A Halloween crab (Gecarcinus quadratus) at the Audubon Zoo
If there was a Halloween flag, it might look something like Gecarcinus quadratus, a tropical crab decorated with brilliant blacks, oranges, purples, and yellows. Though they’ll put up claws if you get too close, these Latin American natives are harmless vegetarians—far less spooky than the holiday their colors represent.
Species with the spookiest names—and how they earned them
From screaming armadillos to ghostly knifefish, feast your eyes on these creepily-named, wild-looking creatures
A worm sounds pretty innocuous. But what about a bone-eating snot-flower? That’s a creature you might think twice about.
The bone-eating snot-flower is in fact a real species of marine worm, roughly translated from its scientific name Osedax mucofloris. And it’s just one of many animals with a marrow-chilling moniker.
In this case, the title is accurate and descriptive: The worm’s mucous-covered body, which looks something like a blossom, can be seen sucking down sunken whale carcasses—what it eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The same can be said for species like the screaming hairy armadillo, which (prepare yourself) really screams.
But other frightening names are tied, perhaps unfairly, to looks alone. And they demonstrate a reverence for mythology. Take the