From wasps that lay their eggs directly into living insects to animals that are impervious to almost everything, we count 8 of the most alien-like creatures on earth.
Also known as moss piglets or water bears these microscopic creatures are just about as alien-like as anything on Earth. Looking like a caterpillar wearing some sort of ‘space suit’, tardigrades are practically indestructible. They can withstand ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human. They can survive in extreme temperatures from just above absolute zero to higher than the boiling point of water. They can even live without food and water for more than 10 years. Oh, and the European Space Agency once sent some into space where it turns out they can also survive the vacuum of outer space.
Enypniastes are a type of deep sea cucumber. They have webbed structures at the top and bottom of their bodies that act like fins allowing them to swim in search of food and to avoid predators. The enypniastes have see-through outers showing the digestive tract within.
Once native from Europe all the way to Mongolia, the Saiga is now considered to be critically endangered. Looking more at home in the Star Wars cantina, than the grasslands of Russia, this truly bizarre looking animal really does look like it is from another world.
Parasitic wasps are pure nightmare material! Acting just like the queen from the Alien movies, parasitic wasps inject eggs directly into other insects. The insects will generally stay alive while the egg matures and eventually hatches. The wasp larvae then eat the insides of the insect, eventually bursting out of their host once matured. Some female parasitic wasps will even inject a virus into the host that weakens their immune system so it cannot destroy the egg.
The Dumbo octopus lives at depths of up to 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) and is native to many oceans around the World. This cute little octopus gets its name from the fins that protrude from the top of its head resembling ears like those of Disney’s Dumbo the elephant. While members of this species are typically small, 20–30 centimetres (7.9–12 in) in length, the largest ever recorded Dumbo octopus was a huge 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) in length and weighed 5.9 kilograms (13 lb).
The blobfish is so alien-like that one even appears in the movie Men in Black 3. In the Chinese restaurant scene, Tommy Lee Jones wrestles with the chef and pushes his head into a talking blobfish sitting on the bench. This very strange animal inhabits the deep waters off mainland Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. They live at depths between 600 and 1,200 m (2,000 and 3,900 ft) where the pressure is 60 to 120 times greater than at sea level. The blobfish is able to survive at such depths because its body is primarily gelatinous with a density slightly less than that of water. This allows it to float in water without exerting any energy.
The strangely named sarcastic fringehead is native to the waters off the western coast of North America from San Francisco to Baja California. This fish gets its name at least in part from its unusual ability to extend its jaw outwards, creating a mouth that looks just like the Predator! The sarcastic fringehead is extremely territorial and uses its gigantic mouth to fight off and discourage male intruders.
The coconut crab is possibly the most alien-like creature on Earth. Looking similar to a facehugger out of the movie Alien, the coconut crab is found on islands throughout the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean. It is not just how this crab looks that makes it alien-like. It also has a very unusual life cycle. After mating, the female of the species migrates to the sea to release her fertilised eggs. The larvae eventually settle on the seafloor and find an empty shell to live in similar to a hermit crab. Even though life begins in the sea for these crabs once they mature they live entirely on land and will drown if they are in water for more than 1 hour.
The most alien-like creatures on the planet! What do you think? Are there any other animals more alien than these?