animals

Proverbial Jonah was swallowed by a whale in South Africa – whale gulps down photographer then spits him back out.

In May 2019, 51-year-old dive tour operator Rainer Schimpf was photographing a school of sardines off the coast of South Africa. Several 15-ton whales had been circling the sardine “bait ball”, a tight school of fish that have been corralled by predators, in this case whales, dolphins, and a few sharks. Suddenly, everything went dark. “We were very astonished that out of nowhere this whale came up. I was busy concentrating on the sharks because you want to know if the shark is in front of you or behind you, left or right, so we were very focused on the sharks and their behavior -- then suddenly it got dark." Schimpf immediately knew what had happened. He’d been swallowed by a whale. "I held my breath. I mean

The town that hanged an elephant – the macabre story behind Murderous Mary’s dreadful execution

Red Eldridge joins the circus On September 11, 1916, Sparks World Famous Shows Big Top Circus arrived in St. Paul, Virginia, a tiny mining town nestled in the hills of Clinch River Valley. It was that same day that 38-year-old Walter “Red” Eldridge, a hotel janitor, was hired on the spot as an assistant elephant trainer. Eldridge knew nothing about elephants but felt certain he could wield the hooked elephant stick that was required to keep the beasts in line. Besides, he was a drifter that had already roamed the country in a boxcar – a travelling circus-life with Sparks World Famous Shows would be right up his alley. Sparks World Famous Shows was owned and operated by Charlie Sparks. It was a small travelling circus that

Fish with human feet (including five toes) caught off Caribbean coast by 74-year-old local fisherman

The aquatic horror pictured above was caught of the coast of Windward, on the Island of Carriacou in the Caribbean by 74-year-old fisherman, Hope McLawrence. According to McLawrence: “This has shocked me to a considerable extent since I never thought that a creature like this even existed, much less in the harbor of these shallow, friendly waters!” McLawrence said the fish has two feet with toes, no fins, and “a perfect human nose above its mouth” (sorry, no picture of the fish's "human nose" could be found). Our best guess right now is a frogfish, a predator known to eat just about anything it can fit into its mouth. Still, I won’t rule out nuclear-tainted, biological freak of some unknown species. Very weird. Sources: Mirror, Metro UK, Wikipedia

Deformed mountain lion with fully-formed teeth and whiskers growing out back of head discovered in Idaho

A hunter in Idaho has stumbled across a dreadful biological mystery – a mountain lion with a second set of fully-formed teeth and whiskers growing out the back of its head. Wildlife officials say they have never seen a deformity like this. Idaho Fish and Game officials say the mountain lion was involved in an attack on a dog near Preston, Idaho (near the Utah border). It was killed by the hunter. Scientists are unsure if the monstrous growth is remnant of a conjoined twin that died in the womb or a teratoma tumor, rare growths that have been known to grow teeth and hair. Check out more pictures of the deformed mountain line in the pictorial gallery below.

70% of the world’s Saiga antelopes mysteriously drop dead within two-week period – scientists unable to determine cause

At one time, there were millions of Saiga antelopes roaming the plains of central Asia. Over time, their numbers were brought down by disease, hunting (their horns were used in traditional Chinese medicine) and oddly, the landing of the Soyuz capsule from the International Space Station (no explanation has yet been given as to why). Still, the population held steady at a quarter-million antelopes until six months ago when 70% of the population mysteriously died. More than 200,000 Saiga antelopes fell dead over the course of just two weeks. Entire herds were wiped out and the causes of the deaths remains a mystery. Conservationists met last week to discuss whether the mass mortality event was attributed to changes in weather or vegetation. Scientists will attempt to repopulate

Stunning series of photographs captures orca killer whale punting a seal over eight stories into the air

In an unbelievable sequence of photographs, an orca killer whale punts a seal over eight-stories in the air. The “kill” was photographed near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada by a video crew filming a group of whales known as T69s for a promotional film (advertising the services of Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours). While orcas are known to stun harbor seals by hitting them, flinging them in the air is a rare occurrence. Brett Soberg, owner of Eagle Wing, says it’s only the fourth time he’s seen an orca do this in about 20 years. Orcas hit other sea animals with a tremendous amount of force. In fact, when they hit Dall's porpoises, another of their prey, according to researcher Chris Parsons: "They do it to eviscerate them. They

Bizarre creature with “body of buffalo and head of crocodile” discovered in Thailand

Photos have appeared showing a bizarre hybrid-like creature found in Thailand this week. With scaly skin, an alligator-like head, and calf-like hooves, experts in the area are stumped. Villagers say that a genetic cross between an alligator and a water buffalo was born in the village some time ago but died soon after birth. Could this be the same sort of genetic freak? The unidentified animal was found in High Rock, Wanghin in Thailand.

