2016 will be remembered for many things, from the good, the bad, to the ugly – and that’s just talking about the new animals discovered by science.
So, as we wave goodbye (or perhaps good riddance) to the year, here’s a breakdown of the brightest, boldest, weirdest, coolest, and most interesting species that have either been recently discovered or described in scientific papers during 2016.
Ziggy Stardust Snake
This new species of snake was discovered among the cliffs of northern Laos in Southeast Asia. In homage to the late David Bowie who passed away in 2016, this glamrock oddity with psychedelic scales has been named “Ziggy Stardust”.
“The snake and I, the venom high.” Alexandre Teynie/WWF
Harry Potter Sorting Hat Spider
Among the many fantastic beasts discovered this year, one 7-millimeter-long spider named Eriovixia gryffindori captured more hearts and imaginations than any.
Indian scientists discovered a spider with an uncanny resemblance to the sorting hat used to sift wizardry students into their school houses in the Harry Potter universe. Even Harry Potter author JK Rowling was impressed.
Read more about the creature in the Indian Journal of Arachnology.
Indian Journal of Arachnology via Javed Ahmed/Twitter