Bizarre Beasts

Asia

After centuries of modern science and exploration, you’d think we’ve found all there is to know about our planet yet new discoveries pop up almost every year. We haven’t even come close to documenting all species of animals, but we’ve found some really exotic creatures that wouldn’t feel out of place in a monster-hunting video game. Here are a few bizarre beasts and where to find them.

  • Natural Wonders
  • Outdoors
  • Area

Updated 5 months ago

Yanping Township

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Taitung City, China • Recommendation • 

It’s like an anteater covered in scaly armor. The Pangolin rolls up in a ball of hardened scales, made from the same stuff that your fingernails are made of. While it is almost an endangered species, it has begun thriving in the small village of Luanshan in Yanping Township.

  • Yanping Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 953

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Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary - Entrance

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Sandakan, Malaysia • Recommendation • 

It’s a big monkey with a huge floppy nose. The Proboscis Monkey is native to South Asian islands with its most prominent sanctuary found in Malaysia. You’ll get to see the monkeys in their natural habitat, but maybe wear some earplugs as they’re known to howl to assert their dominance.

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Langtang National Park

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Kathmandu, Nepal • Recommendation • 

It’s a leopard, but with large dark blotchy spots all over its coat. The Clouded Leopard lives in a few different habitats. Although more commonly perched in the branches of rainforest trees, the big cat was most recently spotted on the Himalayan foothills.

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Bohol

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Baclayon, Philippines • Recommendation • 

It’s a tiny primate with huge eyes the size of its brain. The Tarsier measures at a maximum 160mm, about the size of your palm! It’s a scary world for something so small, so they actually commit suicide if you take them out of their habitat. That’s why tourists can take pictures, but can’t touch them.

  • Bohol, Philippines

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National Chambal Sanctuary

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Bhind, India • Recommendation • 

It’s a crocodile, but imagine its snout is really long and really thin. The Gharial’s chompers are specialized to catch the slippery fish swimming in the waters. The croc used to be all over the northern Indian subcontinent, but you can observe them in the Chambal River.

  • Chikanipura, Uttar Pradesh 283114, India

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Borneo

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Samarinda, Indonesia • Recommendation • 

It’s a smaller bear, but with a golden crest of fur. The Sun Bear is a species of bear that measures 135cm on average, the smallest of all bears. They get their name from the golden ring around their collar that, according to legend, represents the rising sun.

  • Borneo

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Bidoup Nui Ba National Park

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Ðà Lạt, Vietnam • Recommendation • 

It’s a small black frog, but half of both its eyes are white. The Yin Yang Toad was recently discovered in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam in 2011.

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Annamite Range

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Savannakhét, Laos • Recommendation • 

It’s like a deer, but with two sharp, twisting horns. Saolas, meaning “spindle horns” in Vietnamese, were discovered relatively recently in 1992. They are still extremely rare and native only to the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos; thus, earning the nickname the Asian Unicorn.

  • Annamite Range, Laos

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Horton Plains National Park

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Kandy, Sri Lanka • Recommendation • 

It’s like a puma that never grew past the size of a kitten. In 2012, the Rusty-Spotted Cat was spotted in the Horton Plains in Sri Lanka. It’s the smallest wild cat in Asia. They’re mostly active at night, hunting small rodents and birds.

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Sichuan

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Leshan, China • Recommendation • 

It’s like a red raccoon with a face that looks like a mix between a fox and a bear. The Red Panda is a mammal native to the Himalayas and southwestern area of China. The wild population is endangered but is thriving in captivity at Sichuan Province.

  • Sichuan, China

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Yangtze

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Shashi, China • Recommendation • 

It’s a plumper dolphin, but without a dorsal fin. The Finless Porpoise gets its name from the fact that it doesn’t have the large fin on its back that dolphins and sharks have. In the olden days, sailors used to mistake them for mermaids around the Korean peninsula in the Yangtze and East China Seas.

  • Yangtze, China

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