Animals come in all colors, but some are more common and — let's face it — more humdrum than others. That's why we rounded up this collection of animals with unusual coloring, all of which would look right at home on some Lisa Frank stationery.
A chimera is an organism (animal, human, etc.) that is made up of two or more genetically different cell lines. This means the organism can produce different DNA genotypes depending on what area of the animal a DNA sample is drawn from. Because of these merged genetic codes, the organism is essentially a mixture of two organisms fused together. Usually chimerism goes undetected, but occasionally it results in a unique coat pattern.
Lobster fisherman Sheldon Trenholm of South River, Nova Scotia, Canada, hauled in this rare blue lobster in June 2013. Trenholm took some photos with his prize, but threw the lobster back because it was still quite small. According to the University of Maine's Lobster Institute, blue coloration in lobster shells is the result of a rare genetic defect that causes the lobster to produce more of a certain protein.
This amazing lizard is the Mwanza flat-headed rock agama. For the most part, it’s unremarkable. But its become very popular in recent years as an exotic pet due to its coloring, which resembles Spider-Man’s iconic red-and-blue costume. That is to say, the males look like Spider-Man. Female Mwanza flat-headed rock agamas are just a boring brown color. Sorry, gals.
Herpetologist Jay Savage first discovered the golden toad in 1966. The toad's yellow-orange glow was so striking that Savage at first did not believe it was natural, saying that he thought some jokester must have painted it that color. The species disappeared suddenly in the late ‘80s. None have been seen since 1989, and it is believed to be extinct.
PURPLE POLAR BEAR
This polar bear turned heads and raised eyebrows at the Mendoza City Zoo in Argentina when it suddenly turned a bright shade of purple. The change was not natural, of course. The polar bear was suffering from a skin condition, and the special treatment keepers were using to cure the issue turned the polar bear's fur purple. The bear reverted to its natural color soon thereafter, but not before generating a lot of buzz.
NEON BLUE SAN FRANCISCO GARTER SNAKE
The San Francisco garter snake is a strikingly bright, multi-colored subspecies of garter snake. They typically come in stripes of reds, oranges, blues and teals, as seen in this specimen. By experts’ best estimates, there are only a few thousand of these beautiful creatures left in the world.
BROWN GIANT PANDA
The extremely rare Qinling panda is a subspecies of giant panda found only in the remote Qinling Mountains in western China. Qinling pandas are brown and tan instead of the normal black and white. There are only 200–300 of these animals in the world.
PINK DRAGON MILLIPEDE
Imagine seeing one of these crawl across your bathroom floor. You probably won’t, but if you do, back away. They don’t just look creepy; they’re really dangerous. The pink dragon millipede’s glands actually ooze cyanide. Yes, really.
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Sylvia Mythen, a then 70-year-old grandmother in Venice, Fla., gained some attention in 2011 when she took this photograph of an apparently orange alligator. Although the gator stirred people’s imaginations, experts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission eventually decided the animal’s color was not natural, but that it somehow had been covered in paint or an orange substance.