The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus), a species that lives at great depths and is rarely seen but resembles a marine Jabba the Hut, has been voted the world’s ugliest animal. More than 3,000 votes were cast in the online competition, with 795 for the blobfish.
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society launched the campaign to choose its new mascot in order to raise awareness for endangered and aesthetically challenged animals.
It claims that because of their less-than-pinup appearance, ugly animals require more assistance, with 200 species going extinct every day.
The society’s president, Simon Watt, said: “For a long time, we’ve needed an ugly face for endangered animals, and the public’s response has astounded me. For far too long, cute and fluffy animals have dominated the spotlight, but now the blobfish will speak up for the mingers who are frequently overlooked.”
From 11 nominations, the following animals were voted into the top six:
- The kakapo, a giant flightless parrot native to New Zealand that is frequently preyed upon by predators due to its inquisitive nature;
- The axolotl, a salamander with the ability to regenerate its own limbs and the reputation of never growing up;
- The Titicaca water frog (Telmatobius culeus), also known as the “aquatic scrotum frog,” is named after the South American lake where it lives.
- The proboscis monkey is a type of monkey with a long proboscis. It has a large nose that is said to attract mates, but it also has a bloated and gassy stomach due to its fondness for eating unripe fruit.
The campaign consisted of 11 “election” videos in which comedians defended each of the ugliest species. Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ Paul Foot backed the blobfish.
The species, which lives off the coasts of south-eastern Australia and Tasmania, is endangered by fishing trawlers who catch it in their nets by accident. “Some might call it ugly,” Foot said, “but I believe the blobfish’s sad face belies a kind and very wise little brain inside.”