Can You Spot These Hidden Animals? | 22 Words

Here's my greatest fear: I'm scared and alone, wandering through a forest. After a while, I lean against a tree to catch my breath. And then, the tree changes. That's when I understand. It wasn't a tree at all. It was a hidden animal — some kind of camouflaged frog or worm or owl.

And since immersion therapy is the only way to get over a fear, we've collected here some photos of creatures living out in nature, disguised as their surroundings, for you to try and spot. Whether it's a chameleon replicating a leaf or a rabbit tucked subtly into the snow, these animals are using their environments to their advantage, and unless we find a way to see them, they will look like scaredy-cats.

It is here that your training begins. Find the hidden animals in these photos, and you'll be able to find the hidden animals out there.

Leaves and twigs.

Oh, there are bugs hidden in these leaves and twigs, but they seem to be made of the exact same kind of leaves and twigs! It's like a wizard conjured them to clump together into a sentient creature.

Looks like a tree to me.

But if, say, an owl suddenly opened its bright yellow eyes and stared deeply into me, I'd be so terrified I would probably die.

Squint real hard.

I'm gonna be honest, if you told me there was no animal in this picture, I'd believe you.

Just a branch?

It looks like someone put up tree branch wallpaper over a lizard. As my grandparents learned when they bought their second house, you've got to check for lizards before you put up wallpaper.

If only it hadn't snowed!

This is one of those pictures where, once you see the animal, it's hard to miss it. But it would've been just as easy to go your whole life thinking it was just a boring snapshot of a regular winter.

That's just not fair.

You're telling me frogs can look like leaves now? Great, now I'll never be able to jump into a just-raked pile of leaves with childlike joy again.

When you see it...

How long has this weird little guy spent hiding out there, spying on the world? I'll bet it was a while!

The ultimate homebody.

This undersea hidden animal looks exactly like its environment, which makes me to believe it leads a pretty sad life. How are you supposed to go out Friday night when it makes you vulnerable to predators?

It gets worse the longer you look.

At first glance, I thought this was an underwater rock bed hiding a camouflaged fish. Then, looking more closely, I saw that the texture was longer — was I looking at a snake? Finally, I saw there were multiple lengths of texture. This is a goddamn stealth spider. Awful.

Look at his little leaf-back!

A tuft of plant on your back makes for a good disguise if you only hang out on the tops of logs.

Why is this stick alive?

This stick is alive and I hate it. Whatever we did to piss off the wizard that is animating all these inanimate plants and the like, we should just apologize and move on already.

Gotta get up close.

There is an animal hidden in this picture, but you have to get up really close to find it. Don't worry, it's not an animated GIF — the girl from The Exorcist isn't going to pop up.

He is wise, and hidden.

It's not hard to spot this owl pressed up against a tree, but it must it hard for it to be seen by its potential prey. This owl is playing against mice with cheat codes.

Is it wearing a costume?

I honestly can't tell if this bug's butt looks exactly like a leaf or if it grabbed a leaf and tied it around its waist like it was a tennis instructor and the leaf was a sweater.

"Dude, art class is in 5 minutes!"

This guy looks like a last-minute high school art class found object project. You take a couple leaves from outside, stick 'em together, and there you have it — a lizard.

He changes?

Either this fish has the power of invisibility or it can change its colors like a chameleon. Either way, my anxiety-brain will now assume it's in every pool I ever swim in for the rest of my life.

Now that's a thick tree.

My boy the owl over here trying to press up against a tree and blend into his surroundings. Will it work? Only the mice he's trying to trick will know.

Honestly unsure about this one.

I'm worried there isn't an animal in this picture and I'm just posting a picture of a snowy mountain. If you find the hidden animal here, know that you are an animal-finding master.

Either a bird's or a worm's eye view.

Is this a zoomed-in photo of a small bug blending in with a forest, or a zoomed-out photo of a giant forest beast as big as a city block?

Ooh gurl.

Does this owl think they can just turn their head and we won't notice them? Gurl, you know you we had a thing. I don't want to feel like your dirty little secret.

It's spikes all the way down.

This little spiked man lives in a spiked neighborhood with his spiked friends. He must feel so accepted.

No, but for real, where is the animal?

After spending about five minutes scouring the ground and grass for tiny animals tucked in the weeds, I had to learn to open my mind. Maybe the animal wasn't small. Maybe it was tall.

How can you match both colors?

Pressing itself against a charcoal and white leaf, this charcoal and black frog is practically invisible. Both it and the leaf look like they're covered in more cigarette burns than the couch in my cousin's garage.

