There are many words that can be used to describe nature. Words like, awe-inspiring, breathtaking, vast, incredible and untamed. Oh, and weird. Nature can be hella weird and anyone that says otherwise has obviously never watched a mile high cloud of dust roll over a metropolitan city until the buildings and all of their inhabitants are completely obliterated from the skyline. Seriously, just when we feel like we have things on this planet figured out, we see something else that makes us feel like we’ve never been here before.

With things like climate change, water shortages and global energy concerns, sometimes its important to take a look at this cool, crazy, beautiful world and remind ourselves of what we stand to lose if we don’t take care of it. We want more than anything to preserve our wild lands, animals and oceans as well as birds that sound like ray guns and trees that look like they’re vying for the lead in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Let’s face it, the wacky stuff is a cool piece of this puzzle we call life and we can’t get enough of it!

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1. The lyrebird

Native to Australia, the lyrebird is a natural mimic that can generate virtually any sound that it hears, including children’s toys, chainsaws and the calls of other animals.

2. Carnivorous Trees

Okay, so saying these trees are carnivorous may be hyperbolic, but the phenomenon of trees growing around a stationary object is an amazing example of nature’s power as well as perseverance.

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10 Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureTumblr

 

3. Mammatus Clouds

If these clouds seem ominous it’s because they are. Formed under extreme meteorological conditions, they are often a harbinger of a severe thunderstorm or even an impending tornado.

10 Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureThe Fifth Corner

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4. Red-Lipped Batfish

Also known as the Galapagos batfish, this deep water vixen cruises around at depths of 30 meters or more and puts the phrase “trout pout” to shame.

10 Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureDivencounters

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5. Victoria Amazonica

Just when you thought that you’d seen all of the weird stuff the Amazon has to offer (You haven’t. None of us have. That place is wild),  you discover that it grows water lilies big enough to hold your kid.

10 Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureImgur

 

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6. Danxia Landforms

Located in China, these land formations are comprised of sandstone and other conglomerates that date all the way back to the Cretaceous Age.

10 Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureAbsolute China Tours

 

7. Red Crab Migration

With no natural predators to slow them down in their quest for romance, an estimated 43 million of these babies traverse Christmas Island during their annual breeding migration.

10 Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureToday I Found Out

 

8. Elvis Presley Shield Bug

Otherwise known as the pentamoid bug. Native to Thailand, not much gets this guy all shook up. He’s just a hunka hunka burnin’ bug…we refuse to apologize.

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureDaily Mail

 

9. Yeti Crab

Discovered in 2005, it’s also known as the Hoff crab…as in David Hasselhoff. We can’t decide which name we love more.

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureRookie Mag

 

10. Bioluminescent Waves

Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives hosts a high concentration of phytoplankton that light up the night time waves with an ethereal glow.

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureTripelonia

 

11. Bioluminescent Firefly Squid

Not to be outdone by some waves, these Japanese squid are filled with special light illuminating organs called photophores. They’re the envy at every ocean rave party.

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureEco Watch

 

12. Brushtail Possum Chainsaw Noise

When threatened or trying to drive potential predators away, this Australian marsupial does his best Leatherface impersonation. It’s a little lackluster, but it gets the point across.

13. Haboob

Okay, stop giggling at the name. This dust storm can reach 62 miles in width and can travel between 22 and 62 miles per hour.

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in Nature

14. Tamri Goats in Trees

Nope, nothing unusual here. Just some goats who’ve been climbing Argan trees in Morocco for hundreds of years. Carry on.

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureWeird World Wonders

 

15. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

This is the only Eucalyptus species native to the northern hemisphere, so of course it needs to be flashy. How else will people know what a special snowflake it is?

15 of The Strangest Things That You'll Find in NatureChris Martin Photography

 

Lead Image Credit: Divencounters