Five Freaky Creatures with Human Faces and Features

Creatures with human faces - whether the result of evolution or the inventive efforts of mankind - have fascinated us from time immemorial.

Here are five creatures that display amusing, in some cases disturbing, human features.


1) Samurai Beetle

"Visit my Facebug page!""Visit my Facebug page!"
This beetle from Japan is doubly interesting in that it shows a different face depending on which direction it's viewed from. Look from behind and you're reminded of a bearded sage. From the front, the image is even more remarkable - a samurai's face, right down to the distinctive traditional hairstyle!

Of course, evolution didn't set out to give the beetle markings that resemble a human face - after all, the beetle was probably around long before human beings were. Many creatures - and insects especially - have evolved complex and elaborate recognition patterns that are intended to ward off predators. Often these patterns include contrasting eye spots... then our imaginative minds do the rest by using other features around the eye-spots to approximate a human face. Tis colorful Japanese beetle is a prime example! (human-faced beetle via Asahi)


2) Death's Head Hawk Moth

"I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti""I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti"
Look familiar? No? C'mon, "Silence of the Lambs"? Yep, that's it - the image of the aptly named Death's Head Hawk Moth over Jodie Foster's precious lips on the movie poster is a uniquely disturbing image.

Once again, nature has devised a fear-inducing pattern to deter bigger critters from making a meal of this moth. The more effective the pattern, the more moths survive to beget the next generation. Given enough time (time being nature's greatest tool), the moths will sport scarier and scarier faces on their backs. My next question is, why do WE find the Death's Head Hawk Moth so disturbing? Anyone hungry? (human-faced moth via Skull A Day)


3) Heike Crab

Here's lookin' at you, squid!Here's lookin' at you, squid!
These curious crabs are found in Japan, near where one of the greatest sea battles of Japanese history occurred. In the year 1185, the forces of the warring Heike and Genji clans fought the Battle of Dannoura. The Heike were defeated, dozens of their ships were sunk and hundreds of heavily armored warriors lost their lives in the unforgiving sea.

People who found these distinctive little crabs on the shore reasoned that they embodied the souls of the lost Heike soldiers. As you can see, the markings and protuberances on the backs of the crabs look astonishingly like classic samurai faces!

The late Carl Sagan suggested that humans have had a significant effect on both the look and the prevalence of these human-faced crabs. Sagan theorizes that local fisherman threw back the most prominently human-featured crabs, thus skewing natural selection towards that exact attribute. An early form of selective breeding, perhaps? (human-faced crab via Kirainet)


4) Human-faced Carp Fish

Ornamental carp, also known as "koi", are bred in both Japan and Korea for collectors. These koi, though, look like they were bred on the Island of Doctor Moreau! I wonder if Monty Python know about these weird human-faced fish when they were creating the famous fish tank scene from their classic film,"The Meaning of Life"?


The human-faced carp are definitely products of selective breeding by humans. Generations of fish were bred to emphasive their "human" features, most notably their forward-facing eyes. These features would likely be a disadvantage in the wild - but then, these particular fish aren't going anywhere near the wild anytime soon.

The so-called "Human Face Fish" are hybrids of common carp and leather carp. The fish rather large - about 32 inches long - and it's said that their heads have begun to take on a more human look as time goes by! When will it end? You sure you want these guys in your garden pond, giving you dirty looks every time you walk by? (human-faced fish via Pet Fish Talk)

Here's a video from Korean TV featuring the freaky fish:



5) Skull Back Spider

"Hellllp meeeee!""Hellllp meeeee!"
Gee, aren't you glad this li'l critter is just a fraction of an inch long? Even so, you wouldn't want to be fly caught in THIS guy's web... what am I saying, you wouldn't want to be a fly caught in ANY spider's web!

Really now, this bug seriously creeps me out. The bloated abdomen of the sickly white (am I overdoing it?) crab spider bears an uncanny resemblance to a human skull. I don't know what it's called or where it's from, I just don't want to ever see it again - but I will, in my nightmares. (human-faced spider via Spring Creek Forest)

And there you have it, straight from one over-active imagination to another, human-faced creatures... pleasant dreams!

READ MORE:  10 Bugs 5000 Cuter Than Puppies or Kittens or A Rainbow of Bettas: Photos of Spectacular Siamese Fighting Fish

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

Dec 17, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

DO Japanese people sleep

DO Japanese people sleep with animals? There seems to be a alot of these human look alike animals from Japan

Dec 17, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Only the crabs and beetles

Only the crabs and beetles are from Japan - and i don't think anyone sleeps with them, at least not by choice! Japanese do seem to like these coincidental lookalikes, so maybe they're not really more common there, just more publicized.

Dec 18, 2007
by Diogenes (not verified)

freaky faced creatures

The 'human face carp' is freaky! Reminds me a bit of that dog with bum's face in the first remake of 'The Invasion of the body snatchers"..There's a freaky human faced creature!
But this carp is real. I know of the death's head moth, but the others are new to me.
Ever seen the 'Happyface Spider" just google the image and you'll get a nice array of them. makes me jolly.

Dec 18, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

"Body Snatchers" dog

Oh yeah, i definitely had that ultra-disturbing man-faced dog in mind when writing this article! You know, the one that made the women shriek when she & Donald Sutherland were making their escape. Yup, stuff like this is like fingernails scraped against the chalkboard of the soul (shiver).

Dec 18, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


just do an image search for the axolotl. I've always been freaked out by how human it looks. Very alien-like. Nice article.


Dec 19, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

the human faced carp in the

the human faced carp in the tank is af fake its from the english comedy group monty puthon who used it in a scene from the movie "meaning of life" they all have the face of comedian john cleese

Dec 20, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Monty Python fish

Yes, the scene of the many fish in the tank is from Month Python's "The Meaning of Life", it says this in the article. The human-faced carp in the pictures and You Tube video are real.

Dec 20, 2007
by Cody Sortore (not verified)

That's insane!

The first one you looks like a face either way you look at it. Turn it the other way and it looks like a guy with a beard, which is what I saw first, then the image had it flipped of what I was seeing it. It looks like a face either way though... pretty crazy stuff.

Dec 20, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Samurai Beetle

It's funny to see how people see things differently, if you turn this picture "upside down" or rather look at the 1st image, it also looks like a face. Sort of an Asian man with a long black fu-manchu...

Jan 8, 2008
by Mark (not verified)


this has really creep me out
as made me want to search more about this stuff
great section yo'
loved it. ;D

Mar 6, 2008
by Anonymous




May 3, 2008
by Anonymous

that last spider thing

looked like it came from the show "Inuyasha"

Jun 22, 2008
by Anonymous

these are fakes

hi im leanie from guyana and with due respect i think these things are just fakes and lies

Oct 31, 2008
by Anonymous


I googled the "samurai bug", and it is real... its a native insect from southeast asia, like he said

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous


i like your dog avatar

Dec 11, 2008
by Anonymous

wow these are some really

wow these are some really awesome and amazing creatures!
i wish i could caputure one and do a little more research an them!
now that would be awsome!
-madelyn gates

Dec 11, 2008
by Anonymous

whats your address?? we

whats your address??
we could research them together?

-kyle patteson :)

Dec 11, 2008
by Anonymous

sure!... if you'd like to

sure!... if you'd like to fly to

Jan 30, 2009
by Anonymous


americans must be sleeping with their dogs because all the women look like bitches! as for asian women, they're sexy!

Feb 21, 2009
by Anonymous


i thought they were creepy