30 Rarest Animals In The Whole World

Thanks to today’s technology, we know every corner of the world… or do we? Despite every effort humans have made, there are still countless species out there that aren’t fully understood by us, either because they are really good at hiding, or because they’re out of our reach. Here are 30 of the rarest animals in the whole word – which ones do you know?

#30. Mangalitsa Pig

The Mangalitsa pig – also called Mangalica or Mangalitza – is not your average pig. On the contrary, it is a fluffy version of the regular pig we are used to seeing. The Mangalitsa was developed in Hungary, and it has a thick, curly coat similar to that of a sheep, which is perfect for the harsh Hungarian winters.

Photo: Courtesy of Bored Panda

In the 1990s they were on the brink of extinction, but luckily, their breeding has become more and more popular, and there are over 60,000 of them in Europe nowadays. These cute fellows come in three varieties: blond, swallow-bellied, and red, which only differ in color. If you want to have the perfect hybrid of a domestic pig and a sheep, then this is your guy.

#29. Pink Fairy Armadillo

All armadillos are straight-up badasses because they come with their own natural armor, which protects them from most predators. But the pink fairy armadillo truly stands out, as it is the smallest type of armadillo in the whole world, and they can only be found in the sandy plains and scrubby grasslands of central Argentina.

Photo: Courtesy of  Animal Channel

Unlike most armadillos, their armor only covers the top of their bodies, and they have silky, yellowish-white fur. They are solitary, nocturnal creatures, which is why they were only discovered a few decades ago, and are extremely rare to find. But the best part of these tiny, burrowing animals is their name. We are not sure how they got it, but it just makes them even cuter!

#28. Bare-Hearted Glass Frog

Its name already gives you an idea of what we’re dealing with here. The bare-hearted glass frog is unique in that its body is almost fully transparent as if it were made of glass. This allows you to basically spot every single organ inside its tiny body, especially its heart, which stands out in its chest.

Photo: Courtesy of  Animal Channel

This unique characteristic allows them to hide from predators easily, so if you ever manage to spot them, congratulations! They live in the trees of moist forests in Central and South America and love chilling by the water. Another cool thing about these tiny critters is that they have golden eyes and fingers. There are many cool frogs out there, but these are just amazing, aren’t they?

#27. Highland Cow

No cow looks as glamorous as the Highland cow does. This majestic creature is mostly bred in Scotland and has long, luscious, wavy hair, coupled with gorgeous, long, pointy horns. Their beautiful woolly coats come in red, ginger, black, and even yellow and white. They got their name from the Scottish Highlands, where they originated, but nowadays you can find them anywhere in the world.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

These fluffy, cuddly animals are extremely unique because they actually have a double coat of hair – an oily coat on the outside and a downy undercoat – which helps them withstand the extreme weather conditions in the Highlands.

#26. Maned Wolf

Is it a wolf? A fox, maybe? Or perhaps, some kind of weird-looking deer? The answer is, none. Then you might ask yourself why it is named maned wolf, but unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for that. The truth is that this gorgeous canid is quite unique. It has very long, black legs and a fluffy coat of luscious hair.

Photo: Courtesy of KTXS

These doggos are natives of South America but are sadly endangered because of the destruction of their natural habitat. Unlike most canids, like dogs and wolves, the maned wolves live solitary lives and hunt at night. Another fun fact is that they communicate with each other through urine.

#25. Axolotl

The axolotl is unique, not only because of its funny name but also because of their nature. Often known as the Mexican walking fish, the axolotl is an amphibious salamander, which means that it lives both on land and in the water. But what is it that makes them so unique?

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Well, most amphibians start out as water creatures, but through the metamorphosis process, they develop lungs and adapt to the land. But the axolotl remains aquatic and gilled, so it never really goes through such process. Also, because of the urbanization process in Mexico, it became an endangered species, so finding one of them is very rare nowadays, unfortunately.

#24. Coconut Crab

The coconut crab could be described in Millenial terms as a thick spider. This nightmarish terrestrial creature is the largest land-living crab in the world and is also the biggest one of them. They are also known as robber crabs because they take any food that has been left on the ground unattended – so keep an eye on your food next time you’re having a picnic in Australia.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

They mostly eat coconuts, thanks to their extremely strong claws that can easily break them apart. Don’t worry though, they won’t use their massive claws on you – unless you bother them, of course – because they mostly eat fruit and seeds. However, they may resort to cannibalism occasionally.

