Skip to main content

Search for the world's ugliest animal

By Simon Busch, CNN
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Thu September 12, 2013
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society names the blobfish as its new mascot after a global online vote. The gelatinous fish lives <!-- -->
</br>at depths of up to 1,200 meters off the coast of Australia where it feeds on crabs and lobsters. It's under threat as it often gets caught up in fishing nets... but you wouldn't want to eat it. The Ugly Animal Preservation Society names the blobfish as its new mascot after a global online vote. The gelatinous fish lives
at depths of up to 1,200 meters off the coast of Australia where it feeds on crabs and lobsters. It's under threat as it often gets caught up in fishing nets... but you wouldn't want to eat it.
HIDE CAPTION
The world's ugliest animal? The blobfish
Kakapo
Proboscis monkey
Warthog
California condor
Komodo dragon
Aye aye
Elephant seal
Monkfish
Three-toed sloth
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ugly Animal Preservation Society champions nature's less gorgeous endangered creatures
  • Nascent society is in search of mascot
  • Aptly named blobfish and pig-nosed frog among contenders
  • Leave your nomination for grossest organism

(CNN) -- Save the panda!

Sure: how could the world do without such cute, endangered creatures?

And tigers.

Never mind that the adult of the species will happily rip your head off and lick its lips afterward, can you think of a better mascot for a creature threatened with extinction than those adorable, fluffy feline cubs? (Miaow!)

Trouble is, goofy humans that we are, we tend to equate (what we consider) beauty with importance in the ecological scheme of things.

In fact, nature's many repugnant, repulsive -- or just very small -- denizens can be just as important for the environment's health.

The monkey with the hideous schnoz

It's just that the proboscis monkey (with its frankly obscene schnoz), the pubic louse (whose name speaks for its own, hideous self) and the aptly named blobfish tend not to front animal conservation campaigns.

Or none that anyone's ever heard of.

The monkfish ... probably wouldn\'t get by on its looks
The monkfish ... probably wouldn't get by on its looks

Step forward the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.

The British group, sounding like something that's just funny-walked out of a Monty Python film, is, it says, dedicated "to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature's more aesthetically challenged children."

To the end of saving ugly endangered creatures, reports Wanderlust travel magazine, the Society is in search of a mascot -- something nice and slimy, like the jumping slug, or just malformed-looking and squat, like the New Zealand kakapo parrot.

Introducing the hagfish

The group has garnered public nominations for those neglected organisms -- also including the hagfish, the purple pig-nosed frog and the giant Palouse earthworm -- that make us shudder, but that no doubt consider each other ethereally beautiful after a pint of slime or two.

And that possibly also think Natalie Portman and Ryan Gosling look like bats' bums.

Comedians will champion the public's nominations at money-raising gigs for the Society later this month and next.

Read more: Are these the world's cutest creatures?

In the meantime, the gallery above shows off some of the most unfortunate beasts from the Ugly Animal Society's shortlist and elsewhere on the Web.

Have you encountered worse on your travels?

Let us know, in the comments section below, which animal you'd least like to be reincarnated as.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:49 PM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
As the new season of "Game of Thrones" approaches, we pick out 20 stunning spots in one of its most oft-used locations.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Thu April 10, 2014
They're hot, they're popular, they're stylish. Now they're your tour guides to Italy's fashion capital.
updated 12:10 AM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
A quarter of the year's flown by, it's time to plan a vacation. TripAdvisor's list of Top Destinations should help.
updated 1:23 AM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
You may not have those $10 Heinekens and $6 bags of M&M's to kick around anymore. Happy now?
updated 3:25 AM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
Japan isn't a country to which you just show up and wing it. Here's how to arrive prepared.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
The Economist is latest to dogpile on the reputation of U.S. airports; one industry leader says he knows why.
updated 2:23 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve gave out bags of mountain air to Chinese residents. After seeing these photos, you'll want some too.
updated 9:04 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Forget space. Our very own planet is ripe for investigation. Here are some of the spots we know least about.
updated 2:51 AM EDT, Mon March 31, 2014
A colossal empire of little houses stacked on top of each other, connected by staircases snaking under dangling wires -- Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Tue April 1, 2014
Move to squeeze in extra passengers brings dose of economic reality to dreams of luxuriously pimped aircraft.
updated 4:03 AM EDT, Tue April 1, 2014
British sound engineer wants you to ditch the camera and open your ears to "sound tourism."
updated 6:56 PM EDT, Sun March 30, 2014
Think bouncing on the end of an elastic rope is tough? Try jumping off a wooden tower with only a vine tied to your ankle.
updated 1:38 AM EDT, Fri March 28, 2014
Decimated by poaching, black rhino numbers are starting to increase again, thanks, in part, to on-foot tracking tours for tourists.
updated 10:59 PM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
Singapore Changi Airport has been crowned the best in the world for the second year in a row at the World Airport Awards.
updated 6:02 PM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
What do you get when you combine 60,000 photos, eight-hour cliff treks and months of patient processing? One of the year's great time-lapse videos.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT