7 Terrifying New Species Straight Out Of A Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nightmare [PHOTOS]

on March 09 2012 2:53 PM
  • Spiders That Build 80-Foot Webs
    Spiders That Build 80-Foot Webs GalliasM/Creative Commons
  • Brain-Controlling Fungi
    Brain-Controlling Fungi YouTube Still
  • Leeches That Saw Through Your Skin
    Leeches That Saw Through Your Skin Wiki Commons
  • Giant, Mandible-Pinching ‘Warrior Wasps’
    Giant, Mandible-Pinching ‘Warrior Wasps’ YouTube Still
  •  Pitcher Plants Big Enough To Eat Rats
    Pitcher Plants Big Enough To Eat Rats YouTube Still
  • Cockroaches... That Can Jump
    Cockroaches... That Can Jump YouTube Still
  • ‘Hypervirulent,’ People-Killing Superfungus
    ‘Hypervirulent,’ People-Killing Superfungus 6keysoptimalhealth/CC
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When a new species is discovered, whether it be a new type of fungus or a strange sea creature from the ocean floor, scientists will usually describe it for laymen as something out of a science fiction movie.

Oftentimes, however, these same creatures prove just how much more fascinating--and terrifying--real life animals and plants can be compared to what sci-fi and fantasy authors dream up.

Take, for example, some of the creatures scientists discovered in 2011. A new strain of fungi that can make insects into its own personal zombies, giant-mouthed wasps, gooey-looking cockroaches with the ability to leap faster and farther than grasshoppers... and that's just from last year, alone.

In honor of the spider invasion currently taking over Australia, check out 7 recently discovered species of plants, animals and fungi that appear to have been taken straight out of a sci-fi/fantasy nightmare, whether it be leeches like those seen in Stephen King's IT or spiders whose webs put Shelob of The Lord of the Rings series to shame.

Click through the slideshow to see all tha fascinating, terrifying things out there in Mother Nature...and to see which countries you might want to check off your list of Places to Visit.

This slideshow information comes, in part, from CNN Science, Wired and Cracked.com.

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