Even in 2016, scientists are discovering cool new species of animals, plants, and creepy crawlies every day. So far, scientists have identified 9 million species of plants, animals and microbes on the planet, but they estimate there are millions more left to find, often in hard-to-reach places such as caves, deep-ocean trenches and rain forest trees. In fact, according to scaling laws, there may be more than 1 trillion species on Earth (especially given the microbes we don’t know), Indiana University researchers say. You may have heard about the anglerfish or the ghost octopus, but have you seen them? They’re worth a look.
Carolyn Crist is the assistant editor of Paste Science. She is a freelance health and science journalist for regional and national publications and writes Paste’s Escape Artist column.