Yes, we consider it our duty to bring you cute animals. But just as good needs evil, and light needs darkness, and Mars needs women, cute animals would be nothing without weird, sorta ugly animals. Besides, weird ugly animals are awesome. Here are some of our favorites from the last year. Warning: Don’t read to the end if you don’t want your eyes traumatized a little.

The cutest endangered species

“If you’ve never seen an axolotl, behold: It’s a Mexican salamander with a face like an anime character.”

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Baby echidnas

“We will pass lightly over the fact that normally, rather than eating out of a human’s hand, the baby echidna would drink milk that its mom excreted from glands on her back. Because that is weird, but it is not cute. Forget about that and just look at its peculiar little snout!”

Photobombing stingray


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“Since the invention of photography, there have been 35 animal photobombs that were rated the most passionate, the most pure, the most likely to make me pee myself a little bit. This one leaves them all behind.”

Living rock


“The fact that this sea creature looks exactly like a rock with guts is not even the weirdest thing about it. It’s also completely immobile like a rock — it eats by sucking in water and filtering out microorganisms — and its clear blood mysteriously secretes a rare mineral called vanadium. Also, it’s born male, becomes hermaphroditic at puberty, and reproduces by tossing clouds of sperm and eggs into the surrounding water and hoping they knock together. Nature, you are CRAZY.”

And, inevitably, the penis snake amphibian


Apparently it has no lungs, breathes through its skin, has poor eyesight, and eats small invertebrates, all of which tracks with what I know of penises.”

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