Some of Earth's stunning creatures and natural phenomena are just the way they are meant to be, and others are what we call "glitches in the Matrix" or nature's beautiful blunders. Outdoorsy folks have spotted these mishaps while camping, fishing, or gardening away in their own backyard. Lucky for us, they snapped plenty of photos - and now you get to be amazed by this rare and special side of Mother Nature, too.
Just like in humans, where things can go awry with development, this happens in the wild, too. The most common lobster is the brownish muddy colored ones that blend really well with the ocean floor (which makes sense), but lobsters do come in other colors like blue, orangy red, yellow, and of course, this guy here: a split colored lobster. Being born a split-colored lobster is a 1 in 50 million chance.
But the fascinating thing about split-colored lobsters is that they are conjoined twins, and 9 out of 10 split ones are hermaphrodites. These are some of the rarest lobsters around, aside from albino ones, of course.
We Swear This Bull Isn't on Steroids
Cancel the gym membership for this bull, as it's not needed. The Belgian Blue Bull is known for having a gene mutation that causes "double muscling." The absence of Myostatin, which regulates muscle growth, is what causes excessive growth of their muscles. They are a very gentle breed despite their appearance. Belgium Blue is the preferred cattle since they have over 20% more muscle mass, making them more sellable for meat.
We are happy to report that they don't suffer from this condition, and they aren't on steroids. Well, maybe you could call this nature's steroid, but humans aren't responsible for the genetic mutation. What a relief!
Kermit the Frog Isn't a Vegetarian
Frogs are fascinating little creatures. They start off as tadpoles swimming in the water and evolve into jumping land animals. They also have a peculiar diet since they eat plants and animals, like this guy here who decided to eat a baby snake for lunch. That little screaming mouth inside this Australian Green Tree Frog is either a small lizard or a baby snake, you decide. It's an awesome predator-in-action shot, that's for sure.
Most adult frogs are carnivorous and will eat lizards, crickets, spiders, and even other frogs. It's hard to believe Kermit the Frog could be such a predator in the wild. Who would've thought?
The Birds Are Coming
This looks like a scene from the movie Birds, with thousands of birds flying overhead, trapping you on the ground with nowhere to hide. Luckily, this picture is more innocent than that. It's millions of Starling birds migrating from Northern Europe to Italy. This photo was taken in Rome when the migrating season was in full force, between October and February. If you cut off the bottom of the photo, it could be static from an old television.
There are so many birds that they even block out the sun and give a gloomy feeling in the air. It gives the feeling that bad things are coming, but they're only doing what they know-- heading south.
Would You Eat a Fruit That Looks Like a Human Hand?
Yes, this is really a fruit found in Asia. Called Buddha's hand for obvious reasons, this fruit is in the citrus family, and while it contains no juice or pulp, it is very fragrant. Mostly used for its scent in perfuming rooms, it's also used raw in salads, dressings, and even baking. There are a few varieties of this fruit and what you see here is the closed hand as opposed to the open-handed one.
When ripe, they turn yellow like a lemon, and the open-handed ones look even freakier than this one. They also make great alcohol infusions; a fruit like a hand in a bottle of vodka -- now that's weird.
Watch Out: Flying Fish Are Real
Flying fish are like one of those things that couldn't decide if they wanted to be birds, soaring in the air, or fish, swimming in the ocean. It seems their indecision has given them the best of both worlds. They are fish that breathe underwater like any other fish, and yet they can leap out of the water and glide through the air like a bird. Check out the "wingspan" on this guy.
It's believed nature designed these flying fish with the ability to leap and glide in the air to escape predators in the water. They have the best of both worlds, though, like this guy who flew onto a boat.
Not a Sight You See Often
Capturing lightning striking on camera is not an easy feat anytime, but capturing six lightning strikes at once is a long shot by any means. This photo of Lake Michigan on a stormy night is something out of a sci-fi movie with creepy music. They could be rays from an alien invasion of earth. Also, if you stare at them long enough, they kind of look like stick figures walking around the lake.
While lightning may be beautiful to look at from afar, lightning is known to strike people; although rare, it does happen. If you happen to be that unfortunate to be struck, no worries; only 10% of people die.
