Peeking into a bird’s nest and seeing a few delicate eggs nestled peacefully in the brittle twigs is always a special sight. You know the tiny embryos growing inside will soon crack their way through the shells and take their first peek at the world around them. The miracle of life, no matter what the species, is jaw-droppingly awesome.
Finding bird eggs is pretty common if you live in a place where nests are abundant, but there are tons of other less-common animals that scatter their eggs as well. It doesn’t matter whether the offspring inside are slimy, fluffy, or scaly, every egg bears the world’s greatest gift: life itself. But you can’t guess what’s hiding inside just by looking at these weird and bizarre eggs…
1. Scientists discovered many of these corkscrews washed up on shores, which led them to believe they were some kind of plant. But they were wrong — you better believe there’s an animal forming inside.
When those black corkscrews finally open up, horn sharks emerge! The shape of the egg ensures when the mother shark is gone she can tightly screw it into a small crevice and keep it from drifting away.
2. If you happen to be wandering around the swamplands of Florida and come across a nest of these elongated eggs, you’d be wise to turn and bolt in the opposite direction — you don’t want to run into the mother!
Because inside are baby crocodiles! One of the most fascinating things about the eggs is the gender of the babies is dependant on temperature. Eggs birthed in water under 80 degrees Fahrenheit almost always result in females; above 80 breeds males.
3. This would be quite a vibrant sight to come across in nature, don’t you think? Some scientists have referred to these as the “fanciest eggs” in the wild, but what exactly pops out once they’re ready to hatch? Blue chickens? Not exactly…
Inside you’ll find birds, but they’re not chickens. They’re called tinamous, and they mostly reside in tropical regions to avoid ever having to migrate. Bird watchers everywhere would have a field day inspecting these fowls!
4. That coin lying next to this batch of eggs is to indicate just how small they are; you might not even see them if you were walking quickly. However, the animals who grow inside end up being large and in charge…
They’re monitor lizards, the biggest of which is the almighty Komodo dragon. These scaly hissing beasts can grow to 10 feet in length, which is quite impressive considering they start out in eggs smaller than a nickel!
5. You can find bundles of these eggs buried in sandy beach holes hidden from predators. Be careful if you spot some though; you wouldn’t want to accidentally disturb them. Once they hatch, the animals inside make a fast break for the tide…
The tenacious little creatures that eventually burst through are sea turtles! Even though these animals live in the water, the adults lay their eggs on land and hope as many of their babies as possible make the trek into the ocean.
6. This cluster of spiked spheres looks like they could be underwater mines waiting to detonate at the slightest touch. Rest assured, there’s no explosive material inside, but what is inside might irritate your nostrils…
They’re stinkbugs! These smelly and pervasive little insects can be found in most gardens throughout the United States. Due to their foul odor, they have few enemies, so once the warm weather rolls around, don’t be surprised if they start making frequent appearances.
7. While we’re all taught in school that mammals don’t lay eggs, there is one exception. Can you guess what it might be? Here are two hints: they come from The Land Down Under, and they’ve got bills…
They’re platypuses, of course! There aren’t many of them left today, but they’re still just as unique looking. They might come from eggs, but they’re all mammal once they hatch.
8. At first glance, you look at these and think, “these are definitely bird eggs.” However, even though they look like what our winged buddies lay, the animals inside actually have no ability to soar through the sky…
Inside are a species of marsupial known as echidna. The tiny pink earthworm-like babies that initially hatch grow into small spiked creatures closely resembling porcupines.
9. Unless you’re in Africa or parts of Asia, you won’t run into an egg that looks like this. That’s a good thing because the animal inside is something you’d never want to encounter…
It’s one of the deadliest snakes known to man: the cobra. Because they’re decked out with venomous fangs, an amazing sense of smell, and night vision, you better be careful if you see those oblong eggs!
10. If you’re ever walking through the forest and you come across a pile of these small translucent eggs, the creature that laid them probably isn’t far off. So what exactly is it? The answer might make your skin crawl…
Those small clear eggs give life to millipedes! It would take nerves of steel to see one of these crawling around your home and not completely freak out. Interestingly, millipedes have been around longer than any reptile, bird, or mammal.
As we’ve seen, strange animals don’t always come from strange eggs. But sometimes they do! We bet you probably haven’t heard of all these strange creatures before…
1. Pangolin: Though many may believe that the pangolin is related to anteaters, sloths, and armadillos, the truth is that this scale-covered insect-eater literally is in a category all its own! There are only four types of them in the world, too.
