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These 8 Animals Look Like Someone Made Them Up, But They're Very Real

Nature is magical. It is majestic, awe-inspiring, and humbling. Most of the time, anyway.

Other times, it's just plain weird, as evidenced by the strange creatures you'll see here. Yet even in their weirdness, these creatures are pretty amazing. Take a look for yourself.

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  1. 1

    The fringehead

    Don't make the fringehead mad, because it does this. Highly territorial, these fish are known to wrestle each other with their giant mouths, which has different connotations than when humans do it.

  2. 2

    The liger

    Napoleon Dynamite fans, rejoice: the liger is real. A liger is a crossbreed, the result of a male lion mating with a female tiger. (A male tiger and female lion make a tigon. No, we're not kidding.) These creatures are the result of human meddling, though, since lions and tigers don't exist in the same habitats in the wild. Furthermore, ligers are sterile, and cannot reproduce.

  3. 3

    The spotted handfish

    The handfish gets its name from the handlike structures on the ends of its front fins, which allow it to walk along the sea floor. They're also critically endangered, with only two reported in the wild in the 1990s.

  4. 4

    The black dragonfish

    Add this to your list of things you don't want to meet, but the black dragonfish is actually pretty cool, if terrifying. It produces its own light via bioluminescence, and the females are about eight times larger than the males, growing to about 40 centimeters.

  5. 5

    The tardigrade

    Also known as the water bear, these tiny creatures are also one of the toughest. They can survive for about a decade without food or water, can withstand ten times the dose of radiation that would kill humans, and six times the pressure of the deepest parts of the ocean. They have even been found to survive the frozen vacuum of space. Also, they're the size of a poppy seed (and weirdly cute).

  6. 6

    The red-lipped batfish

    The red-lipped batfish is not amused. The bright red "lips" are thought to aid these creatures in recognizing one another for mating purposes. They're bottom-dwellers, so their fins have evolved into leg-like appendages that allow them to walk along the ocean floor rather than swim.

  7. 7

    The ghost shark

    Also known as a Chimera, this shark is known for its long facial protuberance. It's edible and is sold around the world as meat. Oil from its liver was once used to lubricate guns.

  8. 8

    The axolotl

    Known as a "walking fish," this little dude is actually a salamander. They come in black, gray, gold, and white, like the one seen here. They're native to Mexico, but sadly, none have been spotted in the wild since 2013, meaning they may only exist in captivity.

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