Curly The Horse
This is not a life-sized stuffed animal horse with fuzzy hair that you can braid like Barbie doll hair. This is a Bashkir Curly, or Curlies as they are called. Curlies come in all shapes and sizes and are found throughout the world. What's special about them? Obviously, their unique gene that results in curly hair. Absolutely adorable in any color, these curlies top the charts of cuteness compared to the straight-haired horses we all know.
It's like a giant cuddly horse that all you want to do with it is pet him while running your fingers through his awesome soft curls. It's not every day you see a fuzzy horse chilling.
When the Clouds Teamed up With the Aliens
Have you ever been driving calmly on your way to work, school, or just running some errands when suddenly you start fearing you're about to be sucked into the sky by a UFO? If you've never had that fear, you've probably never encountered clouds like the ones pictured below. Just take one glance, and you'll see what we're talking about; these fluffy beauties look like alien UFOs in disguise!
If we saw these while out on the highway, we'd hit on the gas real strong, real quick. It feels like any moment now, some cloud-like ladder will come down, and the alien invasion will begin.
The Crabs Stop Traffic Once a Year
Every corner of this earth is full of unexpected things. Australia is home to many strange and unexpected things, as well as cuddly koalas. They even have a red crab migration that takes over Christmas Island while all the crabs make their way to the ocean so they can mate and have babies. Oh, the circle of life. It's a real crab jam in town when these crustaceans are migrating from October till November.
How funny is it that the streets are overrun by red crabs? Like, oh, we can't make it to school today; it's a red crab migration day! If only we could use a creature mating season for a day off.
Did You Know There Are Electric Blue Tarantulas?
This guy looks like he was made with blue kids' pipe cleaners at the crafting table of school, but this is actually a real cobalt blue tarantula. See-- some tarantulas are colorful and are popular pets because of it. Having a tarantula as a pet is a hard sell at the pet store so being blue helps a lot, apparently. We love the color blue, but this isn't getting anywhere near the house.
Although they make popular pets in the spider world, these guys are fast and defensive with potent venom if you get bit. No worries, though; they are only native to tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia.
The Glasswing butterfly has been practicing being invisible since its very existence. We would say it's doing a pretty good job, too, considering it's a rare find to snap a photo of this butterfly. Greta Oto is this butterflies name, in Greek, meaning pearl ear, but in all of Central America where this butterfly lives, it's called "espejitos," meaning little mirrors. Its transparent wings are great camouflage, so it doesn't need extensive colors to blend in or stand out.
Consider it built-in protection, making it very hard to see and become someone else's lunch snack. Who wouldn't want to be invisible at one point or another? Wouldn't we all like to have the option?
Possibly the Biggest Cow in the World
Blossom, the Holstein cow, stood at a whopping 6 feet 4 inches and was the world's tallest cow according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She lived on a farm in Orangeville, Illinois, where her owners had no idea when they got her at eight weeks old, she would grow and grow and grow some more. There has been no bigger cow to ever be recorded in history, period.
You could say she was an anomaly in nature, but what an incredible anomaly she was. Patty Meads- Hanson, Blossom's owner, said she was the best greeter on the farm, and everyone loved seeing blossom.
For When You Can't Decide What Kind of Apple to Buy
Most people who like apples have a very firm stance on what variety of the fruit they prefer. Especially when it comes to red apples versus green apples, the debate on which is yummier can get pretty heated if the people debating are passionate enough about it. But now, we've got what we're calling the Apple for Peace: half red, half green. It's here to help the two opposing sides reach a common understanding.
Apparently, this little guy grew by chance in someone's garden. We wonder what the inside looks like and, of course, what it tastes like.
This Pigeon Tasted the Rainbow
You know the Skittles slogan, "Taste the rainbow?" Well, this pigeon took things to another level and literally became the rainbow. Check out the fabulous feathers on this bird spotted in the United Kingdom. It's gorgeous, and we're pretty sure that if more pigeons looked like this, they would be more well-liked by humans. We couldn've have tie-dyed a rainbow any better ourselves. As usual, Mother Nature does it best.
And we've got a feeling this little guy knows he's got a leg up on the other pigeons. Just look at the way he's strutting his stuff n the windowsill.