Freakish two-headed dolphin washes ashore in Turkey

Turkish beachgoers received a gruesome surprise last week when the body of a freakish two-headed dolphin washed onto the shore of Izmir on Turkey’s west coast. The two-headed dolphin, which had two heads but merged to share just one tail, was discovered by sports teacher Tugreul Metin who watched in amazement as it washed onto the beach. “I couldn't take it in at first - I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  I've never even heard about a dolphin like this let alone seen one with my own eyes.  I was completely shocked.” Measuring over 3 feet in length, the dead dolphin was believed to be a one-year-old calf. The eyes on one of the dolphin heads had not fully opened and neither head had

Eight-legged “Octogoat” – goat born in Croatia has eight spider-like legs

A goat in Croatia has given birth to kid (baby goat) with eight legs. Rancher Zoran Paparic says after the mother goat (Sarka) gave birth to the freakish goat, he couldn’t believe his eyes. “I counted his legs and I thought I was seeing things. Then I called my neighbor to make sure that I am not crazy.” Octogoat also has both male and female reproductive organs. Two healthy goats were born with the eight-legged wonder. Local veterinarians told Paparic that the reason for the goat’s extra legs is an underdeveloped twin sibling and that it is likely it will not survive. Veterinarians say if Octogoat can survive for longer than a week, it may live a full life. Check out more pictures of Octogoat below.    

After at least four villagers dead, 2,200 lb. man-eating crocodile captured in Uganda

A one-ton crocodile was captured at Lake Victoria, Uganda yesterday. The beast had already killed at least four men (some reports indicate six) and injured many others when villagers begged the Uganda Wildlife Authority to hunt the creature down. After a four-day search, the 20-foot crocodile was captured using meat on a hook and a lasso.  Over 100 villagers watched as officials towed the beast to shore and placed it on a flatbed truck for transport. The huge crocodile tipped the scales at 2,205 pounds, only about 100 pounds shy of the world record ( held by a saltwater croc named Lolong that was captured in the Philippines). The crocodile is estimated to be about 80 years old. It will be transferred to the Murchison Falls

Mike the Headless Chicken – famously tough chicken lives over a year with no head

It will forever be known as one of the luckiest breaks in poultry history – the day a propitious hatchet job left “Miracle Mike” (aka Mike the Headless Chicken) in a one-in-a-million state that allowed him to live for over a year without a head.  The unusual event started routinely enough.  On September 10, 1945, Mrs. Clara Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, sent her husband Lloyd Olsen to the chicken pen on a routine mission to bring back a chicken for the evening’s meal.  Clara’s mother was coming over for dinner and Lloyd wanted to make the evening special for his mother-in-law.  And what a memorial evening it turned out to be… Mike the Headless Chicken is created Lloyd chose a five-and-a-half-month-old plump Wyandotte cockerel as his prey. 

As if not creepy enough, researchers find two-headed stingray fetus floating in aquarium water

Australian researcher Leonardo Guida was cleaning an aquarium in April when he saw several baby rays floating in the water.  Noting that the mother stingrays had just given birth, he began recording the baby rays when he saw an "oddly shaped, pale object floating in the water".  That odd object turned out to be a stillborn baby ray fetus - with two heads!  Two-headed rays (and sharks) are a rare birth defect that arises when the neural tube in a single fertilized egg is duplicated.  There has been an increase in shark and ray birth defects over the past few years but nobody is quite sure what is causing the anomalies. According to Scientific American: "The bay has recently undergone extensive dredging to enlarge shipping channels, resuspending

Wave of perplexing sheep mutilations in Port Lavaca, Texas – lack of evidence in the case is “puzzling”

There has been a wave of perplexing sheep mutilations in Port Lavaca, Texas over the past few months in which one farmer has lost 21 head of his prized Barbados Sheep since July 2013. Wayne Daggs, who worked in law enforcement for 23 years including a 18-year stint as the county constable before retiring in 2000 to raise sheep, says he’s losing the animals at a rate of one every five days (and usually a few at a time). Two more were mutilated just last week. At first Wayne Daggs thought illegal immigrants may have been stealing the sheep for food but the surgical precision and graphic nature of the mutilations led him to believe otherwise. Male animals have been found castrated and females with their

At least 42 dead and hundreds injured during wave of giant hornet attacks in China

Forty-two people have died and thousands have been injured in a wave of giant hornet attacks in central China. Victims of the bizarre attacks, which began about three months ago, described being chased for hundreds of yards by the creatures and stung as many as 200 times. The giant hornets can grow up to three inches in length and as thick as a human thumb. Their stingers can reach nearly ½ inch in length.  In the city of Ankang alone, 18 people have died from the stings which, like America’s “Killer Bees”, are highly toxic and can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure (as if you wouldn’t die from sheer terror alone). Most of the attacks have occurred in the wooded areas of southern Shaanxi

120 dead elk carcasses found near mysterious crop circle in northern New Mexico

Game and Fish investigators found 120 dead elk carcasses near a mysterious crop circle near Las Vegas, New Mexico on August 26, 2013. The animals were found about 20 miles north of Las Vegas and a few hundred yards south of the crop circle. All of the animal carcasses were found within a single square mile of ranch land and authorities noted that the deaths seemed to have happened overnight. None of the animal carcasses bore any visible wounds. Biologists have collected water and tissue samples for testing but experts noted that it is doubtful that disease was the cause of the mysterious deaths since infectious disease would have to run its course many times before such a large number of animals would die. In addition,