Odd but True: 20 Obscure Animal Facts You Won’t Believe

In the enchanting realm of the animal kingdom, where curiosity knows no bounds and fascination lurks around every corner, some facts are as quirky as they come. These obscure nuggets of information, often hidden beneath the surface of popular knowledge, add an extra layer of charm to the already intriguing world of animals.

One Redditor asked, “What is your number 1 obscure animal fact?” Now, this thread received thousands of comments, and we have listed the most interesting facts for you!

1. Ants

Ant resting on the grass.
Image Credit: Achkin/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Army Ants will create “balls” during high water floods. The ball will roll, allowing every ant to get a breath.”

Someone else added, “Imagine surviving a catastrophic flood floating on some small boat or piece of debris only to bump into a horror ball of ants that gets e v e r y w h e r e”

They create these floating ant balls that roll on the water, giving every ant a chance to catch a breath. Teamwork at its finest, right?

2. Honey Bees

Beekeeper working collect honey.
Image Credit: santypan/Shutterstock.

You might think that fake banana flavoring comes from some fancy lab concoction, but guess what? The compound used to make that artificial banana flavor is the same stuff that honey bees use to sound the alarm.

Someone commented, “The chemical compound which is used to make fake banana flavor is the same compound honey bees use as an alarm pheromone. So never eat banana sweets near a beehive, and if you suddenly smell banana near a beehive, run!”

Another replied, “Aaah that’s what that smells like! Fake banana! I am a beekeeper, and when I work my hives, I can smell it when they get upset (I work with African bees, so they are naturally quite defensive). I’ve been trying to pinpoint what it smells like because it’s quite distinctive (and not very nice). Thank you!”

3. Duck-billed Platypus

Platypus in a wild in Australia.
Image Credit: Mari_May/Shutterstock.

Ever wondered how platypus moms feed their young ones? Well, it’s not your typical mammal setup.

One said, “The duck-billed platypus has no nipples to feed their offspring. Instead, milk oozes from the skin.”

Another added, “God woke up one day and thought “Lets mix a duck and a beaver” and created the platypus. They lay eggs like a duck. They have a beak like a duck. They build burrows underwater, very similar to beavers, and they have a beavertail.

They give milk like beavers, but not like ducks. So they just sweat out the milk like a duck secretes its oil (except from the belly). I love platypuses.”

4. Rabbits

Image Credit: VolodymyrBur via DepositPhotos.com.

Fluffy, cute, and pad-less rabbits! That’s right, these adorable furballs don’t have pads on their paws.

A Reddit user wrote, “Rabbits don’t have pads on their paws. Only fur. So if you see a cartoon rabbit with pads on its paw, completely wrong.”

One responded, “For this reason, you can’t declaw them, or they’ll be unable to walk.”

5. Vultures

Griffon vulture in flight,
Image Credit: mzphoto via DepositPhotos.com.

Vultures, those scavenger birds of the sky, have a peculiar way of cooling off during scorching days.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Vultures urinate on their legs and feet to cool off on hot days, a process called urohydrosis. Their urine also helps kill any bacteria or parasites they’ve picked up from walking through carcasses or perching on dead animals.”

Someone else added, “They excrete what would be urine and feces all in one dollop of sludge – they’re not separate things like in mammals.”

6. Penguins

Image Credit: goinyk via DepositPhotos.com.

Someone commented, “Penguins have a gland above their eye that converts saltwater into freshwater.”

Another replied, “It’s just a salt filter. They essentially have extremely salty tears and cry away the excess salt.”

Penguins are the real MVPs of the icy world!

7. Greenland Sharks

Boy snorkeling with whale shark.
Image Credit: Max Topchii/Shutterstock.

One said, “The vast majority of Greenland sharks are blind thanks to a special parasite that eats their eyes and replaces them.”