A Zorse on the Farm
This isn't a paint job or optical illusion-- nope, this is a zorse, which is the offspring of a male zebra and a female horse. They look like a horse and have stripes like a zebra. These animals have been bred since the 1800s when Charles Darwin observed them. They are super cool, looking as if someone started painting a zebra and left half the canvas blank. It's like he's not sure what to be.
They are definitely a sight to be seen. You might even need to touch him to believe it is real. The stark change in color gives the appearance that it's not real. Oh, but he is real alright.
Rare Albino Baby Dolphin
Angel, as she is called, was saved from Taiji in Western Japan from the nets of fisherman rounding up dolphins for their meat. Angel was spared, but her mother wasn't as lucky. Being different hasn't stopped Angel from being herself. Look at her here keeping up with the best of them. There's a beauty about being different, and sometimes there's a cost to be paid as well. Angel has known both.
Angel now lives in captivity, and while she may be safe from fishermen and their nets, she's not really free like she was before. Objects of beauty like Angel pay a hefty price.
A Square Starfish
It's ok to be different; we all are, whether we like it or not, so just embrace your uniqueness. We hope the rest of the Starfish feel the same way we do for the sake of the square Starfish. Genetics may have done him wrong by making him a square, but he's just as pretty as the rest. Caused by a birth defect, he looks like a ravioli with an intricate design.
It's not every day you see a square starfish, but it just goes to show that genetics plays a part in every living thing on the planet, and no one is exempt.
The Mysterious Crooked Forest
There are around 400 curved trees in the crooked forest near the town of Gryfino, Poland. Planted around 1930, all bent facing north, these trees have been a mystery that's still not solved. These are pine trees, and only this area of trees is curved while other pine trees around are not. Many theories exist, like aliens, German tanks running over them while they were still younglings, or a strange gravitational pull in the area. Take your pick.
Still, others think they were manipulated by local farmers to make curved furniture, and with the onset of World War II, the townspeople of Gryfino simply left to never return.
A Flower With No Stem, Roots, or Leaves
The Rafflesia Arnoldii, or corpse flower, is a parasitic flower that has no stem and lays on the ground, feeding off of other vegetation. It is the largest and stinkiest flower on earth at three feet in diameter and weighing almost 20 pounds. It's a really beautiful flower from a distance since, after all, it is killing and eating other plants to survive; it gives off the smell of rotting flesh.
This flower has problems since it smells like rotting flesh and is endangered in its native Southeast Asian rainforests. Yet these mysterious parasite flowers with no stem, roots, or leaves continue to capture our eye.
Yes, White Ladybugs Are a Thing
It may be your first thought that this is an albino ladybug, but that's not the case, as white ladybugs are more common than most people think. There are three types of white ladybugs, but this beauty is the 15 spotted white ladybug that is native to North America, so look closely next time you're in nature as you could have a chance to see one of these in person. Keep your eyes peeled.
As they get older, they become more grayish in color, and their spots start to fade. These are the cutest beetles around-- ladybugs, that is. Plus, they are great garden helpers, so keep them around when you find them.
Two Halves Make a Whole
It's not every day we get to see a turtle with two sides to him. Split down the middle like two separate turtles fused together, this little guy is sporting two different designs. Maybe he is a conjoined twin? If it can happen to humans and lobsters, why not turtles too? Whatever the reason, genetic mutation, confusion in the womb, or fused twins hatched from the same egg; we think he's awesome.
We don't know what the odds are of this happening, but we know for sure he's a rare find and the most special turtle we've ever seen. Carry on turtle and show off your best side.
Mixed Signals Peacock
This peacock may have a hard time finding a mate since the more colorful and elaborate the feathers, the more attractive they are, in the peacock world, anyway. This peacock's condition is partial leucism, meaning that some parts of the body fail to have pigment while others do. This is not so uncommon among birds and peacocks. Here, this fella has three variations: light green, white and dark coloring.
It looks like someone forgot to finish coloring in the peacock, or there was a glitch in his genetic makeup. No matter, though, peacocks are stunning birds, and this guy is even more unique than the rest.
It looks like this grasshopper bumped into a Pink Flamingo, and the pink rubbed off on him. Nope, that's not what happened. This is actually a pink grasshopper, or cricket, as some say. Typically they are bright green, and pink or tan are considered rare. They are found in North America, so you never know when you will come across a pink cricket hopping along. Not your everyday color, but he's working it.