2. Fossa: While this unique-looking creature might bear a passing resemblance to our feline friends, that’s not the case. And even though he also looks a little bit like a bear, that’s not what he is either!
3. Lilac-breasted roller: While other birds are born with feathers that help them blend into their environment, the lilac-breasted roller can’t help but stand out from the crowd. It might look like a drawing, but it’s the real deal.
4. Glaucus atlanticus: This adorable (and pretty gooey-looking) little guy is a species of sea slug found off the coasts of South Africa, Europe, Australia, and Mozambique. Keep your eyes peeled and maybe you’ll see one!
5. Prickly bush viper: Snakes can be pretty intimidating to behold, and that goes double for this dragon-like serpent. Its uniquely shaped scales give it the appearance of being covered in a layer of feathers.
6. Jerboa: This little guy looks like he can’t decide if he is a bird, a mouse, or a teeny tiny kangaroo. He is definitely a part of the rodent family, but his athletic prowess certainly distinguishes him from the pack!
7. Dumbo octopus: When you think of the word “octopus,” you probably imagine a couple of different things. For some people, it means “dinner” (grilled octopus, anyone?), while for others it conjures up images of horror films. But have you ever thought of them as being adorable?
8. Goblin shark: For some people, there is nothing scarier about the open ocean than the prospect of coming into contact with a shark. Those people should turn away from their screens now because the goblin shark will only make it worse…
9. Indian purple frog: If you were to stumble upon this frog in the wild you might be a little confused. What is it, exactly? It kind of looks like a turtle that crawled out of his shell, but in reality, he’s just a special-looking frog.
10. Hummingbird hawk moth: Is there anything cooler than watching a hummingbird take flight? Actually, there is… and that’s watching a hummingbird hawk moth take flight! They might seem large enough to be birds, but they are all moth, baby!
11. Desert rain frog: Frogs, toads, and other animals that live in the water or in jungles tend to be born with coloring that makes them hard to see in their natural environment. This desert rain frog has a bonus trait, too…
12. Maned wolf: Doesn’t this guy look just like a fox who got a hold of some stilts? Seriously, look at daddy long-legs over there! The maned wolf is characterized by his long coat, russet coloring, and (of course) his long limbs.
13. Mantis shrimp: The mantis shrimp might just look like a colorful shrimp, but there’s so much more to this unique deep-sea creature. The mantis shrimp has powerful claws, and you wouldn’t want to get caught in its mitts.
14. Okapi: If you feel confused about this animal, you aren’t alone. He seems a little confused himself! It’s probably because he looks so much like a cross between a deer and a zebra!
15. Patagonian mara: This fellow’s closest relative is the rabbit. You can kind of see it in the ears and in its passion for all things grass- or vegetable-related. He might look shy, but maras are actually quite social.
16. Gerenuk: Have you ever seen anything like this wonderful animal before? If they look a little familiar, that’s because you might be thinking of their other name: the giraffe gazelle! That explains the long neck and passion for leaping…
17. Pink fairy armadillo: This little guy might be the smallest member of the armadillo family, but he comes in first place for total cuteness. His sweetly colored pink armor helps keep him safe from predators.
18. Red-lipped batfish: If you go looking for life near the Galapagos Islands you might see this sucker. This batfish is known for its brightly colored lips and its poor swimming ability. That’s right: a fish who is actually bad at swimming!
19. Saiga antelope: This distinct type of antelope hasn’t changed much since it first appeared during prehistoric times. However, its lack of change has also contributed to a dearth of this species left on the planet.
20. Shoebill: Also known as the whalehead, this bird’s name comes from—you guessed it—his impressively large bill. This bird is commonly found in Africa, and while he might look a little intense, he’s totally harmless.
21. Tufted deer: Blink and you’ll swear that this next critter is some sort of vampire. But don’t worry—you don’t need to break out the garlic! This deer might look like she “vants to suck your blooood,” but that’s just the way her teeth have evolved over time.
22. Sunda flying lemur: How many times do you think this poor guy has been confused with a bat? While he might be able to glide through the air with the greatest of ease, this little fellow is actually a lemur!
23. Chevrotain: You may have to travel to southeast Asia if you ever want to sneak a peek of this truly unusual-looking animal. This little guy is one of the last members of the primitive ruminant family, meaning he’s got four stomachs!