52 Animals with the Weirdest Names

Evolution has played cruel games with certain animals, making them the target of man's sense of humor. Here are some birds, animals, and insects with funny and strange names.
AnimalSake Staff
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2018
Entomologist Paul Marsh named two wasp species in the genus Heerz. He called one Heerz tooya(Here's to ya) and the other Heerz lukenatcha (Here's lookin' atcha)!
Just like Paul Marsh, scientists find many more such amazing creatures every year. There are millions of species of animals, birds, and insects known to man. After a while, naming them gets more challenging. Some are cute and fluffy, while others are large and scary, who are less challenging to name. And then there are those who are simply so unique and weird that even those great minds who discover them have no idea what to christen them with.

What do they do then, you ask? Well, they get innovative with weird and funny names befitting their new discoveries. Some take inspiration from cartoons, viz., adorable flying elephants or fairies and come up with Dumbo octopus and Pink Fairy Armadillo as names. Others get more obvious and come up with names like the naked mole rat. And then there are those who unleash their imagination and get really creative with names like Carmenelectra shechisme. Following are some such exotic animals with strange and funny names that you just have to read to believe!
Animals, Birds, and Insects with Funny Names
Axolotl
Axolotl
Fun Fact: This magnificent lake-dweller is almost extinct in the wild. These amphibians do not go through any metamorphosis, and remain young for their whole life.
Native Region: Central Mexico
Babirusa
Babirusa
Fun Fact: Babirusa seems to have walked right out of a Greek myth. It has a looping tusk coming out of its mouth and from above its snout.
Native Region: Sulawesi
Chinstrap penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
Fun Fact: These penguins are known for their distinct thin line that runs from ear to ear, which gave them their name.
Native Region: Antarctica and South Sandwich Islands
Christmas tree worm
Christmas Tree Worm
Fun Fact: Christmas tree worms have a fascinating way of reproduction. Both the male and female Christmas tree worms send out their eggs and sperms into the water. The fertilized eggs settle and develop into larvae on corals.
Native Region: Tropical coral reefs around the world
Fossa
Fossa
Fun Fact: This solitary cat-like creature is in fact related to a mongoose. It is the largest carnivore and predator of the island.
Native Region: Madagascar
Fried egg jellyfish
Fried Egg Jellyfish
Fun Fact: This jellyfish has a belly that measures up to 24 inches across, and is yellow or white in color. It has a yellow center circle, which is known as the gonadal mass, thus giving it a fried egg look, against the white bell-like background.
Native Region: Worldwide
Frill-necked lizard
Frill Necked Lizard
Fun Fact: When these lizards feel threatened, they do not detach their tails. They derive their name because of their pleated skin flap on the necks which they flare out around their head when they feel threatened.
Native Region: Australia
Gerenuk
Gerenuk
Fun Fact: This species of antelope is very recognizable because of its long and slender neck and skinny legs. What makes this magnificent creature even more fascinating is its ability to stand on its hind legs to reach those hard-to-reach leaves.
Native Region: Somalia, Tanzania, and Kenya
Hummingbird hawk-moth
Hummingbird Hawk-moth
Fun Fact: This moth's unique ability to fly and hover like a hummingbird gives it its name.
Native Region: Europe, North Africa, and Asia
Leafy seadragon
Leafy-seadragon
Fun Fact: Leafy seadragon resembles a piece of drifting seaweed, hence its name, which works well as a camouflage. This little creature has neither teeth nor a stomach and feeds exclusively on Mysidopsis shrimp.
Native Region: Australia
Patagonian mara
Patagonian mara
Fun Fact: Patagonian maras look like giant rabbits or miniature deer, but in reality, they are rodents. They often live in monogamous pairs and mate a couple of times each year.
Native Region: Argentina
Agra vation
Fun Fact: Agra vation is a beetle that has around 40,000 species, and they come from the Carabidae family.
Native Region: The Carabidae family is found in the regions of Brazil, Colombia, and Peruvian Amazon
Aha ha
Fun Fact: The insect was named by entomologist Arnold Menke who received it as an insect specimen from a colleague and exclaimed "Aha!"; hence the name.
Native Region: Australia
Angler fish
Fun Fact: Angler fish live in the depths of oceans. There are over 200 species of angler fish.
