Are you interested in learning more about ugly animals, or in seeing the world’s ugliest animal? Then continue reading for our assessment.
While nature is magnificent, not every species is as adorable as a panda bear or as lovely as a leopard. While each organism is essential and each animal has a purpose, there are instances when evolution produces a species that falls short of the aesthetic standards we as humans have come to expect. Which is another way of saying there are some plain ugly creatures.
However, since beauty and ugliness are very subjective and relative concepts, we chose a range of animals to demonstrate just how ugly nature can be. Each ugly animal described below is accompanied by a photograph and is not rated in any particular order. (The most repulsive fish deserve their article.)
With this framework in mind, let us examine our selection of 15 of the world’s most repulsive animals:
Blobfish was chosen as the world’s ugliest animal in a study conducted by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. Blobfish, sometimes known as smooth-head blobfish, are a kind of deepwater fish found off the coast of Australia, below the photic zone of the waters where sunlight cannot reach.
Blobfish spend most of their lives between 600 and 1200 meters under the ocean’s surface, where the pressure may be up to 120 times greater than at the surface. At this stage, blobfish resemble any other fish.
However, they morph into a sagging and drooping jelly-like monster when they reach the earth’s surface. This is because they have a deficiency of muscles and a skeleton.
At higher depths, where swim bladders (which enable bony fish to retain buoyancy) would collapse under enormous pressure, marine animals such as blobfish rely on their jelly-like bodies to survive. When a blobfish is dragged to the surface, it experiences decompression and loses structural integrity.
The naked mole-rat, sometimes known as the sand puppy, is indigenous to East Africa, namely Madagascar. An adult naked-mole rat is around 10 centimetres in length and weighs little more than 35 grams. Queens (breeding females), on the other hand, weigh more than 50 grams.
They lack an insulating layer of skin and have sparse body hair, as their name implies. While their huge, projecting teeth are necessary for life, they contribute to their ugly appearance. Additionally, they have tiny eyes and skinny, somewhat short legs (though this does not impair their movement).
Apart from their looks, naked mole-rates are pretty fascinating critters. They have very low metabolism and respiration rates, enabling them to thrive in environments with restricted oxygen supply, such as underground tunnels.
The naked mole-rates can live happily in high carbon dioxide environments and survive for more than 18 minutes in an oxygen-depleted environment.
Additionally, the naked mole-rat is unique for its long lifetime compared to other rodents of comparable size, its insensitivity to pain, and its resistance to cancer. Their capacity to resist malignant cells is often associated with their native environment, where air oxygen levels are typically less than 10%.
The star-nosed mole is a little more around the size of a hamster that is found in marshes across the eastern United States and Canada. Like other mole species, star-nosed moles have a cylindrical body, practically imperceptible eyes and ears, short limbs, and comparatively big paws.
As the species’ name implies, it has an unusual star-shaped snout. Perhaps the oddest nose in the animal world belongs to the star-nose mole.
Their snout is about one centimetre in diameter and comprises 22 appendages or projecting tentacles containing hundreds of tiny sensory receptors known as Eimer’s organs. These sensors enable the animal to recognize prey based on its scent, even while it is submerged.
Additionally, it makes them effective hunters. According to 2005 research, star-nosed moles are exceptional hunters of tiny animals. A person takes an average of 227 milliseconds to determine if something is edible or not and to consume it. The quickest time ever recorded is 120 milliseconds.
The aye-aye is a rare lemur species characterized by its distinctive hand morphology. As with all other lemur species, aye-ayes are native to Madagascar’s island country. Aye-ayes, also called long-fingered lemurs, have five long, forward-slanting fingers. The lengths and thicknesses of these fingers vary.
The third finger, which is extremely slender compared to the other two, is used to tap on tree trunks in search of food such as insects and larva. The meal is next grabbed and pulled with the fourth and longest finger. Apart from aye-ayes, the striped possum is the only animal that finds food in this way.
The animal has the same eyes, ears, nose (nostrils), and head form as tiny feline species such as cats. It has orange eyes and a tail that is longer than its body. A normal adult aye-aye is entirely coated in fur. It is often white or grey in colour on and around the head but brown on the remainder of the body. The aye-aye is classed as an endangered species in the wild.
California condors are severely endangered vulture species located in areas of California, Arizona, and Utah. Additionally, a minor population exists in the Mexican state of Baja, California.
California condors are a sight to see while flying with a three-meter wingspan (the biggest in North America) and white triangular-shaped bands on the bottom of their wings. However, they are not very appealing up close.
California condors have almost completely featherless heads, which is characteristic of avian scavengers. On the head and neck, the skin tone varies from brilliant yellow to red or reddish-orange. Its beak is off-white in hue, and its eyes are crimson. The remainder of the body is entirely covered with solid black feathers. They are often encountered in the wild, covered in blood from head to toe due to eating on carrion.
The species was on the verge of extinction in the late 1980s but was spared once captive breeding was introduced. As of August 2020, the species’ estimated population size is more than 90 mature individuals.
Related: Top 10 ugly birds
The marabou stork is a big stork bird found in Southern Africa, south of the Sahara desert. They may grow to a height of 152 centimeters (60 inches) and weigh up to 9 kg. The marabou stork’s wingspan, around 7-9 feet, was originally considered the greatest of any living bird.
