There’s the hooked-nose proboscis monkey of Borneo, the google-eyed tarsier from the Philippines, and the Tasmanian echidna, which has a pouch like a marsupial, quills like a porcupine and the long sticky tongue of an anteater.
Some definitely got the cheated in the beauty department, like the female gelada baboon (found in Ethiopia), whose chest turns bright red as her hormone levels rise, and the Victoria crowned pigeon (from New Guinea) that looks like it’s having a permanent bad hair day.
But some of them are so odd they’re actually cute. The hairless naked mole rat (found in East Africa) is almost completely blind and, with its chubby body and big buck teeth, totally adorable. The aye-aye, a caffeinated-looking lemur with independently rotating ears, is found in Madagascar – and is it just me, or does it kind of look like Dobby from Harry Potter?
If you can’t make it to see the animals in their homelands, you can still view many of them at zoos around the world. See the whole list of unusual animals here.