The world we live in is a beautiful and bizarre place surrounded by unique species. Many of these unique species are incredibly rare and elusive. However, a few resilient individuals who were at the right place at the right time have managed to capture these rare species. We have curated a list of 15 of the most unique species in the world that will leave our readers awestruck. Read on more to find out more of these offbeat species that will leave you breathless.
1. The amethyst starling is a species native to tropical Africa, and the male of the species is known for its purple and indigo feathers with a bit of green and browns.
The majestic amethyst starling is a sight to behold because of its striking amethyst color. The amethyst starling is also popularly known as the “plum-colored starling” or “violet starling.” The bird is native to tropical Africa and is known for its purple and indigo feathers with a bit of green and browns. The bird’s feathers resemble a galaxy of iridescent features due to their microstructure. The feather’s microstructure refracts light like a prism exhibiting a riot of colors.
Only the males are capable of displaying this striking feature while the female is brown colored. This quirky difference between the male and female of the species is attributed to being sexually dimorphic. It is a condition in which two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics such as size, weight, color, markings, and behavior. The amethyst starling is a rare species that lives on trees and avoids contact with the ground. (1, 2)
2. The blue mycean, also dubbed “Pixie’s Parasol,” is a brilliant cyan blue mushroom. It is a small, non-bioluminescent mushroom found in and around Australia.
The mycean mushroom is a species that is native to Australia and distinguishable only by its microscopic features. It is comprised of over 33 species with many exhibiting bioluminescence features creating a glow known as “foxfire.” The blue mycean mushroom is officially known as Mycena interrupta aka Pixie’s Parasol. It is a small blue mushroom that exhibits a brilliant cyan blue color.
The caps of the mushroom are spherical in shape which spread into a broad convex as they mature and appear slimy. The mushrooms have a long stem and are attached to a wood surface by a white flat disk. The mushroom gills appear white adjoined by blue margins. These magic mushrooms appear in small colonies on moist, woody surfaces. (1, 2)
3. The melanistic serval is an elusive wild cat native to Africa. It derives its name from being melanistic, a gene mutation that gives it a dark pigment when compared to its counterparts.
The servals are a species of wild cats native to Africa. They are slender, small-sized cats that are characterized by their golden-yellow buff coat with black stripes. However, among these species is a rare and elusive black cat known as the melanistic serval. This elusive animal was photographed for the first time by Kenyan photographer Sergio Pitamitz.
The animal is considered to be melanistic – a gene mutation that gives it a darker shade when compared to its normal counterparts. According to biologists, this type of genetic mutation is very rare among servals making it unique. Not much is known about this elusive species, and they usually live at higher elevations that make camouflaging easier. It is considered to be a solitary predator that preys on rodents, birds, and insects. (1, 2)
4. The “Goth Chicken”, the Ayam Cemani acquires its color due to hyperpigmentation. This chicken is entirely black including its feathers, beak, and internal organs.
The Ayam Cemani is a breed of chicken native to Sumatra, Indonesia. The chicken is presumed to be a result of cross-breeding. The word “ayam” means “chicken” in Bahasa Indonesia and “Cemani” refers to the village from which it originated. It is believed that this unique chicken was used for religious and mystical purposes in the past. It is rarely used for consumption purpose in Indonesia.
The chicken is entirely black including its beak, tongue, meat, bones, and internal organs. The black color is a result of excess pigmentation caused by the tissues by a genetic condition known as fibromatosis. Though these birds are pigmented, they lay normal, cream-colored eggs. These unique breeds have retailed for around $2,500 in the United States as it is considered to be one of the rarest breeds. (source)
5. Papilio androgeus is a butterfly and is a bilateral gynandromorph, literally half-male and half-female.
Papilio androgeus is a species of butterfly belonging to the family Papilionidae. The species is found concentrated around Mexico, Florida, to Argentina. The species was first described by Cramer in 1775 and is comprised of three sexes – male, female, and gynandromorph. The butterfly is distinctly characterized by the narrow, pointed tail, and bluish crescents. They also have of a regular row of reddish yellow crescents between the cell and outer margin.
The Papilio androgeus mosaic gynandromorphs are most unique as they display both male and female characteristics. The butterfly exhibits bilateral gynandromorphism that can be noticed in its contrasting wing colors. If you observe closely, the yellow color represents male characteristics and blue color exhibits female characteristics. (1, 2)
6. Black Diamond apples have a unique dark purple skin and look straight of a fairy tale. It is a rare breed of apple grown in the mountains of Tibet.
The Black Diamond apples are rare breed belonging to the family of Hua Niu, aka “Chinese Red Delicious.” The apples have a unique dark purple skin and the color is attributed to their native geography. The apples derive their name due to their waxy texture and diamond-like gleam. The apples are native to Nyingchi, a small city located in Tibet.
They are available in limited quantity and sold only in high-end supermarkets. The city receives an excess of ultraviolet light during the day time with temperature fluctuations during the night time. Due to these extreme differences, the fruit has developed a deep purple color. However, unlike its outer appearance, the pulp of the apple is white and juicy like normal apples. (1, 2)
7. Hymenopus coronatus is a rare adult orchid mantis from Malaysia. They are rare because their fabulous coloration attracts birds and they usually don’t survive to adulthood.
Orchid manti, aka Hymenopus coronatus, is a gorgeous pink-and-white-hued mantis that resembles flower petals. The rare mantis that resembles a walking orchid is found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. The orchid mantis is characterized by its brilliant coloring and is quickly adaptable to any environmental conditions. The mantis is an expert in camouflage and mimics parts of an orchid flower.
The mantis’s legs resemble a walking flower and the front pair of legs are used for grasping their prey. Like the Amethyst starling, the Hymenopus coronatus also exhibits sexual dimorphism such as the males are smaller in size when compared to the females. The orchid mantis is a favorite among insect breeders but is as rare as it is very expensive. (1, 2)