that like to conquer as many territories as possible. They are native to South America, but they didn’t stop there. Some 15 years ago, they were spotted in Texas and were named by the exterminator Tom Rasberry. Crazy ants’ colonies have more than one queen ants which help them reproduce faster and spread with incredible speed.

Satanic leaf-tailed gecko

Male Uroplatus phantasticus – satanic/fantastic leaf-tail gecko
Male Uroplatus phantasticus – satanic/fantastic leaf-tail gecko

The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is native to the island of Madagascar. The nocturnal reptile lives in the rainforest, feeds on insects and roams the trees at night. The satanic leaf-tailed gecko is a master at avoiding predators. It’s not only the mimicry but the different behaviors as well that make the tiny reptile a perfect survivor. It can open the jaw widely to scare predators away with the intense red color inside the mouth or flatten the body to reduce the profile of its body. Smart, right?

Chicken turtle

Chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia) Florida Sub adult – Author: Glenn Bartolotti – CC BY-SA 4.0
Chicken turtle (Deirochelys reticularia) Florida Sub adult – Author: Glenn Bartolotti – CC BY-SA 4.0

No, this is not a joke! Chicken turtles live in fresh water in the southern parts of the US, and they got their name because their meat tastes like chicken. They mostly live in wet soil close to a water source. They are omnivorous and eat fish, frogs, fruit, insects, and plants. Their age range is between 15 and 25 years.

Moustached puffbird

A Moustached Puffbird in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia – Author: Julian Londono – CC BY-SA 2.0
A Moustached Puffbird in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia – Author: Julian Londono – CC BY-SA 2.0

Speaking of ridiculous animal names, here we have the mustached puffbird. It lives in tropical and subtropical forests, mainly in Venezuela and Colombia. It looks like a cartoon character, but it’s not. It’s just a regular puffbird that likes to wear mustaches, that’s all!

Ice cream cone worm

Lagis koreni (with and without tube) – Author: Hans Hillewaert – CC BY-SA 4.0
Lagis koreni (with and without tube) – Author: Hans Hillewaert – CC BY-SA 4.0

Before you start imagining tiramisu ice cream, look at the slimy worm without its cone. Lost your appetite? These ridiculous worms build a 2-inch structure of stones and sand around their bodies that looks like an ice cream cone. The shell serves as an armor that protects the soft body of the worm.

Fried egg jellyfish

The Egg Yolk Jelly (Phacellophora camtschatica) – at Monterey Bay Aquarium – Author: Tom Thai – CC-BY 2.0
The Egg Yolk Jelly (Phacellophora camtschatica) – at Monterey Bay Aquarium – Author: Tom Thai – CC-BY 2.0

The last one on our list is another food-like ridiculous name. The fried egg jellyfish lives in all the world’s oceans, although it is rare. It looks exactly like a fried egg, only with 20 ft. long tentacles. No big deal, right?

Funny-named creatures are all around us, of all sizes, colors, and numbers. We can laugh at their names as much as we want, but what matters is to leave them alone and in peace in their natural habitats.

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