The strangest animals in Alabama: Did we get it right?

The alligator snapping turtle was called weird by the Dismalite glowworm. In response, the glowworm defended itself by saying, “I’m not weird, you’re weird.”

The turtle responded with an open-mouthed protest, “Do you think I’m weird? Just because I resemble a creature from Jurassic Park and use my tongue as a fishing lure?”

I must say, you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting this adorable and affectionate songbird that has a peculiar habit of hunting and displaying its prey on barbed wire fences. It’s truly fascinating to witness.

Animals in Alabama have their fair share of peculiarities, although the definition of “weird” may vary depending on who you ask. Even among the state’s most unusual creatures, there is likely to be disagreement on which ones truly fit the bill.

Describing an animal in an extremely unscientific way may not be the most accurate method, but it sure adds an element of fun to it.

In late 2020, reached out to various animal experts, researchers, and the general public, seeking nominations for Alabama’s most “weird” animals. Instead of providing specific criteria, we wanted to gather opinions from those who have extensive knowledge of wildlife and those who have encountered these animals in their daily lives. Our goal was to discover the most peculiar, surprising, unique, or perplexing species that currently inhabit our state.

We were not disappointed by the response from the people. We received numerous suggestions, and in this series, we have chosen to highlight six of them. However, there were many more interesting and endangered mussels, amphibians, birds, and insects that we couldn’t include this time. Perhaps in the future, we will explore another 12 suggestions.

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Living in a biodiverse state like Alabama comes with its perks, one of which is the abundance of species to choose from. In this list, we have highlighted six species that stood out to us among the many.

Alabama and New Zealand are the only places where you can witness the incredible sight of swarms of glowworms lighting up the walls of Dismals Canyon.

There is a disturbing bird known as the serial killer bird that has a peculiar habit of hanging up its prey on barbed wire fences, seemingly to store them for future consumption.

The amphiuma is a remarkable three-foot-long salamander that possesses the extraordinary ability to hunt in near total darkness. It achieves this by sensing the electrical impulses emitted by its prey.

The rainbow snake is known for its vibrant colors, which are rarely observed due to its aquatic lifestyle focused on hunting eels.

The red fire ant, a common insect found in many areas, exhibits remarkable abilities. It is capable of excavating tunnels that reach depths of up to 20 feet underground. Moreover, when faced with flooding, these ants can create rafts to float away from the rising waters. Additionally, they have the ability to fly at heights of 300-500 feet in order to reproduce, before descending and colonizing new areas.

We selected some incredibly unique and unusual animals.

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