Brazilian beauty (Potamotrygon rex)
Despite the jazzy psychedelic print of this freshwater ray, it has managed to go undetected to science – similar to many of the other fish living in the Tocantins River of Brazil. The intense yellow patterning of this creature, coupled with a length of up to 1.1 meters (3.6 feet) and a weight of 20 kilograms (44 pounds), has given this funky ray the title “King of Rays”.
The inescapable nightmare (Scolopendra cataracta)
It can scuttle, it can swim, and it can dive. Not many places are safe from this latest species of centipede from Southeast Asia. As the first species of centipede ever found to dive beneath the surface, it is unique among its multi-legged brethren.
A deathly fruit (Solanum ossicruentum)
Combining the Latin for bony (ossi) and bloody (cruentum), this strange relative of the tomato has a gruesome secret. When cut in half, the fruit not only appears to “bleed”, but it then dries in a bony state. Discovered in Australia, this species has actually been known to botanists for at least 50 years, but has only just been described officially.
The inner daemon (Telipogon diabolicus)
You might not want to lean in too close to get a whiff of this newly discovered orchid from the forests of Colombia, as nestled in its center is what looks like a tiny devil. Found in a very restricted range, it is already facing extinction despite only just being revealed to the world.
The deep-sea sock (Xenoturbella churro)
With no eyes, no brain, no gut, and no anus, these bizarre deep-sea worms have puzzled biologists for more than 60 years. This year saw them finally placed on the evolutionary tree, as well as described as a new species that (apparently) looks like the delicious Spanish snack churros.