Just like humans, animals have the potential to be born with a distinct set of characteristics, genetic mutations that effect how they look and interact with the world around them. However, as animals have fur, feathers, and scales, the possibility for variation is basically endless: Vibrant colors, insanely complex markings, and strange fur patterns, to name a few.
Below are some unusual animals, and an explanation of some of the conditions that cause their unique appearances. They might be different that your average, but they're definitely interesting to see (and some of them are just downright beautiful). Check them out below.
#1. This pup has a very, very cool spot pattern.
#2. Betta fish can have intense, vibrant colors — along with intense personalities.
#3. This macaw has xanthochromism, which means he has an unusually high amount of yellow pigmentation in his feathers.
#4. Chimeric animals have a mixture of genetically distinct tissues that arise from two or more fertilized eggs that fused together in the womb – which means they are essentially two twins that fused together into a single creature.
#5. Like all animals with this condition, chimeric labrador contains two full sets of DNA.
#6. You don't see something like the silver morph ball python every day.
#7. Some would say this turtle has albinism, but he is actually leucistic: Some parts of his body have color, while others do not.
#8. Like this peacock, who has partial leucism.
#9. And this one, who has a smattering of blue across his breast.
#10. Here, you can see two color variations seen in a pair of lionesses — the one on the right is leucistic.
#11. The opposite of leucism is melanism. It creates unusual coloration on an animal, seen here in this barn owl (the regular one is hanging out in the background).
#12. Melanism effects zebras in a particular way: instead of a black shade covering the whole body, it only effects the width of the black stripes.
#13. Here, we can see a partially melanistic squirrel.
#14. This amazing-looking Rottweiler has vitiligo, which affects the color of both his skin and his fur.
#15. Sarge is a German shepherd that also has vitiligo.
#16. This guy has it too.
#17. Not one to blend in with the crowd, this zebra has spots instead of stripes.
#18. This rare type of cheetah has tiny spots — they're almost more like freckles.
#19. And this cheetah is completely spotless.
#20. Here's a regular cheetah compared to a king cheetah: The latter are much rarer and have a very pronounced combination of spots and stripes.
#21. The king cheetah is a rare mutation characterized by a distinct fur pattern. It’s been reported only five times in the wild since the 1920s, and was not photographed until 1974.
#22. This leopard has a particularly pronounced coat pattern.
#23. Dunbar's Gold is a peculiar type of brindle horse.
#24. This gorgeous horse has some pretty odd markings, too.
#25. This deer has piebaldism, a rare genetic disorder that appears like partial albinism.
#26. This piebald moose is definitely an unusual thing to come across.
#27. It's not just mammals, either: This is a piebald python.
#28. And here is a piebald raven.
#29. These piebald dolphins are also known as "panda dolphins."
#30. And finally, an incredible pink katydids with erythrism. Erythrism is a genetic condition that results in unusual reddish pigmentation of the animal. Most don’t survive to adulthood because their vivid color makes them more visible to predators.
They may be unusual, but aren't they all fascinating to look at?