#23. Dumbo Octopus

These adorable and strange octopuses are known as the Dumbo octopuses, because of their close resemblance to Disney’s Dumbo. They have two ear-looking flaps on the sides which look like elephant ears but are actually fins. There are 13 species of Dumbo octopuses that we know of, and they usually live at depths of around between 3,000 and 4,000 meters underwater – and some even live 7,000 meters below sea level!

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

They are so rare that an average weight hasn’t been determined, but they are believed to measure between 20 to 30 centimeters. They may also look familiar because of another Disney character: one of Nemo‘s friends in Finding Nemo happens to be a pink Dumbo octopus!

#22. Chinese Giant Salamander

You can tell by the name that the Chinese giant salamander is big, but how big is it exactly? It is actually the largest salamander and also the largest amphibian in the world, measuring up to 1.8 meters (5.9 feet), which is huge for a salamander. This big guy lives under the water full time in the rocky mountain streams of China but has also been spotted in Japan and Taiwan.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Unfortunately, the giant salamander is critically endangered because of the loss of its habitat thanks to pollution and, most importantly, overcollection, as it is considered a delicacy and is also used in Chinese medicine. Efforts to breed more of them have not been enough to save the species yet.

#21. Irrawaddy Dolphin

The Irrawaddy dolphin doesn’t look like the average dolphin you see every day, because it has a blunt, round head as opposed to a long nose. They are mostly found in Southeast Asia in discontinuous populations near sea coasts and rivers and are therefore extremely rare.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Most people would think it is a whale rather than a dolphin because of its striking resemblance to beluga or killer whales, not to mention its short, blunt, triangular fins. They are also far less social than other dolphins and are very shy of humans, which is another reason why they are hard to find.

#20. Sunfish

Don’t be fooled by the picture. Sunfish may not look so big, but they are actually huge. They are the biggest type of bonefish in the world and weigh between 247 and 1,000 kilograms (545-2,205 lb.) on average. They have a flat shape and are as tall as they are long, and they are closely related to pufferfish.

Photo: Courtesy of Spot my Dive

They are predators themselves but are vulnerable to sea lions, killer whales, and sharks. These big guys are generalist predators, which means that they eat all kinds of smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans. The females also produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate, taking the phrase go big or go home to a whole other level.

#19. Solenodon

The super adorable solenodon might look cute, but it is actually a venomous mammal, so you wouldn’t want to upset it. It sleeps by day and hunts insects by night, and it comes in two varieties: the Cuban solenodon and the Hispaniolan solenodon, both of which are endangered due to the destruction of their natural habitat and predation by cats, mongooses, and dogs.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

These furry guys have extremely elongated cartilaginous snouts that are actually very flexible and are perfect for finding bugs in narrow crevices. Their tails are scaly, and their bodies are completely covered in hair except for their feet.

#18. Dugong

The dugong is a marine mammal closely related to manatees. It is exceptionally rare because it is the only living animal of the Dugongidae family, which was hunted to extinction in the 18th century. These funny-looking animals can be found in the waters of around 40 countries which have seagrass communities since that is their primary source of food.

Photo: Courtesy of Okinawa Dugong

Because it has been hunted for thousands of years for its oil and meat, it is believed that the dugong is on its way to extinction, and efforts from international organizations to stop it have not been successful yet. Also, the fact that their habitat is being destroyed and their reproduction rate are slow also increases their chances of becoming extinct.

#17. Saiga Antelope

No, this animal didn’t get its face melted; this is what an average saiga antelope looks like. Inhabiting the Eurasian steppe zone, the saiga antelope has become critically endangered due to excessive hunting. It used to live not only in Europe and Asia, but also in North America, but it has become extinct almost everywhere.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Their unique looks have made these antelopes a target for hunters, and their horns have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Although they are a protected species, illegal hunting of the very few specimens left is still very popular, and their horns, meat, and skin are sold at very high prices in the black market.

#16. Blue-Footed Booby

The adorable blue-footed booby is a marine bird that lives in subtropical and tropical regions and is part of what is known as the boobie family. Their most recognizable trait is, of course, their bright blue feet, which are extremely rare. But why do their feet look like that?

