We’ve mapped the world, discovered all the continents (though Atlantis remains elusive), and sometimes it feels like there’s nothing new to find on our little blue planet. But Earth is still full of mysteries and surprises!

Scientists find new plant and animal species nearly every day and it proves that there are still adventures to be had in the deep corners of the world. So if you’ve ever harbored ambitions of being an Indiana Jones-esque scientist, your dream can still come true. In 2019, more than a dozen researchers from the California Academy of Sciences added a stunning 71 new species to our family tree.

Among these freshly found species are 17 fish, 15 geckos, 8 flowering plants, 6 sea slugs, 5 arachnids, 4 eels, 3 ants, 3 skinks, 2 skates, 2 wasps, 2 mosses, 2 corals, and 2 lizards. They were found across 5 continents and 3 oceans. And while we applaud the fact that there are more species of gecko on Planet Earth, we’re worried about there being more species of wasp, too.

We’ve included some of the very best photos of these new species, so scroll down, upvotes your favorites, and let everyone know in the comments what you thought about each one. And be sure to read Bored Panda’s interview with a representative of the California Academy of Sciences below.

More info: CalAdacemy.org | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

#1

Siphamia Arnazae

Siphamia Arnazae

The cat-eyed cardinalfish, is a new species of cardinalfish from Papua New Guinea

© 2019 Mark Erdmann Report

Narmada Weerasinghe
Community Member
7 months ago

Looks like a beautiful oil painting

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#2

Cirrhilabrus Wakanda

Cirrhilabrus Wakanda

The Vibranium fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus wakanda) is a species of fairy wrasse from the Western Indian Ocean

Luiz Rocha © 2018 California Academy of Sciences Report

BiLal Asif
Community Member
7 months ago

Wakanda Forever

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#3

Cordylus Phonolithos

Cordylus Phonolithos

Cordylus phonolithos is a new species of girdled lizard from southwestern Angola

© 2019 Ishan Agarwal Report

Narmada Weerasinghe
Community Member
7 months ago

Little Dragon

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According to a representative of the California Academy of Sciences, this year’s list of new species was “a little lower” than usual, but “full of mighty finds.”

“Since 2010, Academy scientists have described 1,375 species—quite a number! Here are numbers from previous years this decade:

2010 (113 [new species])

2011 (140)

2012 (189)

2013 (91)

2014 (221)

2015 (103)

2016 (133)

2017 (85)

2018 (229)

2019 (71).”

#4

Tomiyamichthys Emilyae

Tomiyamichthys Emilyae

Tomiyamichthys emilyae is a new species of shrimpgoby (Gobiidae) from North Sulawesi, Indonesia

© 2019 Gerry Allen Report

MsM
Community Member
7 months ago

When I first read that, I thought it said "shrimpboy". So to follow the pattern of some of my fellow Pandas, he is shrimpboi

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#5

Chromoplexaura Cordellbankensis

Chromoplexaura Cordellbankensis

Chromoplexaura cordellbankensis is a new species of deep-sea coral, first spotted by Williams 50 miles northwest of San Francisco in the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Gary Williams © 2019 California Academy of Sciences Report

Daria B
Community Member
7 months ago

Looks like it's showing you the finger. ♥

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#6

Nucras Aurantiaca

Nucras Aurantiaca

Nucras aurantiaca is a wall lizard found in South Africa

© 2019 P. leFras and N. Mouton Report

glowworm2
Community Member
7 months ago

"If I reach just a little bit further, I can touch my tail with my tongue!"

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The Academy representative told Bored Panda that “it takes years of training, collaboration with colleagues and local residents in a given region, and species expertise for scientists to properly identify and collect species in the wild.”

“As with many species—like twilight zone reef fish and insects—there is sometimes only a tiny window of a few seconds for a scientist to act quickly and collect a specimen in the wild. It can take years of training and support to help that scientist make important, well-informed, split-second decisions in the field!”

#7

Janolus Tricellarioides

Janolus Tricellarioides

Janolus Tricellarioides is a sea slug found in the Philippines

Terry Gosliner © 2018 California Academy of Sciences Report

MsM
Community Member
7 months ago

creepy but cool

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#8

Ecsenius Springeri

Ecsenius Springeri

Ecsenius springeri is a new species of blenny

© 2019 Mark Erdmann Report

Ruth Mayfly
Community Member
7 months ago

Looks like it's wondering if it remembered to turn the oven off.

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#9

Justicia Alanae

Justicia Alanae

Justicia alanae is a new species of flowering plant from Mexico

Tom Daniel © 2019 California Academy of Sciences Report

Quintessence
Community Member
7 months ago

I love the shape of the flower

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Classifying new species isn’t without its obstacles and things like lack of funding or training can seriously hinder us from solving life’s mysteries. “It's especially hard to secure funding for maintaining collections staff, taking adequate care of specimens, and training/retaining new scientists with the expertise to confirm that a new species discovery is truly new to science.”