The wonder of being different. We just find this small creature adorably intriguing for being hot pink in the forest. Not exactly the best camouflage in the forest, but still, we're grateful it exists.
Dragons Do Exist
This little guy is smiling for the camera. Basically speaking, he's a sea dragon with a cool personality, but more specifically, he's an Axoloti, or in layman's terms, a salamander. This paedomorphic salamander is unusual since he doesn't change form as most salamanders do. He's like cute and freaky at the same time, straight out of a sci-fi movie. Aside from the smile, you have to love those furry horn-like things sticking out of his head.
For a small creature, he definitely has the coolness factor going for him. He's definitely the most awesome salamander we've ever seen.
Two Claws for the Price of One
When someone found this giant reb crab on the beach, he looked a bit different, so with a closer look, you'll notice he has a second claw that grew alongside the first. This just goes to show that humans don't need to mess with genetics because nature does so all the time. It doesn't look like his second claw works as pinchers should, but no matter, he has four spikes instead of two.
The ocean is full of interesting and bizarre creatures, and if we only saw this guy, we would think they are all like this. Maybe in a thousand years, this will be the norm.
A Real Lorax Tree
Certainly, there is a bit of truth to the Lorax, Dr. Suess's Book; after all, isn't this a Lorax tree? Well, the truth is, it's not even a tree. This electricity pole has been converted into a Sociable Weaver bird nest. Apparently a deluxe bird nest, with the top floor being a love bird suite. But seriously, this is a super-sized bird nest that can house up to 100 pairs of birds. They build the largest nests on the planet.
These are smart little birds that build complex nesting structures for the good of the whole flock. It's like a pre-planned condominium building created just for relatives. Oh my, the thought of all relatives under the same roof.
A Treasured Elephant
All babies are adorably cute; that's how they were designed and why everyone falls in love with them. Especially this one, who is a white pinkish baby elephant. This little darling has white peach fuzz all over her, making you just want to snuggle up to that adorable face. White elephants are considered rare; traditionally, it is believed to bring good fortune in the Buddhist religion that dominates Myanmar, where this baby lives.
This adorable bundle of joy is getting a bath by her caretaker in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. She's one special elephant, as you can see, and gets lots of attention for it, too.
Everything Is Not as It Seems
Nature never ceases to amaze, and if you live in a place with extreme cold, you may have the chance to see this amazing phenomenon in person. Frost flowers occur on young sea ice or thin lake ice when the air is colder than the water. They usually come as clusters and really look like flowers made of crystal-like snow. It's as if Elsa from frozen waved her hand and sprinkled ice flowers across the land.
No two snowflakes are the same, and neither are any two frost flowers. They are all quite wonderful to look at and almost have a mesmerizing effect on us. Like no snow formation seen, ever!
A Willy Wonka Tree
This has got to be the coolest tree ever. It bears fruit from its trunk and not its branches. This is a very cool tree to own and a total conversation piece. The jabuticaba tree is native to South America and produces red giant like berries that have white juicy sweet flesh inside. This is a tree that keeps on giving since everyone can reach a piece of fruit from its trunk.
No climbing is needed to get the goods from this fruit tree. It's a tree out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where everything is edible. Nature's best tree ever.
It's a Rainbow Fish, Not a Clown Fish
This is no clownfish from Finding Nemo; this is a Surge Wrasse, or as us, regular folks call it, a rainbow fish. It's a weird name for such a beautiful fish, but they get their name from where they live, like areas that have large surges of water. Mostly found near reefs and rocky coastlines like this guy was caught on a rocky coastline in Hawaii. You don't even need to catch them; they get ashore from the surge.
Too pretty for us to fry up and eat, but people do. They bite, so be careful if you catch one. Because they are so pleasing to the eye, many people keep them in aquariums at home.
This tomato sprouting itself is more common than you would think. Vivipary is when a seed germinates and starts to sprout before leaving the parent plant, or in this case, the tomato. This cool tomato is already sprouting new tomato seedling plants. At least once in your life, you will come across a tomato like this, which is something to look forward to. Seeing a natural anomaly firsthand should be on the bucket list.
