16 of the world's most psychedelic creatures

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From surreal sea slugs to rainbow birds, these candy-colored critters show off Mother Nature's wild side.

Among the legions of somber-colored animals that have evolved to blend in with their somber-colored environments, there are a number of occasions when Mother Nature took the other approach and went nutso with the color palette. Some of these crazy-hued creatures are still meant to blend in, it's just that they have a more vibrant habitat. Some are exuberantly tinted to win over the ladies. While others are so conspicuously colored that they seem to be screaming "here I am!" ... which might not appear very wise for defenseless things like the bite-sized protein nugget known as a caterpillar or a sea slug. But Mother Nature is no slouch, and in fact, the more brightly colored some of these little guys are, the more poisonous they are to potential predators – their crayola-colors are actually loud warnings saying, "watch it, buster, you'll be sorry."

But regardless of the why behind the "wow" ... all of these creatures are beautiful to behold, as you will see on the following pages.

Lilac-breasted roller

First up, the lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudatus) pictured above. This stunning crow-sized beauty hails from Africa, where it is the national bird of both Kenya and Botswana. Rightly so!