#10

Eviota Gunawanae

Eviota Gunawanae

Eviota Gunawanae is a new microendemic dwarfgoby from the Fakfak Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia

© 2019 Mark Erdmann Report

Francis
Community Member
7 months ago

i'm sorry but i laughed at "Fakfak Peninsula" :D not only because of fakfak but i also misread peninsula as penisula :D i've got the humor of a 12year old LOL

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#11

Lola Konavoka

Lola Konavoka

Lola Konavoka is a new species of cave-obligate harvestman

Durrell Ubick © 2019 California Academy of Sciences Report

Ruth Mayfly
Community Member
7 months ago

I am fascinated and slightly repelled by animals which are see-through.

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#12

Janolus Flavoannulata

Janolus Flavoannulata

Janolus flavoanulatus is a sea slug found in the Philippines

Terry Gosliner © 2018 California Academy of Sciences Report

Kjorn
Community Member
7 months ago

thought it was a pineapple pizza :-)

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#13

Trimma Putrai

Trimma Putrai

Trimma putrai is a new species of goby from western Indonesia

© 2019 Mark Erdmann Report

MsM
Community Member
7 months ago

Cool eye... looks like a sun

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#14

Vanderhorstia Dawnarnallae

Vanderhorstia Dawnarnallae

Vanderhorstia dawnarnallae is a new species of shrimp goby recently discovered in the far eastern reaches of Indonesia also known as West Papua

© 2019 Mark Erdmann Report

glorytherainwing
Community Member
7 months ago

love the blue and yellow spot pattern!!

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#15

Dipturus Lamillai

Dipturus Lamillai

Dipturus lamillai is a long-snout skate from the Falkland Islands

© 2019 Francisco Concha Report

MsM
Community Member
7 months ago

boop the snoot? probably not a good idea....

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#16

Protoptilum Nybakkeni

Protoptilum Nybakkeni

Protoptilum Nybakkeni is a new species of coral

Gary Williams © 2019 California Academy of Sciences Report

My O My
Community Member
7 months ago

Scrolling I really feared what would come

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#17

Hoplolatilus Andamanensis

Hoplolatilus Andamanensis

Hoplolatilus andamanensis, a new species of sand tilefish from the Andaman Islands

© 2019 Gerry Allen Report

MsM
Community Member
7 months ago

He looks sad. (((HUGS)))) hoplolatilus andamanensis

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#18

Gravesia Serratifolia

Gravesia Serratifolia

Gravesia serratifolia is a flowering plant found only in Madagascar's Marojejy National Park

© 2019 Éric Mathieu Report

Autumn Walton
Community Member
7 months ago

it's so pretty with such a nice color

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#19

Trembleya Altoparaisensis

Trembleya Altoparaisensis

Trembleya altoparaisensis is a plant with white flowers found in Brazil's Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park's canyons

© 2019 Ricardo Pacifico Report

Donna Leske
Community Member
7 months ago

MORE INFO! And at least one open flower.

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#20

Myrmecicultor Chihuahuensis

Myrmecicultor Chihuahuensis

Myrmecicultor chihuahuensis is an ant-loving spider family from the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico

Durrell Ubick © 2019 California Academy of Sciences Report

glowworm2
Community Member
7 months ago

Aw! I actually think this one is adorable. It looks like a gummy spider!

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#21

Cinetomorpha Sur

Cinetomorpha Sur

This is a species of spiders araneomorph the family of oonopidae. This species is found in Mexico, Baja California Sur and Baja California on Ángel de la Guarda

© 2019 R Ott Report

Bored Bear
Community Member
7 months ago

Thats a nope discovery

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#22

Janolus Incrustans

Janolus Incrustans

This new slug species is known only from the Marshall Islands and Indonesia

© 2018 Jeannette Johnson Report

Norma
Community Member
7 months ago

That is the crunchiest looking slug I've ever seen!

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#23

Chromis Bowesi

Chromis Bowesi

Chromis bowesi is a species of damselfish. This species was first described in 2019 by Luiz A. Rocha and colleagues discovered and known from Verde Island, Batangas Bay and Puerto Galera Bay, in the Philippines

Luiz Rocha © 2018 California Academy of Sciences Report

My O My
Community Member
7 months ago

Rather grumpy fellow

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#24

Liopropoma Incandescens

Liopropoma Incandescens

Liopropoma incandescens is a new species of basslet fish

Luiz Rocha © 2018 California Academy of Sciences Report

rai mei
Community Member
6 months ago

why does it seem angry?

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#25

Madrella Amphora

Madrella Amphora

Madrella amphora is a sea slug that mimics snail eggs as a way to hide from would-be predators

Terry Gosliner © 2018 California Academy of Sciences Report

Ruth Mayfly
Community Member
7 months ago

Wouldn't snail eggs also be of interest to predators?

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