It's like looking at twins.

Did you and your best friend ever do the thing where you dress exactly alike, even though one of you is a flower and one of you is some kind of mantis creature? Those days were always so fun.

Down where it's wetter.

Octopuses have the ability to change their color to blend in with their environment. Couple that knowledge with the fact that octopuses have begun evolving to the point where they can walk on land and we human beings don't have much time left at the top of the food chain.

This is where they belong.

In the movie Garden State, Zach Braff gives a long monologue about what it means to leave home and search for it again. This little bug, who fits so perfectly on this leaf, found it.

Take cover!

Here we have some kind of animal burying its head in the ground. This photograph can be considered its official application to join the Trump administration's environmental department.

Don't stop at the first one.

Okay, yes. There is just a dog in the center of this photo. But can you find the second animal? Good luck, they're quite well-hidden.

Another one!

Do all owls just look like tree branches? Is that what we're saying now? My god, are we ever going to be able to just chill at a tree again without being given incredible wisdom or a Tootsie Pop?

Strong chance this photo is full of animals.

While I scanned this photo for animals (eventually finding the wolf tucked away in there), I had a frightening thought — remember those bugs that looked like green twigs? What it there are hundreds of them in this photo, standing and staring at us?

All that the light touches will one day be yours.

We've got a very regal, Lion King-looking hidden animal here. Were I its loyal subject, I would be glad to pay any taxes and tariffs due unto the squirrel king.

Truly, a beautiful beast.

Why doesn't he come out of hiding? Doesn't he think he's beautiful? Oh, he's trying not to get eaten by natural predators? Okay. Got it.

How'd they get that yellow on 'em?

Unless we're dealing with octopuses, who can change their color at will, the most shocking thing about these hidden animals is that they're born with the same colors as their environments! What a lucky break!


After the Great War, all that is left of the charred American plains is dirt, rock, and the frogs who look like dirt and rock.

Whoa-oh, we're halfway there.

Listen, my moth man here did half his job — he has a convincing fake-leaf wing. But the color's not even close to right. This dude's gonna get eaten right quick.

This is how I dreamed I would die.

Have I mentioned yet my deeply-held fear of frogs? I had a dream once that a giant frog, the size of a Buick, ate me whole. And thinking about how stealthy frogs can be is not helping.

Aww, they're sleepin'!

Look at this little sweetheart, havin' themselves a sleep! The little octopus guy must've had a hard day changing colors to blend into different environments.


There's something about seeing a spider in yellow that makes me think he's just happy. Doesn't it feel like we're being invited in for scones?

Honestly unsure how big this fish is.

Something about seeing animals blend in with their surroundings makes me lose any sense of scale. We could be dealing with another Buick-sized monster fish here. I don't know about you, but I am petrified.

That tree's been like a mother to him.

Is this a flying squirrel? Or just a squirrel who really, really loves its tree? Either way, they are very cute.

Catching a few rays.

This lizard looks like they're sunbathing, and who knows? Maybe they are. But you should never sunbathe somewhere where you look exactly like the ground, because if your friends can't see you, they will leave without you thinking you've already gone home.

It's a coral panic.

Listen, if you look exactly like a certain kind of coral, you might as well just hang out exclusively by that coral and avoid predators. It just makes sense, staying alive-wise.

Must really love that tree.

What is this thing? A dragon nuzzling a tree like a dog whose owner just got home from a tour in Afghanistan?

It's a quiet life.

This fish just chills on the ocean floor, doin' its thing. The kids don't visit anymore, but the fish who looks like the ground understands — they've got their own environments to blend into.

The right mindset is important.

Now, this could read as a simple photograph of two birds. But if you didn't know there were animals in all these photos and you saw this one, you might not notice there were any animals in it at all.

A quiet knowledge.

There's a somber note of acceptance, of grace, in this creature's eyes. It has accepted that this is where it will die, and is okay with it. As Dumbledore once said, "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."

Bug or rock? You decide.

This creature looks like stone come to life. Don't be surprised to see it make an appearance in the post-credits scene of the next Marvel movie.


What is it about this bunny that reads so "high society" to me? Is it that its environment is so clean and perfect? That it fits in so perfectly and would die in any other place? Or that it's looking at me so judgmentally?

That was a pretty good flick.

This image reminds me of the famous line from the end of Blade Runner: "All those moments will be lost in time, like bugs in sand."

Probably too well-hidden.

This one took me the longest. I stared at this image for like 10 minutes before I concluded that there just must not be an animal in it.