Another added, “It is thought that this might actually be helpful because a) their eyesight was bad anyway, b) the parasites wave like lures and may have an anglerfish-like effect, and c) the sharks are super slow, so that might be one of the few ways for them to catch live prey.”

Nature truly knows how to equip its creations for survival.

8. Butterflies

African monarch butterfly drinking nectar from a small purple flower
Image Credit: makasana photo/Shutterstock.

Butterflies, those dainty creatures we all love, have a dark side. They drink blood. Talk about a creepy cocktail hour in the insect world!

A Reddit user wrote, “Butterflies will drink blood given the option.”

Another responded, “I have a cousin who always had a fear of butterflies that I thought was just kind of a bit. When we were young, we used to walk the train tracks by his house. One walk, there was something on the tracks, and as we approached, a swarm of butterflies dispersed from a deer carcass, and he took off running. It’s an irrational fear, but I felt for him that day. That was something like out of a horror movie”

9. Armadillos

Llanos Long nosed Armadillo.
Image Credit: COULANGES/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “To cross a river, Armadillos can either sink to the bottom and crawl across since they can hold their breath for 7 minutes, or they can inflate their intestines and use them as a flotation device to float.”

Someone else added, “You just answered a question I’ve had for years. I always pictured them floating across on their backs like little boats.”

It’s like they have their own built-in life jacket.

10. Snakes

Candoia carinata, known commonly as Candoia ground boa snake, Pacific ground boa, Pacific keel-scaled boa, or Monopohon Halmahera camouflage with brown tree trunk colors.
Image Credit: Lauren Suryanata/Shutterstock.

These slithering wonders don’t have eyelids. Nope, not a blink in sight.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “Snakes don’t have eyelids. If you see a snake blink, that’s a legless lizard.”

Another replied, “Yep. When snakes want to “close their eyes”, they tend to bury their heads in the dirt. Their eye is covered in a special transparent scale. However, when a snake is about to shed, it produces a milky subsistence under the out layer of skin.

This helps loosen it and helps the shed. The problem is that the milky subsistence is under their eye scale as well. This makes it hard for them to see. It’s a good idea to leave shedding snakes alone. They tend to be snappy.”

11. Deep-Sea Anglerfish

Angler fish, Edridolychnus schmidti. The larger female has two smaller parasitic males attached to her body which fertilise her eggs.
Image Credit: Neil Bromhall/Shutterstock.

Ever wondered about those deep-sea anglerfish, the ones that look like they have glowy fishing rods hanging above their heads? Well, here’s the kicker: they’re all female. The males are teeny-tiny and attach themselves to the females like parasites. Nature sure has its own way of balancing the dating scene.

A Reddit user wrote, “All the deep sea anglerfish you see pictures of with the lil lights hanging over their heads? They’re all female. The males are tiny and born with a terribly weak jaw and a massive hunger. They seek out a female and torn between hungry and turned on, they bite her.

She then releases an enzyme that fuses the male into her body. She slowly absorbs them into her body with only their lil testicles remaining so she can instantly fertilize her eggs when she wants to”

12. Caterpillars

Close up beautiful Сaterpillar of swallowtail Monarch butterfly from caterpillar.
Image Credit: Darkdiamond67/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “When caterpillars enter the chrysalis phase, they don’t just sprout wings; their entire body first turns into a liquid, soupy substance which then reforms into the butterfly.”

Someone else added, “The real crazy fact is that despite liquifying and then reforming as a butterfly, they retain memories from when they were a caterpillar.”

From goo to glory, they emerge as beautiful butterflies.

13. Sloths

Image Credit: jdross75 via DepositPhotos.com.

Female sloths looking for love don’t bother with Tinder or going out to bars. Nope, they just sit in a tree and scream. Yep, they scream until a male hears them and decides to mate. Talk about a loud love call!

One said, “Sloths are literally too lazy to go looking for a mate, so a female sloth will often sit in a tree and scream until a male hears her and decides to mate with her.”

