Deer, cattle, ducks… coatimundis?! Today we’re sharing traffic signs for some of the rarest road-crossers out there. Some of these animals you will know, some you may never have heard of, but we guarantee these are 100% genuine warning signs from wild places across the world. Why did the nene cross the road…? Read on and you might find out.
10. Lyrebird, Australia
If you thought your pet parrot was the best copy-bird in the world, you haven’t met a lyrebird. These ground dwelling Australian birds can imitate any noise. Yup – anything! They developed this amazing ability to blend in by mimicking other birds, but as they move into human society, they’ve learned to copy car alarms, bulldozers, and even laser guns. No word if any have become Jedi knights just yet, but a career as a Hollywood Foley artist could be in the cards! A sign for aspiring performers, everywhere.
9. Kudu, South Africa
Kudus come in two varieties: greater and lesser. The greater kudu is considered by many to be the most handsome antelope out there, but we think the lesser kudu is kinda cute as well. Next time you’re in South Africa, we recommend catching a kudu dung spitting contest. It’s a real thing, and the current world record is an astounding 51 ft set by Shaun van Rensburg in 2006. But then if you had kudu dung in your mouth, we’re pretty sure you could spit it a long way as well!
8. Wombat, Australia
Possibly the winner of the cutest animal on a road sign ever, wombats are just plain adorable. This Australian marsupial looks like a tiny chubby bear and has held many starring roles in children’s books, comics, and TV shows. But mistake this animal for a cuddly pet at your own risk. Despite their cute appearance, wombats are known for their bad tempers and are very easy to annoy. We use this sign in the office to warn co-workers when there’s a W.O.M.B.A.T. about!
7. Muskox, Greenland
Okay Greenland – so tell us again why this is a muskox not a buffalo? Ah! Okay… so it stinks. Fair enough. Female muskox love the smell? You’re kidding?! Takes all kinds. Wait, you say he’s strong and muscular and has long glossy dark hair… Maybe the female muskox aren’t so hard to understand after all. A sign for all the strong, silent types out there – no matter what they smell like.
6. Kiwi, New Zealand
Turns out the original kiwi is a bird. Wow. We thought it was a fuzzy fruit and a nickname for the people who live over there in LotR land. We guess this fluffy brown bird could look a little bit like a kiwi fruit if you squint and ignore that elegant curved beak. Sort of… maybe. It’s not green on the inside or high in vitamin C though, so no grabbing a bite. Although the kiwi bird’s namesakes are well known across the globe, this chubby little fellow is on the endangered species list.
5. Iriomote Cat, Japan
Cat signs are way cooler than cat videos, don’t you think? We’d take an Iriomote cat home with us anyday… Canz we purleaze? It’s just sooooooo adorwable. Look at those eyes! Hey, Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh has a pet Iriomote. We want one too! Does it matter that Sakaki is an animé character and the real ones are critically endangered wild cats? It does?! Hmmmm… maybe we’ll just keep this Iriomote crossing sign to remind us of everything beautiful, rare, and best left alone.
4. Coatimundi, Guatemala
You ever seen a family of coatimundis cross a road? We have. The line goes on forever, and ever… and then just when you think it’s safe to start driving again two babies dash across, their little tails straight up in the air, and you narrowly miss hitting them. This is why these monkey-like mischievous mammals are number four on our list of our favorite animal signs. Coati crossing warnings are not to be taken lightly!
3. Frill-Necked Lizard, Australia
Informally known as the ‘drag queen of lizard world,’ this reptile might seem boring, but you should see her when she gets frisky! Fans of cult-classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert know this Australian native as the inspiration for the most memorable of the movie’s flamboyant nightclub costumes. We think the frill-necked lizard is the perfect sign for anyone who has a secret wild side to their personality.
2. Nene, Hawaii
You’ve heard of snowbirds? You know, those older folks that head south from the frozen northlands to warmer climes. Well, the nene is a Canadian goose that flew south to Hawaii and never left. 500,000 years later it’s the national bird and a protected species. Way to go native, nene! We think this sign should be officially adopted by anyone who dreams of escaping winter to warm themselves in the tropics.
1. Polar Bear, Norway
Gjelder hele Svalbard? Polar bears crossing! How awesome is that? Our number one rare animal road sign is relatively common in Norway, where these signs have become a must-take photo op for tourists. Would you wait at this sign hoping to see a polar bear in the wild? Or pose next to it to have your photo taken? A polar bear in the background might just be the scariest photo bomb ever! Maybe it’s best to pay attention to the warning for this top sign in our list, and take your photo from the car. Or just buy the sign and pose by your local pond next winter! We won’t tell.