When building “the other” in your world you want to push the reader out of their comfort zone but just enough that they can still see where their comfort zone is.
Another way to put that is go right to the edge of unrecognizable and then pull back just a fraction.
Keep in mind our world is pretty bizarre in reality, duck bill platypus anyone? Make sure your “other” is just a varied and weird as what we find here on this Earth.
-A Culture by Any Other Name Panel