Another replied, “Vocal consent, and you don’t have to go looking or to wonder if she is DTF, just gotta get your lazy self over there when the howling starts. Humans should do that more.”

14. Crows

An American Crow is flying across a clear blue sky holding an acorn in its beak.
Image Credit: Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock.

A Reddit user wrote, “Crows recognize individual people even if they are wearing disguises and after many years. (The people are wearing disguises, not the crows.)”

Another responded, “Had a pet crow. Verify they are as smart or smarter than people think. They recognize individuals easily, and mine would deliberately tease some people.”

So, that crow you see every day on your way to work? It probably knows exactly who you are. They say crows have great memories, but who knew they were also excellent at people-spotting?

15. Western Lowland Gorilla

A silverback mountain gorilla in a rainforest in Rwanda
Image Credit: Onyx9/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “The Western Lowland Gorilla’s scientific name is “gorilla gorilla gorilla””

Another added, “That’s verbatim what they were called in that one Nintendo DS game where you build a zoo and cages and all. Like, I just remember “Western Lowland Gorilla” as one of my animal options, and all three words barely fit on the name bubble for them. Lol, good times”

Did you know about this obscure gorilla fact?

16. Chickens

Image Credit: PhotoSongserm/Shutterstock.

Someone commented, “Chickens will come to say goodbye to each other when one is dying, and they do soft clicks and will then leave, and that chicken will normally die alone. Some chickens also will kill another chicken because they sense something’s wrong with the chicken, a disease, for example. Hope u enjoyed these facts. I found them in a book called How To Speak Chicken.”

Someone else added, “I watched one of my chickens die. It was so sad. The other chickens went over to her to mourn for a minute, then went about their day.”

Who knew chickens had such a strong sense of camaraderie?

17. Sperm Whale

A Baby Humpback Whale Plays Near the Surface in Blue Water.
Image Credit: Craig Lambert Photography/Shutterstock.

Now, let’s talk about sperm whales. These giants of the deep sea are not just big; they’re LOUD. Their calls are so powerful that if a human were unfortunate enough to swim too close, the sound waves could literally kill them.

A Reddit user wrote, “A sperm whale call is so loud the sound waves could kill a human if they swam close to the whale. Apparently, some divers said they could feel the water heat up from the energy of the sound.”

Another replied, “They can definitely get loud enough to hurt people and maybe rupture eardrums, but I don’t think there’s ever been a recorded case of them actually managing to kill someone with sound alone.”

18. Opossum

curious young possum on a log.
Image Credit: Lisa Hagan/Shutterstock.

Opossums, those nocturnal creatures with their beady eyes, are the only marsupials native to North America. Oh, and get this: their body temperature is so low that it makes them nearly immune to rabies.

Someone commented, “Opossums are, I believe, the only marsupials native to North America. They also have a body temperature so low that it makes them highly resistant to rabies.”

Another added, “Immune to rabies, but they are the primary spreader of the Protozoa that causes EPM, a deadly neurological disease in horses.”

19. Mourning Gecko

A closeup of the head of a mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) on a plant leaves.
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.

Mourning geckos, the all-female squad, are the queens of girl power. There are no males in the species.

A Reddit user wrote, “There are no male Mourning geckos. The entire species is female.”

Someone else added, “I believe there were males at some point in their evolutionary history, but after they evolved into having the best body type for their habitat, they decided that they didn’t need to have variations and traded it for the ability to reproduce without needing a mate – that makes reproduction easier but also significantly lowers adaptability.”

20. Octopus

Incredible Underwater World - Mimic octopus - Thaumoctopus mimicus. Diving and underwater photography. Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia..
Image Credit: DiveIvanov/Shutterstock.

A discerning Reddit user commented, “We all know an octopus has 8 legs.”

Another replied, “It also has 3 hearts and 9 brains, and it can fit itself through a hole the size of a quarter.”

Need a hug? Octopus has got you covered. Need something opened? Octopus can handle it.

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