There are many ways to visit some of the world’s most incredible and exotic animals. They can be seen in zoos, in sanctuaries, safaris and more, but the best way to see these incredible creatures is in the wild where they belong. So, are you an animal lover? Do you want to see spiders the size of your face? Would you love to crawl beneath the underbelly of a see-through reptile to get a look at it’s inner workings? Well, calling all adventurists! Here are three places you can visit to find some of the most rare and exotic animals in the world.
1. The Amazon Basin
The Amazon Rainforest is home to an astounding half (or more) of the world’s animal species. Being the most diverse ecosystem has got to produce some pretty exotic animals, in both appearance and behavior. One of the Amazon’s inhabitants is the Jesus Lizard, who got it’s name from it’s ability to “run on water.” The tiny lizard moves at speeds nearing five-and-a-half miles per hour, explaining it’s unreal ability. The Glass Frog is another exotic species from the Amazon Basin. As it’s name hints at, the glass frog’s skin is truly see-through. A close look will give you a perfect look at it’s heart, liver and other organs powering the amphibian. What would the Amazon be without some incredible monkey species? The Emperor Tamarin is better known as the mustache monkey due to it’s humorously hanging white mustache.
© Jason Parrish
2. Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia
The Great Bear Rainforest is unique because it’s one of the largest remaining temperate rainforests still mostly untouched. Resting off the west coast of Canada, the forest is home to thousands of beautiful plant and animal species. Called The Amazon of the North, this 21-million-acre rainforest has many unique species found exclusively within it’s boundaries. The Kermode Bear, or better known as “the spirit bear” or “ghost bear” is one of these rare species. The animal is actually a black bear despite it’s pristine white coat, which scientists believe is due to a rare genetic trait that manifested itself in the area. Although adorable, beware that these bears will eat just about anything. Including you.
The land isn’t the only place to find marvelous wildlife. Some of the world’s last remaining great salmon runs are found here, where millions of fish return to each year. There is a stunning balance of nature here, where the glacier-fed waters provide sustenance for the fish, who in turn feed the glorious bears and land creatures.
© Maximillian Helm
3. Daintree Rainforest, Australia
Australia’s diverse rainforest contains animals with some of the coolest abilities that are only seen in the Daintree. An animal that is quite literally cool is Boyd’s Forest Dragon. The reptile maintains a colder body temperature than any other reptiles in the rainforest area, protecting them from the Amethystine Python which uses heat sensitivity to locate warm-blooded prey.
The craziest creature living amongst the Daintree forest has to be the deadly Cassowary bird. Yes, bird. An adult can grow to around six and a half feet in height and weigh well over a hundred pounds. It has a face frozen in a challenging stare that will set anything running as fast as they can in the opposite direction. Too bad the Cassowary reaches speeds beyond thirty miles an hour on foot. One kick from this modern-day velociraptor is enough to gash through it’s prey and kill. Although the Cassowary is a rather shy animal, just knowing what it’s capable of is enough to want to keep a bit of a distance if you come across one. Happy travels!
© Oliver Dodd