The completely bizarre Venezuelan poodle moth [via Nina Reznick]

This little critter has been compared to everything from a cross between "a miniature gargoyle and a Furby" to a puzzling new "Pokemon character." But whatever people think of its looks, the Venezuelan poodle moth is, apparently, the real deal. The photo, snapped in 2009 by zoologist Arthur Anker of Brazil's Federal University of Ceará, has become something of an overnight sensation after Anker posted it onto his Flickr page.

He first spotted the tiny insect with a 1-inch wingspan while walking through Canaimá National Park in Venezuela, and is now asking other zoologists to help identify its genus. A few experts believe the poodle moth is related to the furry muslin moth (Diaphora mendica), which gives scientists hope that there are still fantastical creatures out there we haven't even seen yet. "Thousands of new insects are discovered every year in the South American rain forests," says cryptozoologist Kark Shuker. "So it would be by no means unusual if [Anker's] Venezuelan poodle moth proved to be one, too."

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