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 Ė 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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Marion Friedl
Marion Friedl3 years ago

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!!!

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Nicole H.
Nicole L4 years ago

Aw, they're cute. :)

Michaela Carlsson

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??...

Kay martin
Kay M4 years ago

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.

Spencer Young
Spencer Young4 years ago


Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad4 years ago


Mm M.
MmAway M4 years ago

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

Tanja Zilker
Tanja Zilker4 years ago


Tierney G.
Tierney G4 years ago

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