The Universe is a strange and interesting thing that has fascinated scientists throughout history. It is supposedly related to the astrological signs, it was referenced in astronomy and medicine, and, well, it’s vast and mysterious, so it seems only natural that the curios human mind would want to explore and learn more about it. You have probably learned about the planets and the Milky Way back in school, and you’ve definitely seen photos of different stars and galaxies in books, but what we are about to present are the snaggle-toothed children of the cosmos. So hang tight, as we give you the 10 strangest galaxies in the Universe.
1. Arp 87
Arp 87 looks like two galaxies mixed into one, because it actually is two galaxies that entered into a steel cage match: two enter, and only one leaves. In case you didn’t know, collisions between different galaxies happen all the time, but usually they result in near misses (similar to hat happened in this situation). They will probably swing into one another multiple times until they completely merge. For now, they remain connected only by a tin stream of stars, and dust particles which can only mean one thing: Space Incas. This is definitely one of the strangest galaxies in the Universe.
2. Sombrero Galaxy
You guessed it: The Sombrero Galaxy looks much like the hat with the same name. It basically has a large bulge in the middle, and an even larger ring of sweeping “brim”. The center consists of multiple clusters of stars, not only one. Scientists couldn’t tell exactly what is going on, and there are even speculations that the center harbors a black hole.
3. Centaurus A
At first glance, Centaurus A doesn’t look like anything special, but upon closer inspection you will see that there is something incredibly fascinating going on inside it. This galaxy is very large, even for galaxy standards, which means that it will have one of the two forms: spiral or eliptical. What is incredibly interesting about Centaurus is the fact that it has a spiral hidden underneath it. In other words, it’s the only galaxy with spiral arms in the Universe.
4. The Porpoise Galaxy
Number four on our strangest galaxies list is this beautiful constellation. The porpoise Galaxy has a very distinct appearance: it looks exactly like some sort of space dolphin (some scientists believe that it looks like a penguin protecting its egg). Either way, it is impossible to mistake it with another galaxy. Apparently, the dolphin is part of the NG2936 system, and the egg is part of Arp 142. In many ways it is similar to the Milky way, but its shape is a tad different due to the gravitational forces beneath it. It is part of the Hydra constellation.
5. The Southern Pinwheel
The Hydra Constellation is home to the infamous Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, also nick-named M83. You have probably seen it before but had no idea exactly how it’s called. Astrologists discovered it approximately 250 years ago, but until recently, it was considered nothing more than a whirlpool of pink, purple and blue gas. Each color is a direct result of the new stars that are forming in this system, and release different forms of UV energy.
6. The Black Eye Galaxy
I don’t know what you guys think, but this may very well be Darth Vader’s home galaxy, because it looks so evil. Also known under the name of M64, the Black Eye Galaxy is the place where countless of stars are being formed, hence the velvety color. Interestingly enough, all of the particles in that area are rotating in the same direction.
7. NGC 474
Hands down the most eerie looking Galaxy on the list, the NGC 474 looks more like something you would expect to find on the bottom of the ocean (one of those bio-luminescent fish), rather than a part of the Universe. Although researchers are unsure what has caused such a discharge of energy, there are two basic theories. One says that the outer shells are remainders of other galaxies that were absorbed, while others think the tidal interactions with the strangest galaxy behind it is causing the surrounding dust. We don’t really care, especially since it looks so interesting.