It’s time for the weirdest, ickiest, creepiest creatures to step out into the moonlight and shine. Meet the top animals most likely to make you go “ewww" from the pages of the Nat Geo Kids book That's Gross by Crispin Boyer.
This little creature walks the line between cute and creepy. With its bright yellow eyes, leathery ears, and—perhaps most eerie—its slender fingers, the aye-aye is a very unusual primate.
The aye-aye uses its exceptionally long middle finger to dig out insects from trees and to scoop out the flesh of coconuts and other fruits. Found only on the island of Madagascar, aye-ayes are some of the weirdest primates on the planet.
Giant wetas are big bugs. Very big. Found in New Zealand, giant wetas are among the largest and heaviest insects in the world. These big bugs filled the role of rodents before land mammals were brought to New Zealand. Its genus name, Deinacrida, means “terrible grasshopper” and we can see exactly why.
This little guy has earned the nickname “water monster” because of his funky looks. This Mexican salamander looks so strange because it’s a creature seemingly caught between childhood and adulthood—like a tadpole that never quite became a frog. The axolotl retains its feathery external gills and finned tail while other salamanders leave those features behind. But with his fancy frills and wide grin, we still think he’s pretty sweet.
NAKED MOLE RAT
Beady eyes, big teeth, and wrinkly flesh make us glad the naked mole rat spends its time underground. Naked mole rats are the only mammals that live like insects, forming close-knit colonies underground and taking on the jobs of worker drones and soldiers to serve the queen. They tunnel through the ground searching for tasty tubers and roots—but because these foods are hard to digest, they sometimes snack on their own poop to absorb more nutrients.
GOLIATH BIRD-EATER SPIDER
Despite its name, birds do not make up much of this spider’s diet. But don’t let your guard down just yet! This is the world’s heaviest spider and one of the largest in terms of leg span. It has fangs nearly an inch (25 millimeters) long!
While a Goliath’s venom is not lethal to humans, this tarantula has another trick up its hairy leg. It can release barbed hairs on its abdomen at an attacker, which are extremely irritating to the skin, eyes, and mouth.
The star-nosed mole seems pretty ordinary apart from one defining feature. Can you spot it?
This mammal has a hairless nose ringed by a “star” of 22 fleshy rays that squirm like little fingers. The mole uses its unique tentacles to search for food and literally feel out its surroundings.
DEATH’S-HEAD HAWK MOTH
As if the skull pattern on its back wasn’t scary enough, the death’s-head hawk moth makes a creepy squeaking noise when it’s in a bad mood. Although not dangerous to people, these moths appear in many scary stories and tales of the supernatural.
This is the world’s worst dinner guest. This nasty parasite infiltrates your body through undercooked meat and makes its home in your intestines, where it helps itself to everything you eat. A tapeworm can swipe your body’s nutrients for years and can grow to a length of 12 feet ! Most hosts don’t realize they are infected until they spot tapeworm bits in their poop.
The blobfish didn’t just top our list—it was voted the world’s ugliest animal and it serves as a mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.
We can’t deny it, the blobfish is no Prince Charming—at least not on land. But in the blobfish’s highly pressurized deep-sea habitat, 2,000 to 4,000 feet underwater, it looks like a pretty normal fish. Blobfish have little in the way of bones or muscle, which allows them to survive in such extreme pressure.