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The Ugliest Animal in the World

The Ugliest Animal in the World

My 9-year-old daughter, a consummate animal lover, is such a softie that when I showed her a picture of the hideous-looking blobfish and told her it had just been granted the title World’s Ugliest Animal, she immediately said “Oh, I feel so sorry for that fish! People are just so mean!”  Sophia has a point – and I do appreciate her compassion, but let me defend the benefit of being gifted the dubious title of being the world’s ugliest anything!

A British group called the Ugly Animal Preservation Society may sound like a joke from a late night talk show, but it is sincere in its efforts to protect not only the earth’s biodiversity, but also to highlight our planet’s less lovable, but often equally important species.  The panda get too much attention, they argue. The Society’s mission statement thus says it is dedicated to “raising the profile of some of Mother Nature’s more aesthetically-challenged children.”  I like that. And so does, Sophia, when I finally explained the organization’s mission to her.



It is true that charismatic megafauna like pandas, tigers and harp seals get most of the conservation attention, and often at the expense of smaller, less charming and sometimes more ecologically-critical species. One naturalist, Chris Packham, has actually publicly declared that species like pandas are just too expensive to save and they are taking away money from more ecologically important species:

I don’t want the panda to die out. I want species to stay alive – that’s why I get up in the morning. So if pandas can survive, that would be great. But let’s face it: conservation, both nationally and globally, has a limited amount of resources, and I think we’re going to have to make some hard, pragmatic choices.

The panda-effect on conservation fundraising is exactly why the Ugly Animal Preservation Society tries to highlight animals that lack charisma, but are also in dire need of our support.

Other animals that were in the running for the ugly award were the Titicaca Scrotum Frog, the Pig-nosed Turtle and the Dromedary Jumping Slug.

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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11:18AM PDT on Aug 21, 2014

I don´t find this fish ugly at all, he only looks funny, that´s why I signed a petition here on Care 2 for him, too, a few months ago, he´s worth being safed as well as the pandas!!!

6:59AM PDT on May 19, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

8:38PM PST on Feb 7, 2014

Aw, they're cute. :)

2:30AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

That 9-year-old-girl is what we really need in the future to help the Earth to survive!!
Love you girl!
Have someone think about, that this fish may be the species who became the human race back then??...

2:57PM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

Thank you Cherise for your article, and thank to the 187 care 2 members that commente on the subject. I enjoyed reading all of them.

8:13AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013


8:09AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013


3:32PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

That is a face a Mom would love! Umm Do have to say...only UGLY Humans!

7:45AM PDT on Sep 21, 2013


10:34AM PDT on Sep 20, 2013

I think he is adorable. Then again I like the the underdogs.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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