10 Crazy New Species Discovered in 2015: Dracula Ants, Shape-Shifting Frogs, and Dwarf Dragons

KS Strange ScienceI live in San Francisco and the California Academy of Sciences is one of my favorite places to visit! Who doesn’t love penguins, rainforests, albino alligators, and a rad planetarium all under one roof??

In 2015, researchers at the Academy added 102 new plant and animal species to our family tree. The new species include two frogs, 23 ants, three beetles, eight wasps, 11 spiders, 26 fishes, nine sea slugs, two corals, nine plants, one water bear, and eight new viruses.

Given that we have found less than 10% of the species on our planet, the Academy has inspired me to share ten of my favorite wild new species discovered in 2015. Meet the hog-nosed shrew rat, sparklemuffin spider, and water bear. Happy New Year! 🎉


World’s First Two-Headed Neon ‘Toxic’ Sea Slug Discovered in Borneo

KS Strange ScienceThis neon two-faced sea slug might look like something you’d find in a sci-fi movie, but it was just found right here on Earth! 🐛

Credit: Caters News Agency
Credit: Caters News Agency

The nudibranch – a soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusk – was discovered by a diver and a team of film-makers at Kapalai, a sandbar off the coast of Sabah in eastern Malaysian Borneo.

These slugs are part of the species nembrotha kubaryana, but are commonly known as neon sea slugs due to their bright orange and green pattern – which warns predators of their toxicity.

The two-headed oddity was found by dive master Nash Baiti while making a new film series called ‘Borneo from Below.’ This amazing slug’s alien malformation was most likely caused by a gene mix up or damage from pollution.

Clay Bryce, a nudibranch expert and marine biologist at the Western Australian Museum in Perth said, ‘I have never seen another two headed marine creature like this before and I have spent 10,000 hours underwater chasing nudibranchs.’

Maybe it’s just me, but I think this one-of-a-kind neon slug is pretty cute! 😝

World’s First Two-Headed Neon ‘Toxic’ Sea Slug Discovered in Borneo

These Tiny Fluffy ‘Sea Bunny’ Slugs Almost Broke the Internet

KS_LOGOs2_UnderwaterWho knew sea slugs could be adorable? The ‘sea bunny’ slug, or Jorunna parva, is a species known for its fluffy bunny-like appearance. No wonder it just gave the internet a heart attack! 💓


This little sea slug’s bunny ears are actually rhinophores, or chemosensory organs that help them detect chemicals in the water and also sense changes in currents. And its tiny ‘fluffy’ bunny body (less than 1 inch) is actually covered in caryophyllidia – sensory tubercles, surrounded by tiny needle-like structures called spicules.

Jorunna parva belongs to a group of soft-bodied, marine mollusks called nudibranchs. They are found along the coast of Japan, but have also been spotted in the Indian Ocean and around the Philippines.

This cute underwater rabbit can vary in color from yellow, to orange, to white with black ‘spots.’ All I know is I want one! 🐰

These Tiny Fluffy ‘Sea Bunny’ Slugs Almost Broke the Internet