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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 named the blobfish as its mascot after a global online vote in 2013. 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 named the blobfish as its mascot after a global online vote in 2013. 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.
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The world's ugliest animal? The blobfish
Kakapo
Proboscis monkey
Warthog
California condor
Komodo dragon
Aye aye
Elephant seal
Monkfish
Three-toed sloth
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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.

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