Photo: Courtesy of All About Birds

Well, their bright blue color is actually a sexually-selected trait whereby the male dances and shows its feet in an elaborate mating ritual in order to seduce the female. Their feet also are a way to communicate with each other, and the brighter the blue color of its feet is, the healthier the bird is, which is key when it comes to looking for a partner to mate with.

#15. Fossa

The fossa kind of looks like a cat, a hyena, and an otter at the same time, doesn’t it? This beautifully strange creature is endemic to Madagascar and is closely related to the mongoose family and not to felines, although it shares many characteristics with them. It is the largest carnivore mammal in Madagascar and has the size of a small cougar.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

They feed on basically everything, including lemurs, birds, rodents, and lizards, and hunt both by day and night. Although the species is widespread, they are considered to be under the threat of extinction due to habitat destruction, so we might not be seeing many of them in the near future, sadly.

#14. Gharial

At first, you might think this is just another crocodile, but it is actually a unique member of the crocodile family. The gharial is a fish-eating croc that can be found in the sandy freshwater river banks in India, and it is sadly endangered due to the depletion of fish resources, the loss of its habitat, and death by entanglement in fishing nets.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

What sets them apart from other crocodiles is that they have a boss at the end of the snout, which looks like an earthenware pot known in Hindi as ghara, which is where their name comes from. These crocs are so rare nowadays that they inhabit 2% of the land they used to.

#13. Markhor Goat

Just look at those horns! The markhor goat is a majestic creature that is native to Central Asia, the Himalayas, and the Karakoram, and is the national animal of Pakistan. Their most distinctive characteristic is, of course, their horns, which have a screw-like shape, and males can have horns as long as 160 cm (63 in).

Photo: Courtesy of Youtube

Unfortunately, markhor goats are becoming increasingly hard to find, not only because of their natural predators (bears, lynx, jackals, and golden eagles) but also because of hunting. Poaching is by far the biggest threat this species faces, as it is regarded as a valued trophy hunting prize because of its unique horns.

#12. Red-Lipped Batfish

This very unusual creature looks like it belongs in a horror movie, but it is actually a fish native to the Galapagos. The red-lipped batfish is obviously known for its bright red lips, and also for its unique shape, which doesn’t resemble ordinary fish. All fish in the batfish family have consolidated bodies – in other words, compressed bodies that don’t have normal-sized fins.

Photo: Courtesy of The Verge

Red-lipped batfish are extremely rare and can only be found around the Galapagos Islands and Peru, and can barely swim. They are bottom dwellers, which means that they are found on the ocean floor, and they basically move by dragging themselves on the floor with their pectoral fins. They might look scary, but they are actually harmless.

#11. Pangolin

Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are adorable mammals covered in scales, which is a quite unique feature. As a matter of fact, they are the only mammals that have scales from head to toe. These protective scales are made of keratin, which is the same substance that our hair and fingernails are made of. They also emit a chemical similar to the spray of a skunk to keep predators away.

Photo: Courtesy of Spirithoods

Although their incredible scales are great when it comes to protecting them from predators, they are extremely rare nowadays because of poaching. They are the most trafficked mammals in the world because their meat and scales are highly valued in the black market.

#10. Star-Nosed Mole

The star-nosed mole is no ordinary mole, as its most distinctive characteristic is its unique snout. It has twenty-two pink, fleshy appendages coming out of its snout, which serves as a touch organ. These appendages are so sensitive that they have more than 25,000-minute sensory receptors.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Their sensitivity is impressive, and they can even sense earthquakes before they happen. They fully rely on their nose because they are completely blind – I mean, who needs eyes anyway when you live underground and have the most powerful nose in the universe? Oh, and also, unlike other moles, they are great swimmers. How fascinating!

#9. Thorny Devil

Arguably the lizard with the coolest name ever, the thorny devil is endemic to the desert of central Australia. These little guys are camouflage experts, as their scales resemble the desert browns and tans of their habitat. They are covered by an intimidating array of spikes that serve as armor for predators.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Not only that, but they also have a false head on the back of their neck, which they show to predators by dipping their real head. They are some of the best camouflage devices in nature, making them barely vulnerable to predators. Even if they’re caught, their spikes make them hard to swallow and can actually kill their predators.

