Aliens. What do they look like to you? Grey, green? Short, tall? Something completely different? Whatever you imagine aliens looking like, they’ll surely look unlike anything here on Earth, right? Well, don’t jump to conclusions so fast. From a bleeding fungus to a fish that resembles ‘The Predator’, here are the top 20 alien-like things that exist in real life.
20) The Devil’s Tooth
The Devil’s Tooth, also known as the Bleeding Tooth Fungus, is a grotesque sight to behold. It looks like chewing gum or a tooth that is leaking blood. Rest assured, however, the red substance is actually sap, not blood. The Devil’s Tooth can be found in North America or Europe, and it’s a non-edible fungus. But, looking like that, I bet no one would try to eat it even if they could.
19) The Black Bat Flower
The Black Bat Flower has quite a literal name. The plant is entirely black, with creepy long whiskers coming out from the sides. Plus, it has flowers that could easily be mistaken for bats sleeping upside down. These flowers grow up to 12 inches long, while its whiskers can grow up to 28 inches. This is the kind of plant that only looks appropriate in your garden when Halloween comes around.
18) Felimare Picta
The Felimare Picta is sea slug that comes in bright and colorful variations. They’re fairly small, only growing to about 8 inches long, and live in subtropical waters, particularly around the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. They’re mollusks, which are kind of like snails. They don’t, however, have a shell that protects them. So they have to resort to other tricks, like literally sweating acid. Is that alien enough for you?
17) Hydnora Africana
The Hydnora Africana is unlike any other plant you’ve ever seen. It has a fleshy flower that emerges from underground, scaly skin and it smells like dung.
Literally. That’s because the Hydnora Africana wants to attract the dung beetle. An unsuspecting dung beetle usually crawls inside of the Hydnora, which then closes up, trapping the insect. But rather than killing it, the plant just keeps the beetle prisoner for a bit while it loses bodily fluids and pollinates the flower. After some time, the Hydnora lets the dung beetle go. It might still be alive, but it’s certainly traumatized for life.
16) Strangler Fig
The Strangler Fig is named after the way this fig grows on their host trees. They wrap around their hosts, sucking the tree’s nutrients for themselves.
This often leads to the tree’s death. In a way, they’re very similar to the vines in the second season of Stranger Things. They slowly take over the land, corrupting it along the way and using it for their own benefit. Thankfully, unlike in Stranger Things, the actual strangler fig has yet to develop the habit of attacking humans. For now, at least.
15) Buddha’s Hand
The Buddha’s Hand is a fruit that is segmented into finger-like sections. For some experts, it looks similar to some depictions of Buddha’s Hand. For the ignorant, it looks more like it’s growing giant, fat yellow tentacles. Unlike many other things showcased in this article, the Buddha’s Hand actually has a pleasant fragrance. This probably explains why our ancestors decided to cultivate the plant and not destroy it completely. Even though it looks like a hostile invader from another planet.
14) Sea pig
The Sea Pig is a slug-like creature that is part of the sea cucumber family. Although they don’t look that much like pigs, they earned their name due to their pinkish hue and plump little legs. Sea Pigs can eventually grow into a variety of different shapes. The sea pigs aren’t that big and could easily fit in the palm of your hand, growing up to 6 inches long.
They can only be found 3,000 feet below the ocean surface, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever meet this pink little alien fella.
13) Pink See-Through Fantasia
The Pink See-Through Fantasia is a sea cucumber that leaves nothing to the imagination. That’s because you can literally see its mouth, intestine and anus all from the outside.
This not-so-shy creature was discovered recently, in 2007. It lives at a depth of roughly 8,200 feet. Like other deep-sea creatures, it also emits light. The soft glow of the Fantasia even highlights its intestines. When you see it move, it can look like an alien creature floating in outer space, rather than the dark deep-sea.
12) Doll’s Eye
The Doll’s Eye is a plant that grows in a creepy blood-red stalk and has berries that look like eyeballs.
You could see this type of plant growing on a hostile alien planet. Thankfully, the eyes don’t really move, since mother nature isn’t that intent to terrify us. They aren’t, however, completely harmless. If eaten, these eyeball berries could cause a heart attack or even death.
11) Devil’s Claw
While still the ground, the Devil’s Claw looks like an alien spider laying on its back, with its long tentacles spreading out.
It’s also similar to the Headcrab creatures from the Half-Life games. It gets worse, though, especially if they are on your way. The devil’s claw seed pod is actually designed to latch on to your feet. They use it as a way of transportation. Can you imagine, having one of those alien-looking tentacles latching on to your feet? That’s good-old-fashioned nightmare fuel right there.
10) Cedar Apple Rust Fungus
The Cedar Apple Rust Fungus could have easily inspired many sci-fi movies where a parasite slowly takes over an organism. The transformation is truly fascinating, albeit gross-looking. First, the fungus takes over the apple or cedar tree and tiny galls start appearing on the fruit.