What's cooler is that you can go ahead and plant that sprouting tomato in a big pot or the garden and all the waiting is over; that tomato did the hard work for you.
Raspberry Banana Fruit
Not your everyday banana, but heck, it should be. A red banana that is sweet and creamy with hints of raspberry flavor-- that's just too good to be true. And yet this banana exists in East Africa, South America, and Asia. On your next shopping trip, be sure to look out for these red superfood bananas since they are more packed with antioxidants than regular bananas. You'll go bananas for these red gems.
Packed with nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and lots of other things-- this banana is the prize jewel of bananas. So if your local grocery store doesn't have them-- request them until they come.
Round Cloud Skies
It's not every day you see breast clouds drifting in the sky. These are Mammatus clouds that rarely appear and only after a severe storm if they do. Now we all can see why they are named breast clouds, but one could argue they look like jellyfish floating around. These were seen in Nebraska after a tornado passed through. We'd rather miss the opportunity than have to survive a tornado to do so.
They are very cool to look at; it's just the price of having to see them in real life isn't what we had in mind. Either way, they exist, they're cool looking, and we'll pass on the first-hand experience.
Ominous Iceland Landscape
A scene from a scary science fiction movie about astronauts landing on a strange planet that's harsh gaseous conditions make it impossible to survive, yet they do until a rescue mission is sent. Nope. This is not that at all, but instead the ominous landscape of northern Iceland with the Northern Lights and Fumaroles that are gas vents from the active volcano in Iceland. A highly active geothermal area, many uncommon sights like this one.
These openings in the earth's surface emit gases like sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. Hverir is the area with the most geothermal activity in Iceland, making Iceland look like an alien planet any day of the week.
A Super-Sized Strawberry
Talk about a strawberry the size of your hand! You'd have to see it to believe it. Well, here you are-- a strawberry the size of an apple. For all you garden lovers, the seeds from this strawberry are worth saving or any other super-sized fruit you come across. Whether it's nature's freak accident or human toiling, this strawberry is too cool not to snap a picture. Wonder who the lucky person was who got to eat it.
That's definitely a worthy snack fruit and a mighty good one too. If only all strawberries were this size, they would be the best super-sized superfood around, and everyone would walk around with strawberries instead of apples.
Rare Tabby Tiger
This rare species of golden or tabby Tiger is one of only 30 known to exist. They are carriers of a recessive trait that affects the pigmentation of black and therefore leads to the golden and yellowish colors. They all come from a common ancestor, and many have crossbred with siblings to create white tigers too. These beautiful creatures have stunning coloration and are a truly rare sight to see in person.
Aside from the commanding eyes that look like he isn't playing around, he looks so soft and cuddly; if only he didn't want to eat us for lunch, he would make a great lounging partner.
Frog Rain Is a Thing
Just like tornados uplift houses and cars during the storm, so too are animals sucked into the atmosphere during storms that cause waterspouts, which are tornado-like storms over water that collect whatever is in their path. It's raining, men, hallelujah! Unfortunately, it's not men but frogs. There have been reports of fish, snakes, frogs, bats, and even jellyfish throughout recorded history. Not a common phenomenon, no aqueous rain, but totally cool.
The person who snapped this photo probably got hit by a falling frog, but we think it was totally worth it for the amazing shot. Whoever you are, we thank you for your courage.
This Is Not a Possum
A quick glance, this looks like a cute little possum that has become a house quest, but in fact, this is an albino raccoon that has become a housemate. Too many times, we expect things to look a certain way-- like what would a leopard be without its spots? It's hard to see an animal other than how we think of them in our heads, so this white raccoon looks like anything but a raccoon.
Now that nose should be a dead giveaway that this is an adorable raccoon, but those beady red eyes throw you off. He looks more like Booba, the cartoon character, than anything else.
Bullseye on 89
The wonder of nature never ceases to amaze, and this butterfly is speaking to us all. She is either telling us 89 is our lucky number or 89 in bingo will be next up. It must be an important number if it's circled many times as if the universe is telling us to pay attention. Actually, this butterfly species, Diaethria phlogea, is more commonly called the 89'98 butterfly and is found in Colombia, South America.
This butterfly gives us big grunge-punk vibes and we are loving it.