#8. Patagonian Mara

The Patagonian Mara is a rabbit-like mammal that lives in semi-open habitats in Argentina exclusively. In fact, it looks like the hybrid of a rabbit and a kangaroo. It has distinctive long ears and long legs which help them jump pretty high. But they have another distinctive characteristic that makes them very special.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Maras are monogamous creatures, and they find a partner and stay together for life. They only change partners when the other one dies. Another interesting fact is that the male follows the female around wherever she goes – couple goals indeed.

#7. Babirusa

The babirusa is a type of pic that can only be found in Indonesia and are, therefore, very rare. Their most distinctive trait is their long, curving canine tusks, which only appear in male specimens. Two of their four tusks actually pierce through the flesh in the snout, unlike any other animal in the world. Despite having these remarkable tusks, babirusas are mostly herbivores.

Photo: Courtesy of sVXN

They are prehistoric creatures, and cave paintings of the babirusa go as far back as 35,000 years. Sadly, they are an endangered species, and even though hunting them is illegal, it is still their biggest threat. On top of that, they are losing their habitat, which increases their endangerment.

#6. Velella

The velella is a tiny, adorable type of jellyfish that free-floats on the surface of the open ocean, and unlike the most common jellyfish, they’re harmless to humans. They are so small, they are about the size of the tip of your index finger. Because of their tiny size and the fact that they float on the surface, they can be found stranded by the thousand on beaches if there’s a lot of wind.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Believe it or not, these guys are carnivores and they usually catch their prey – which mostly consists of plankton – with their tentacles and the toxins they release. Because they are small, their toxins are generally not harmful to people, but if you find one of them, it would be wise not to touch it.

#5. Uakari

Uakaris are very unusual monkeys that belong to the New World Monkeys (monkeys that live in North, Central, and South America). What makes them stand out is that their bodies are completely covered with long hair, but their heads are bald, showing their striking red skin.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

The redness of their face is actually what determines whether they will mate or not. Females choose partners on the basis of how red their face is because the brighter the coloration of their skin, the healthier the monkey is. There are four species of uakaris, and they all share this very unique trait.

#4. Venezuelan Poodle Moth

The Venezuelan Poodle Moth is an extremely rare type of moth that was famously photographed and discovered by Dr. Arthur Anker of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 2009. Because its discovery was so recent, not much is known about it. In fact, many people on the internet believe it is a hoax. However, its existence is plausible, as there are a few furry moths out there.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Still, this fuzzy creature is an enigma, and its both cute and terrifying at the same time. Its antenna is unique, and it has bulging, black eyes that stand out in from all the fuzzy glory of its body. It is so rare, that scientists don’t know whether to classify it as its own species. Hopefully, we will get to learn more about this majestic creature soon!

#3. Naked Mole-Rat

Some people find it terrifying and others find it adorable, but one thing is for sure: the naked mole-rat is fascinating. Also known as the sand puppy, this rodent can only be found in East Africa and lives in harsh underground environments. Because of its unique traits, it can withstand conditions that no other mammals can.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Basically, the naked mole-rat regulates its own temperature and is cold-blooded. It also lacks pain sensitivity in its skin. What’s more, they are resistant to cancer and can survive oxygen deprivation. If these guys weren’t so small, they would dominate the world and take humans as their servants.

#2. Magnificent Frigatebird

There’s a reason why the magnificent frigatebird is named that way. As the largest type of frigatebird, it lives in tropical and subtropical climates in various parts of the world. Its most distinctive feature is, of course, their bright red gular sac, which only the males have. Females, on the other hand, are larger but don’t have these pouches, and their heads and bellies are white.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

This red pouch has one purpose only: attracting a mate. When the male wants to seduce a female, the pouch inflates, and the brighter the color and the bigger the sac looks, the more attractive he will seem in the female’s eyes.

#1. Colugo

Colugos are adorable mammals that live on trees and have the ability to glide. In fact, they are the best gliders of all mammals because they have extra skin between their legs that help them glide as far as 70 meters (230 ft). They are closely related to primates and are native to Southeast Asia.

Photo: Courtesy of Animal Channel

Although they resemble lemurs, they don’t belong to their family and are their own type of mammal. Unlike most animals on our list, colugos aren’t particularly vulnerable, although they are facing habitat destruction. This could eventually lead to extinction, unfortunately.

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    Angeles

    24 - Argentina.

    She's a journalist and a website developer based in New York.

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