Scariest Hybrid Animals That Actually Exist
Here are some unusual, rare and scary hybrid animals you won't believe are real!Animals
There are some truly unique, beautiful, and astounding creatures on this planet. But humans looked at this rich tapestry of creation and thought, "what if we just smooshed these animals together?"
From monster-cows to wild wolfdogs, from solar-powered plant-slugs to gross naked chickens, here are some of the freakiest animal hybrids you won’t believe exist.
Lions have long been called “the Kings of the Jungle”, but they’re about to be dethroned by a close relative. Introducing the liger, an absolute unit that’s the result of a male lion breeding with a female tiger.
Ligers are humungous creatures and have been known to stand more than 4 ft at the shoulder, stretch as long as 12 feet, and weigh up to 1200 pounds! That’s twice the size of a refrigerator, and as heavy as a grand piano!
For contrast, a pure-bred African lion on the larger side can grow to be 10 feet long and weigh up to 550 pounds. This easily makes the liger the biggest big cat in the world!
Now, the liger’s huge size comes down to a specific mix of genes it’s inherited from its parents. A male lion must compete for breeding rights, so his genes promote growth in his offspring to ensure they survive.
Usually, the genes of a lioness will inhibit this growth so that she can carry multiple offspring. But the genes of a tigress are geared towards producing singular offspring! That means they can’t inhibit the male lion’s growth genes in their offspring, leading to one massive Liger!
It’s for this reason if you cross a male tiger with a lioness, you get Tigon, which are much smaller and more aggressive than ligers! Sadly, because of this gene switch, ligers and tigons tend to have a lot of health problems and don’t usually survive through infancy.
As lions and tigers have no naturally overlapping habitats, ligers and tigons only exist in captivity, and it’s currently thought there are less than 100 in the world. Considering how huge and aggressive these creatures can be, that’s probably a good thing!
Now you understand how hybrid animals are named, you can probably guess what a grolar bear is. The grolar bear is the fierce-and-formidable mix of a grizzly bear and a polar bear, if the polar bear is the mother, that is. If the polar bear is the father, the creature is embarrassingly called a pizzly bear.
But whatever you call them, they’re typically between six-and-a-half and 10 feet long and can weigh anywhere from 400 to 1500 pounds. For comparison, a grizzly bear typically reaches 6-and-a-half feet in length while a polar bear can grow to about 10, meaning the grolar bear comfortably sits between them in size.
Interestingly, the grolar bear can carry children and give birth to healthy cubs. This is unusual, as most hybrid species mixed genes render them infertile. While the exact number of grolar bears isn’t known, they do exist in the wild and sightings of them have become more common recently.
This may be because, unlike tigers and lions, grizzly and polar bear habitats overlap in the Arctic and Americas. This common ground has been increasing with time as global warming impacts the climate of the regions.
It’s been theorized that this increasing overlap combined with the grolar bear’s ability to produce offspring may mean they’re the future of bear-kind! This might be bad news for us though, as Grolars are apparently more aggressive and much braver than grizzlies.
So now you know that hulking hybrids walk the surface of the earth, I think it’s only fair to let you know that the ocean isn’t any safer. There is a bizarre creature called wholphin, and it’s what happens when a whale breeds with a dolphin.
To be more specific, it’s what happens when a false killer whale breeds with a bottlenose dolphin. Before you get too confused as to how that might work, in 1985 a wholphin was born to false killer whale I’anui Kahei and dolphin mother Punahele in the Honolulu Sea Life Park.
The calf was named Kekaimalu, which means “from the peaceful ocean”, even though the resulting creature is a little too creepy looking for that name. Wholphin’s are certainly odd-looking creatures; their heads resemble false killer whales; however, the fins and nose are more dolphin-like.
Wholphin teeth are straight up unsettling! Their color is also a steely grey, which is an interesting halfway point between the coloration of their parents.
Before Kekaimalu was born, park handlers couldn’t imagine a romance blossoming between her parents. After all, I’anui Kahei was 14 feet long and 2000 pounds, whereas Punahele was six feet long and barely 400 pounds. That’s what you get for underestimating the power of love!