Native Region: Icelandic waters, Mediterranean Sea, and eastern Atlantic
Aye-aye
Fun Fact: The aye-aye is believed to be a bad omen in its native land, and is thus killed on sight. Thus, it is a threatened species.
Native Region: Madagascar
Blob sculpin/Blobfish
Fun Fact: Blob sculpins look like they have just crawled out of a Goosebumps novel! What makes them creepy looking, you ask? Well, their depressed faces that look very similar to ours, amps up the eerie feature of this fish. These fish have a tadpole-like body with a huge bulbous head; so in short, they look lot like creepy floating heads.
Native Region: Gorda Escarpment, off Northern California
Bone-eating snot-flower worm
Fun Fact: The bone-eating snot-flower worm eats dead bones of dead fish and animals that land at the bottom of the ocean. These magnificent creatures have neither mouths, guts, nor an anus. The bacteria that hang on to the worms break down all that the worm needs from the bones and supplies it.
Native Region: Oregon to South California, Japan, Papua New Guinea, off Antarctica, New England, etc.
Calponia harrisonfordi
Fun Fact: This spider was found by the arachnologist Norman I. Platnick who named it after actor Harrison Ford, as a token of his appreciation for narrating his documentary.
Native Region: California
Carmenelectra shechisme
Fun Fact: This is an extinct genus that was found preserved in the Baltic amber. The fly was found by Neal Evenhuis, who named the insect after Carmen Electra, and yes, it is pronounced as 'Carmen Electra She Kiss Me!'
Native Region: Baltic region
Dumbo octopus
Fun Fact: Dumbo octopuses derive their name because of their unique fins that look like ears on top of their head, which resemble the ears of Walt Disney's lovable flying elephant, Dumbo.
Native Region: Monterey Bay, New Zealand, and Australia
Echidna
Fun Fact: An echidna has spikes like a porcupine, lays eggs like a reptile, but carries its offspring in a pouch like a kangaroo.
Native Region: Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea
Flamingo tongue snail
Fun Fact: The flamingo tongue snail feeds on toxic sea fans, incorporates their venom, and becomes toxic itself.
Native Region: Atlantic and Caribbean coral reef
Glaucus atlanticus
Fun Fact: Glaucus atlanticus is also known as blue glaucus, one of the two species from the family ofGlaucidae. This little critter floats upside down on the surface of the sea.
Native Region: Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean
Gobi jerboa
Fun Fact: These are nocturnal mice-like rodents with very long hind legs, a long tufted tail, and enormous ears.
Native Region: Mongolia and China
Goblin shark
Fun Fact: These sharks are also known as vampire sharks as they detest sunlight and often swim close to the ocean floor. These sharks get their unique name because of the shape of their snout. Very little is known about these sharks as they are far from human view.
Native Region: Japan, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean
Hagfish
Fun Fact: The Hagfish lives deep at the bottom of the ocean, like an eel. These fish do not possess any jaws, spine, or scales, suffer from poor eyesight, and rely mostly upon their sense of smell.
Native Region: North and South Pacific Ocean
Hellbender
Fun Fact: This little creature sounds like it has stepped out of a comic book. These salamanders are the largest aquatic salamanders in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. They are also called devil dogs, mud cats, and snot otters.
Native Region: United States of America
Ice cream cone worm
Fun Fact: Ice cream cone worms create a conical shell of single layer by sand together, and live inside it. As the worm grows, so does its sand castle.
Native Region: U.S., Atlantic, and Pacific Ocean
Irrawaddy dolphin
Fun Fact: This dolphin gets its name from the Irrawaddy River that it is found in.
Native Region: Philippines, Northeastern part of India
Kakapo
Fun Fact: Kakapos are also known as owl parrots. These are large, ground-dwelling, flightless parrots. These rarely-seen parrots are nocturnal in nature.
Native Region: New Zealand
Monkeyface prickleback
Fun Fact: Monkeyface prickleback is also known as Monkeyface eel, though it is intact as a fish.
Native Region: Pacific coast of North America
Naked mole rat
Fun Fact: Naked mole rats are known for their hairless, tubular, and wrinkled body. They live in communities, viz., as insects with a queen who is the only female who breeds and bears young ones.
Native Region: East Africa
Narwhal
Fun Fact: Narwhals are the unicorn of the sea. They have two teeth. The prominent tooth grows into a spiral tusk that goes up to 8.8 feet.
