I’ve always been inspired by nature, but when it comes to Fantasy creatures I have always let my imagination guide my inspirations. But there are creatures in nature that are at least – or sometimes perhaps more – bizarre than the ones created in Fantasy fiction. Why not study nature for inspiration?
I’ve always been fascinated by the prior epochs when the Earth’s atmosphere had a different composition. At one point the oxygen was up to 30% by volume, allowing the stupendous growth of insects that are currently limited by the skin-diffusion breathing mechanisms that fuel their metabolism. Once there were dragonflies with wingspans of up to a metre!
But there are plenty of weird animals around now. How about the Blind Cave Fish that uses its highly developed sense of smell and tactile organs on its head and sides to track predators and prey from minute changes in water pressure (not true ‘radar’ as is often stated, but pretty impressive nonetheless)? Or the electric eel.
How about the denizens of the deep like the Angler Fish that uses a bioluminescent lure to attract prey into its fearsome mouth? The sea has quite a few – what about the Giant Squid, or the bizarre Oarfish, the longest bony fish alive?
We take bats for granted, but stop and think about how damn amazing their echolocation is. What other creatures could evolve it?
Here is a list of 25 very weird looking animals. My favourites being the beautiful Leafy Sea dragon, the repellent looking Star-nosed Mole, the face-dangling Proboscis Monkey, ever popular Narwhal, perpetually surprised Aye-aye and the aptly named Blobfish.
What is your favourite weird creature?