Kekaimalu grew up quickly, and after just two years was larger than her mother. She’s now fully grown and gave birth to her own one-quarter-false-killer-whale-wholphin calf in 2005. Though extremely rare, wholphins have been spotted in the wild, so the two species may have more in common than we first thought. Love certainly does find a way.
Israeli Fried Goblins
There are many strange and bizarre creatures on Earth, and while some of them might seem ugly, they’re no less deserving of life or respect. They can all elicit a sense of awe once you learn a little more about these creatures.
The creature below is a pale red, featherless species of chicken that’s been intentionally bred in Israel. The species was apparently created by interbreeding naturally bare necked chickens with broiler chickens.
So, what have these bizarre little goblins been bred for? Well in the farming community, a naturally naked chicken saves workers from having to pluck the feathers once they’ve been culled.
Additionally, when you’re farming hundreds of fluffy birds that are all close together, they can generate a lot of heat. It’s not uncommon for chickens to overheat and even die in crowded farms! A chicken without feathers aims to solve both of those problems.
If you think this is all a little morbid, consider this: someone bred a freakish species of bird just to make culling it easier and didn’t even bother giving it a proper name.
In the world of cattle, there was a male steer who really stood out from his herd and his name was Knickers! At 6 ft 4 inches tall, and 2,800 lbs, the Holstein-Friesian steer was roughly the height of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and weighed about 11 times as much! That’s some big knickers.
But despite this steer’s gargantuan size, even he couldn’t compete with the man-made hybrid that is the Belgian Blue, sometimes called a supercow. This beastly bovine looks like it could give the man of steel a run for his money.
Supercows measure in at roughly 5 ft at the shoulder but can weigh more than 2800 pounds! That means, compared to Knickers, they’re carrying much more bodyweight on a much smaller frame, making them look jacked as hell.
The species was bred into existence in the latter half of the 19th century when domesticated Belgian cattle were bred with imported British shorthorn bulls. It was found these cows were more likely to have a rare double musculature characteristic, which they were then bred for.
The trait was a boon for butchers, as a Belgian Blue yields up to 80% more beef than that of a regular cow.
Despite being such a useful creature for the farming industry, many claim the breeding of supercows is unethical. This is because many of the cows are so muscular, they have a hard time moving around and living comfortable lives.
Hungry like the Wolfdog
If you think your dog is a troublemaker, be thankful you’ve never had to house train a wolfdog. As the name suggests, these canines are the result of breeding wolves with regular, domesticated dogs! Breeding is more likely to be successful between wolves and dog breeds that are already more wolf-like, such as huskies, German shepherds, and malamutes.
Wolfdogs don’t occur in the wild very often, as wolves are generally territorial and untrusting of creatures outside their tight-knit packs. Wolfdogs themselves tend to be wilder, and less predictable than regular dogs.
This makes sense when you think about it, after all, dogs are just wolves humans have selectively bred over centuries to be calmer and easier to control. By breeding one with a wolf, you’re just undoing all the hard work we put into domesticating them!
Wolfdogs can weigh up to 120 pounds and stand as tall as three-feet at-the-shoulder. On-average this makes them about as tall as wolves, if a bit leaner. Don’t let that fool you, though. These semi-wild poochies have been known to jump over eight feet in a single bound!
Their closeness to wolves also means they prefer a diet of raw meat mixed with grain-free kibble. Though some can be sweet and easy-going, their general unpredictability and strength means you aren’t advised to get one as a pet. So, if you see one down at the pound, go for the chihuahua instead!
A serval is an interesting kitty, being one of Africa’s lesser-known predator cats. Unlike big cats, however, the serval only stands about two feet tall, weighs under 40 pounds, and has a head that looks just a little too small for its body!
At this size, the cat is small enough that some very troubled breeders experimented with what it could mate with! The tawny tabby in the clip below is a Savannah Cat and is the result of breeding a serval with a regular, everyday housecat.