Native Region: Arctic Ocean
Oedipina complex
Fun Fact: Oedipina complex, although a psychological term, is a type of salamander. Lungs of these creatures have been replaced by gills.
Native Region: South and Central America
Olm
Fun Fact: Olms are also called proteus or human fish because their skin color is similar to human skin tone. What's even more fascinating about them is that they are blind.
Native Region: European lakes
Pacu
Fun Fact: Pacu fish have human-like teeth, to bite into nuts, thus nicknamed as nutcracker fish. They are also called testicle-biting fish and were often found castrating man who ventured into their territories.
Native Region: Papua New Guinea, Sweden, South America
Parastratiosphecomyia stratiosphecomyioides
Fun Fact: A very large name indeed, which belongs to a species of soldier fly. The name comes from Ancient Greek, meaning 'Near Soldier Wasp Fly'.
Native Region: India
Penis snake
Fun Fact: The 'Atretochoana eiselti' gets its unique name from its unusual appearance. Contrary to what its name suggests, this creature is not a reptile, but is closely related to salamanders and frogs.
Native Region: Brazil
Pieza kake
Fun Fact: This is no piece a cake, but a small furry fly. Pieza is derived from the Greek word piezos meaning squeeze, referring to the shape of the female fly.
Pigbutt worm
Fun Fact: Resist the urge to look up with this name, and if you must scratch that itch of curiosity, then try Chaetopterus pugaporcinus. This little worm has segments that are inflated, making it look like pig buttocks. This little worm feeds by deploying a mucus cloud to trap material in water. Yes, pig butt and mucus cloud―get the joke?
Native Region: Deep seas
Pink fairy armadillo
Fun Fact: Pink fairy armadillos look like ear-less rabbits wearing an armadillo shield and gloves. TheChlamyphorus truncates are the smallest of the armadillos at only 10 cm in length.
Native Region: Argentina
Planthopper nymph
Fun Fact: This tiny creature has a sparkly colorful tail, which looks like fireworks.
Native Region: South Africa
Pleasing fungus beetle
Fun Fact: This little beetle displays colors of orange, red, and black. It feeds on fungi, viz. mushrooms, hence the name.
Native Region: U.S.A.
Red-lipped batfish
Fun Fact: These strange-looking fish have a long and sharp nose and lips that look like they are wearing too much of scarlet red lipstick. They are horrible swimmers and crawl on the ocean floor.
Native Region: Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Sarcastic fringehead
Fun Fact: This foot-long fish is sufficient to give many nightmares. These creatures have a very large mouth that they snap open and shut a large prey.
Native Region: Pacific coast of North America
Sea pig
Fun Fact: Sea pigs are plum and oval in shape with puffy legs. They also have pinkish bodies, hence giving them their name.
Native Region: Seafloor
Slippery dick
Fun Fact: Slippery dick or Halichoeres bivittatus is an ocean-dwelling fish from the Labridae family.
Native Region: Western Atlantic
Star-nosed mole
Fun Fact: Star-nosed mole is named so because it has around 22 small, fleshy, hairless tentacles that resemble a star.
Native Region: North American
Sunda colugo
Fun Fact: Sunda colugos are also known as Sunda Flying Lemur. They have blunt snouts and dense mottled fur.
Native Region: Indochina and Sundaland
Tasselled wobbegong
Fun Fact: The tasselled wobbegong is an unusual-looking shark with mosaic marking of dark narrow lines and spots with tassels of skin on the outer edge.
Native Region: Indian Ocean, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia
Umbonia spinosa
Fun Fact: This is a thorny bug often seen as a pest on fruit and ornamental trees. They cause a lot of damage by sucking the sap and making cuts, causing the tree to bear twig death.
Native Region: U.S.A.
Wunderpus photogenicus
Fun Fact: This octopus can drop an arm when under threat or attack to escape from its predator. It is later able to regenerate its lost body part.
Native Region: Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea
There are many more in this long list of animals with funny names, some of which are Apopyllus now (spider), Ba humbugi (snail), Eubetia bigaulae(you betcha by golly a moth), Pison eyvae (wasp), Lalapa lusa (wasp), Vini vidivici (parrot), etc. With names such as these, you can't help but be thankful that these animals can't talk to us directly!