6 Bizarre Alien-Looking Life Forms

Image: Hans Hillewaert

Japanese Spider Crab

Life, in all its varied forms, can be described in many ways. ‘Astounding’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘majestic’ are just a few of the words that spring to mind while looking at some of our planet’s living things. Yet watch a spider scuttle across a desk and words like ‘horrific’ and ‘terrifying’ suddenly feel far more apt. But what about those times when you come across a life form so strange-looking it seems to have come from a different planet altogether? Come with us on a whistle-stop tour of some of Mother Nature’s more ‘out-there’ creations.

Image: Steve Jurvetson

6. The Eagle Ray

The sea has long held a fascination for us. Maybe this is because its vast, unfathomable depths mean we will never be able to explore it all. Or perhaps it’s because every time enthusiasts do go underwater, there are so many things both strange and beautiful to be seen. Among these bizarre discoveries are some striking yet very odd-looking rays.

The ray family of fish glide through the water in the same way as a bird flies through the air. While rays normally move along the bottom of the ocean, this particular specimen, the eagle ray, travels in schools in the open water. These rays feed on other fish, octopi and clams, amongst other things, and, while they are usually shy, they are considered a potential threat to divers due to their venomous tail spines. They are beautiful, strange and dangerous all at once.