If life on Earth was not strange enough, nature occasionally throws a very unusual creation into the genetic mix.

This ‘wolphin’ and ‘Shetbra’ are two examples of rare hybrids created when animals have mated across the species divide.

Although it is extremely rare, animals occasionally succeed in producing offspring with mates from closely related species. Scientists believe some actively try to mate outside their own species to increase the diversity of their wild populations.

Kekaimalu the ‘wolphin’ was the result of the union of a bottlenose dolphin and a false killer whale, which is actually a member of the dolphin family.

The two parent animals mated while working together at Sea Life Park in Hawaii and Kekaimalu was born in 1985.

Other odd hybrids include the result of lions that have mated with tigers, called ligers and tigons; brown bears and grizzlies with polar bears, goats with sheep and wolves with domestic dogs.

There’s a gallery of strange cross breeds here.