Then, after a while, a pimple-like structure burst out. These structures eventually develop into a gelatinous orange protrusion.
The end result is a fruit that is unrecognizable and very alien looking.
9) Passion Flower
Ok. Let’s take a break from the horrible monstrosities for a little bit. After all, alien planets aren’t just supposed to be scary. They can also be beautiful, wonderful places. And the Passionflower would very easily fit in one of those planets.
The passionflower is a perennial vine that has a beautiful and intricate look, with showy white and purple scented flowers. The passionflower isn’t just pretty to look at, however. Its leaves can be used to make a tea that helps with anxiety. If you ever find any of the things from this list in the wild, hopefully, it will be the passionflower.
8) Horned Melon
The horned melon seems like a fruit straight out of an exotic alien planet, like the one in Avatar. It’s bright yellow, with its outside filled with small horns. Inside, it has a strong green color and it is packed with seeds.
In fact, the horned melon looks so alien that it made an appearance in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In the show, they called it a “Golana Melon”. So there you have it, the horned melon is also Hollywood famous.
7) The Blue Dragon Sea Slug
The Blue Dragon Sea Slug is far from what many would think of when they hear the word “slug”. It has a bright blue color and a great number of appendages that look like misshapen fingers.
They are really tiny, at around 1.2 inches in length. Unlike most sea slugs, the Blue Dragon doesn’t crawl along the bottom of the ocean. They actually swallow an air bubble and float just under the surface of the water. This makes them look like a spider walking on water, which has probably scared many people before.
6) Devil’s Finger or Octopus Skinhorn
The Devil’s Finger is an aptly named fungus that brings us right back to the hellscape of scary-looking alien plants. First of all, the fungus hatches from leathery eggs, not that different from the Xenomorph eggs in the Alien franchise.
As the Devil’s Finger grows, they reveal bright-red, scary-looking tentacles.
To add insult to injury, the plant also exudes the smell of rotten flesh. The reason they do that isn’t to make us poop our pants, but in hopes to attract flies that will carry their spores elsewhere. Us pooping our pants is just a side effect.
5) Promachoteuthis Sulcus
The Promachoteuthis sulcus is a squid that has two large tentacles, eight arms, and, last but not least, human-like dentures.
That’s right, it’s a squid with teeth. Well, actually, those aren’t real teeth. They’re a circular fold of soft-tissues that are more akin to lips. Not much else is known about this squid since only a single specimen has ever been captured. One thing is certain: you don’t need to be afraid of it. This squid only lives in the depths of the sea and is very tiny, being 1 inch long. The pictures alone, however, might haunt your dreams for a while.
4) Rafflesia Arnoldii
The Rafflesia Arnoldii, or Corpse Flower, is a huge plant that has that name because it smells like decaying flesh.
Much like the Devil’s finger, it uses it to attract flies. With leaves that can grow up to three and a half feet in diameter, the Corpse Flower also has a pretty big hole in the middle where the odor exudes from. This plant also has the distinction of being the largest single flower in the world. Another fun fact: it is reported that the corpse flower inspired the look of the Pokémon Vileplume. But Vileplume looks way less scary than its real-world inspiration. Thankfully.
3) Sarcastic Fringehead
The oddly named Sarcastic Fringehead resembles a real-life version of the Predator.
These footlong fishes can widen their mouth to an incredible length, displaying their needle-like teeth. When two rival fringe heads wrestle, they press their mouths against each other, which makes it look like they are kissing. However, they’re merely assessing who is the biggest, and therefore, most dominant fish. If you ever find yourself exploring the sea, make sure you don’t go around poking into every crevasse, otherwise, you might have a nasty surprise waiting for you.
2) Atolla Jellyfish
Many examples on this list look like alien creatures, but the Atolla jellyfish actually looks like an alien mode of transportation.
They are a dead ringer for a spaceship. Deep red in color, these UFO jellyfish are fairly common, living 2,200 feet below the surface. The Atolla is also bioluminescent, meaning it emits light. This works as a defense mechanism. When attacked by a predator, the jellyfish emits a flurry of bright flashes. The lights attract bigger fishes that go after the Atolla’s predator. This way, the jellyfish has a chance of escaping.
1) Bobbit Worm
The Bobbit Worm is a scary creature. First of all, the Bobbit Worm gets its name from a case involving a woman named Lorena Bobbitt, a knife and… well, a worm-like part of the male body. The Bobbit worm can be around 10 feet long and has a jaw so powerful that they can slice a fish in two. The way they hunt is also frightening. The Bobbit worm burrows into the seabed and leaves only a small part of its body above the surface, waiting for unsuspecting prey.
When they wander by, the worm lunges out, grabs the fish and drags it underground. They resemble the Graboid creature from the movie Tremors. But, thankfully, the worm isn’t interested in Kevin Bacon or any other humans, just fishes.
So, what did you think? What was the thing you thought most looked like an alien? Let me know by leaving a comment down below! Thanks for reading!