The slender savannah cat is a little taller than an average moggy, at about a foot-and-a-half tall, with the serval’s distinct stripes and spots all over its fur. This distinctive appearance has made the savannah cat a popular pet, though it’s reportedly much more territorial and aggressive than regular cats.
A savannah cat can pose a danger to both owners and other pets, and for these reasons it’s illegal to own one in certain US states like Hawaii and Georgia!
Servals have also been bred with caracals, which are noble-looking cats found in India and Africa. Caracals are roughly the same size as Servals, and even though their habitats do overlap, caracal or serval hybrids are exceptionally rare, and have only ever been seen in captivity.
The Living Lettuce
Remember when you were little, and your mom would say “you are what you eat”? Well, that may not be true for us, but it certainly is for this little guy. Meet the green sea slug, or the Eastern Emerald Elysia when it’s trying to show off!
This unassuming gastropod can be found all along the United States’ eastern coast and can grow to be about two-and-a-half inches long.
So, what makes it a hybrid? Well, this greedy species has gobbled up so much algae over the centuries, that it’s developed the ability to produce its own chlorophyl, making it half slug and half plant!
Chlorophyl is the substance that allows plants to convert sunlight into energy, effectively making the green sea slug the world’s first solar-powered slug, as well as the first freaky plant-animal hybrid!
It might help to think of the slug as more of a hybrid car than a hybrid animal. Hybrid cars can run on a mixture of both gas and electricity – and the sea slug is the same way. Except instead of gas and electricity, the slug runs on food and solar power!
Jaguars and lions are both incredibly imposing felines. Lions are muscular monsters, with males typically weighing around 420 pounds. While Jaguars are a little leaner at an average of 260 pounds, they’re still the third-largest big cat in the world and are more devious and sneaky hunters than the lion.
Both cats are apex predators, meaning they’re at the very top of their respective food chains. Lions can take down huge buffalo, while Jaguars regularly prey on ferocious caiman. Imagine the offspring these two terrible hunters would produce!
The two cats below are Jahzara and Tsunami, and they’re the offspring of lioness Lola and black jaguar Diablo in Bear Creek Sanctuary. As lions primarily roam Africa and Jaguars mainly stalk the Amazon, they may be the only Jaglions in the world.
As you can tell, Jahzara has inherited his father’s melanistic genes, meaning he has a higher-than-normal level of pigment producing cells that make his fur jet black. Considering Jahzara takes more after his jaguar father, he’s likely more inclined to be a night-time, stealth hunting machine like him.
With his dark coloring and that extra pinch of lion muscle, I’m certainly relieved there aren’t more predators like him stalking the jungle!
Jahzara and Tsunami still live in Bear Creek to this day with their parents, who are apparently inseparable. Can you imagine an argument breaking out in that enclosure? And you thought your family was intense!
Naturally, if you were out swimming in the ocean and saw a shark fin poking out of the water, you’d be pretty scared. Furthermore, if that shark fin has a little black tip at the top, you should be even more scared!
The Australian blacktip shark lives primarily in warmer climates, as its name suggests, the Australian coast, and can be identified by the little black tips on its fins. The shark comes in at around 5.2 feet, and while a shark of any size is scary, comparatively speaking that’s not that big.
Regular blacktip sharks, however, usually live over 1000 miles away from Australia. They grow to about 6.6 feet but have been known to grow to as large as eight feet. Australians should be pretty worried, then, that their comparatively dinky blacktip sharks have been having hybrid babies with the larger breed!
A group of Australian researchers identified not one, not two, but 57 hybridized blacktip sharks not far from the northern Australian coast. It’s theorized that, like the grolar bear, the hybrid blacktip might be the result of changing climates and expanding habitats.
This is especially worrying as regular blacktips are known to bite humans, as if Australians didn’t have enough deadly animals to worry about, already!
Sometimes it’s just impossible to make a relationship work. Your personalities might clash, you might want different things for the future, or one of you might be 22 times the size of the other. That's the case of the next monstrosity we’re about to meet: the Chi-Dane-Dane.
If you’ve been paying attention to naming conventions and know anything about dog breeds, I bet your eyes are widening right now! That’s because the average Great Dane stands between 30 and 34 inches tall and can weigh up to 200 pounds. But a chihuahua tends to grow between 6 and 9 inches tall and weighs just two to six pounds.
