In the deepest corners of Amazon, you'll find that the ecommerce website can be a place for buying not only run-of-the-mill products like gadgets and clothing, but also more niche items like built-it-yourself tiny homes.
One of the more out-there areas of Amazon includes an entire section for purchasing live animals. Although Amazon's offerings don't extend to any animal bigger than your palm, the e-commerce site has listings for any living creature you'd want in your home's aquarium or pond.
There are packs of goldfish and koi fish, dozens of species of algae-cleaning snails, and colorful freshwater shrimp. Many of the listings for these live animals come with specific directions about their shipping and handling, to ensure that your mail-order animals are actually alive when they arrive at your door.
Here are some of the live animals that you can buy on Amazon:
When I first found out that Amazon sold live animals, I was expecting — and hoping — that its offerings would include livestock and farm animals you could have shipped to your home.
However, Amazon's listings for live animals is made up of a smattering of animals that are smaller and better-suited for a household tank or aquarium.
Amazon offers various species of fish you can buy in packs of five or six. Depending on what you want, you can get mixed bags of smaller guppies and goldfish, or bigger exotic Butterfly Koi and Sarasa Comet fish.
You can also buy a fish on its own, like a Betta fish, a particularly territorial species that can get aggressive with other fish.
There are plenty of listings on Amazon for snails. It seems that many of the snails species sold are meant for tasks like keeping your tank or pond clean, and eating the algae that builds up in it.
Interested in various species of shrimp? Amazon has those, too. Different kinds can serve different purposes: an addition to your aquarium, or food for your other fish already living there.
Many of the Amazon listings — but not all — have very particular directions about shipping and handling of live animal packages. Many of the live animals have required overnight shipping and will only go out on certain days, with instructions to be home when your package arrives.
Additionally, some of the listings by sellers guarantee your animals arrive at your home alive, and a few promise a refund if that's not the case.
As for cost, these animals can be pretty inexpensive — you can purchase snails in bulk on Amazon for less than a dollar each. However, some of the bigger designer fish cost a bit more — one six-pack of koi fish costs $70.