A bunch of comedians, including Paul Foot (Never Mind the Buzzcocks), Ellie Jane Taylor (Snog Mary Avoid) and Steve Mould (Blue Peter scientist), clubbed together to create the Ugly Animal Preservation Society and raise the profile of animals that didn’t do very well in the looks lottery.
They created a competition where online users could vote for the World’s Ugliest Animal, and after more than 100,000 views on YouTube and thousands of votes, the blobfish took the gong today at the the British Science Festival.
Runners up included the proboscis monkey, native to Borneo, the greater short-horned lizard from North America, the dung beetle, native to Australia, plus other unsightly critters.
The competition may sound cruel, but the campaign has actually given these needy animals exposure. While all the cute animals (think: pandas, sea otters, loggerhead turtles and Siberian tigers) get all the support, these poor unsightly creatures are left to fend for themselves. This award should increase conservation and help the endangered nominees in their plight.
Simon Watt, biologist and President for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society explained: “We’ve needed an ugly face for endangered animals for a long time and I’ve been amazed by the public’s reaction. For too long the cute and fluffy animals have taken the limelight but now the blobfish will be a voice for the mingers who always get forgotten.”
To find out more about the campaign and watch the entry videos click here.
See below for the top five hideous runners up, plus the ugly winner:
In first place: The Blobfish
This lump of blobby, unsightly gelatinous mass lives up to 1,200 metres deep in the ocean and can grow up to 12 inches wide. It feeds off of crabs and lobsters and gets caught in fishing trawlers.
In second place: Kakapo
Evolving from parrots, this useless little bird from New Zealand can’t fly, it can’t climb very well, it can just about walk – as it’s so darn heavy. Sadly, they’re rather tasty, so other creatures have been picking them off at an alarming rate.
Visit New Zealand and see the kakapo, see here for Radio Times holidays to the area
In third place: Axolotl
These underwater alien-looking things are also alien by nature – they can have their legs and arms chopped off and grow them back again. Truly otherworldly.
In fourth place: Titicaca water frog
The only place you can find this grotesque being is in Peru, in Lake Titicaca. Translated from Spanish its name means the ‘aquatic scrotum’, which pretty much sums it up.
Visit Peru and see the Titicaca water frog, see here for Radio Times holidays to the area
In fifth place: Proboscis monkey
With its giant blobby nose, its fat belly (due to all the unripe fruit it eats) and its farty behind, it’s no wonder this weird looking mammal, native to Borneo, doesn’t have many fans.
Visit Borneo and see the proboscis monkey, see here for Radio Times holidays to the area