As with several previous examples, intrepid breeders are the villains of this story, as they initially tried to breed a male great Dane with a female chihuahua. After this they attempted artificial insemination, but the little chihuahua just couldn’t carry the massive baby to term.
Eventually the breeders came to their senses, and a male chihuahua and a female Great Dane mated. We can only assume a stepladder was involved somehow, but eventually, the Chi-Dane-Dane was born.
Sometimes more respectfully called the great Mexican dog, the resulting breed is strange; it has a long body and short, stubby legs, with a large head that’s shaped like that of a greyhound. The dogs are known to be loyal and friendly, and typically grow to be twice the size of a chihuahua but still much smaller than a great Dane.
It’s not a bad dog, but it looks like these breeders were so pre-occupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should!
Yai am Legend
In the movies, the mighty Godzilla is supposed to reside at the bottom of the ocean but from the look of the next creature, he might be on land. Let me introduce you to Yai, one very special croc.
Yai is the only known hybrid crocodile in the world, his parents being a saltwater crocodile and a Siamese crocodile but that’s not the only record he holds. In the year 2000, the Guinness World Records pronounced him the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, coming in at an overwhelming 19 feet 8 inches long and weighing over 2,645 pounds.
That’s as long as a giraffe is tall, and almost twice as heavy as an adult cow! Even scarier, Yai has apparently grown since then, and by some accounts is now 21-feet long. Oftentimes, first-generation hybrid animals can grow to be much larger than either of their parents.
So far, the true hybrids we’ve looked at have had just two parents of different species. This next animal, however, is the work of humans dabbling in hybridization, and using the results for their own gain.
In 2019, scientists in China were able to successfully breed a pig with monkey genes in a lab environment, essentially creating the world’s first monkey-pig. While the piglets looked perfectly normal, a small portion of their genes came from cynomolgus monkeys, also known as crab-eating macaques.
The goal of the hybrid wasn’t to create a pig that loves eating crabs, though! It was to further our understanding of gene manipulation. The hope is that experiments like these will eventually allow scientists to grow human organs in animals for transplant purposes.
Unfortunately, we still have a lot to learn as the two monkey-pigs sadly passed away within just one week of being born. But the experiment hadn’t been in vain; the monkey DNA had been manipulated to produce a bright fluorescent protein, so the cells could be easily observed in the pig’s liver, spleen, heart, and lungs.
What do monkeys, pigs, and people all have in common? They’re all part of the All-You-Can-Splice Gene Buffet! The Salk Institute is an international group of scientists that have been hard at work attempting to advance our understanding of genetic manipulation.
Their end goal is similar to those of the previously mentioned Chinese scientists; to be able to one day grow human organs inside of animal donors. The Salk Institute, however, skipped a few steps. Instead of beginning with pigs carrying monkey DNA, they went straight to pigs with human DNA!
Human cells were merged with a pig embryo which was carried by a pig for 3 to 4 weeks. After this period, the embryo was removed so it could be studied in detail. Casting a wide net, the Salk Institute undertook a similar study which involved placing human cells into the embryo of a rhesus macaque monkey.
This embryo was given even less time to develop, between just one and two weeks. Technically these embryos were chimeras and not hybrids, as the creatures were merely one species with another’s DNA inside it, rather than a 50/50-split crossbreed.
Mixing human and animal DNA is extremely controversial and cannot be publicly funded in the US. Thus far, all funding has come from private donors, presumably billionaires that want to make flying monkey minions a reality.
The results of all these tests conclude that we have a long, long way to go before artificial organ growth becomes a reality. In the pig/human embryo study, only about one in every 100,000 cells were human, which is 0.00001 percent!
This means that right now, even if organs could be grown in donor animals, they’d contain so little human DNA they’d be rejected by a human host.
But in 2020 the most non-human human yet was created in Japan. Researchers were able to record a mouse embryo that contained 4% human cells, and while this is hugely impressive, the research still needs a lot of time to develop.