Due to its scavenging habit, the animal, like vultures, has a bare, featherless head, a large beak, and a pink gular sack (pouch-like feature at the neck). As is the case with many other stork species, it has a white underbelly, a black back, and slender grey legs. Marabous are sometimes referred to as the ‘undertaker bird’ due to their look.
In several aspects, marabou storks are unappealing. Due to scavenging, their heads are often dripping with blood and other carrion-derived material, such as excrement. Marabous are becoming more common around rubbish dumps, where they have been seen eating nearly anything, including plastics, textiles, and metal fragments.
Northern Bald Ibis
Northern bald ibis, often called hermit ibis, is a rare ibis bird species distinguished by its long, curved beak and featherless redhead. Originally prevalent across central and southern Europe, the species is now restricted to Morocco. Syria and Turkey also have a small population of Northern bald ibises.
In contrast to most surviving ibis species, the Northern ibis has a featherless head and face. These unfeathered patches are typically greyish in colour in young individuals but become light red as they age.
They have a long, curved beak (bill) that is the same colour as their face. Their beak is coarse and irregular, contributing to their unattractive look.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the Northern bald ibis is its ruff, a tuft of long, straight hair protruding from the bird’s rear of the neck. Except for their legs and feet, the remainder of their bodies is covered with glossy black coloured feathers.
Globally, efforts have been made to reintroduce the Northern bald ibis. They were brought to zoos and captivity in the early 2000s, not just in Europe but also in Japan and North America. In 2018, their number was estimated to be between 200 and 250 persons.
The Probosci’s monkey is an extinct species of monkey found only in Borneo, a small island country in Southeast Asia. They are distinguished by an abnormally big snout, which sets them apart from other primates. Males have a substantially longer nose, which may surpass 10 cm in length.
Generally, their noses are longer than their lips. Females have a smaller nose than males, although it is still the biggest of any primate. According to one idea, a bigger nose, particularly in males, boosts the loudness of their mating call.
There are a few other characteristics that distinguish the species. Probosci’s monkeys are one of Asia’s biggest monkey species.
Male and female populations both have big stomachs resembling pot bellies and lengthy tails. Males have a completely black scrotum. They have a back that is brilliant orange or yellowish in colour and a front that is light greyish or orange in hue.
Hyenas are one of the world’s most vicious scavengers. While hyenas are capable of hunting and killing on their own, they mostly feed on other predators’ carcasses in the wild. A group of hyenas can frighten away bigger predators, such as lions, to claim their meal.
There are four surviving hyena species: aardwolf, brown, striped, and spotted hyena. Each of these species has its own specific morphological characteristics. They do, however, have a wolf-like build, with robust but short rear legs and large front legs.
Hyenas are distinguished from other similar-sized animals by their huge head and ears, as well as their dense fur around the neck and back. Hyenas are widely reviled and seen as terrifying due to their rugged look.
Brown and striped hyena populations are declining and are classified as near threatened. According to the IUCN, one of the primary causes of population reduction is human maltreatment or persecution.
The Chinese sturgeon is a live member of the Acipenseridae (sturgeon) family found solely in China. As with the Giant Panda, the Chinese government has designated the Chinese sturgeon as a ‘protected animal.’ The species has been designated a “national treasure” by the government. However, they are not as endearing as pandas.
Chinese sturgeons resemble sharks, with a big, pointed head, rounded snout, prominent pectoral fins, and a larger upper tail fin. Additionally, they have several visible bone ridges running throughout their body.
Like all other sturgeon species, Chinese sturgeons have four barbels (spike-like characteristics) placed midway between their mouth and snout. The barbel is a sensory organ that assists fish in detecting and obtaining prey or food.
Also Read: 10 odd sharks in the world.
Titicaca Water Frog
This endangered frog species comes from Lake Titicaca, a big freshwater lake in South America, where it is located exclusively. The Titicaca Water Frog is one of the biggest frog species on the planet, reaching a maximum length of 15 cm or 5.9 inches. They are outgrown by just a few other frog species.
The most apparent characteristic of Titicaca water frogs, however, is their extreme skin folding. Their skin is loose and floppy, forming ripples in the folds surrounding their torso. It is especially noticeable in those who are bigger. Titicaca frogs have gained the moniker “scrotum frog” due to their look.
According to studies, the animal’s excessive skin makes it perform respiratory activities in chilly waters. Additionally, it serves as a protective mechanism.
Generally, Titicaca water frogs are brown or greenish in hue with a light underbelly. An isolated population of the species has a brilliant orange underside and distinctive stripe markings on objects.
Also Read : 23 Cute frogs in the world.
The red-lipped batfish is found in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru and near the Galapagos Islands. It is one of the thirteen identified species of batfish and has one of the most bizarre body structures in the animal world.
Batfish are poor swimmers and so travel underwater mostly by ‘walking’ on the seafloor using their highly modified pectoral fins. These fins have the look of human ankles.
Adult batfish have an unusual anatomical feature that protrudes outward from the crown of their heads. This spine-like extension occurs only once a person reaches a particular age.
However, the animal is more well-known for its bright red lips. According to biologists, it serves to attract mates during mating and to establish species recognition during spawning.
A normal red-lipped batfish may reach a length of around 40 cm or 0.4 meters. They have a greyish or light-brown upper surface and a mainly white underside.
Male Elephant Seal
Elephant seals in their adolescence are one of the most endearing species on the planet. They have long been a focal point of fascination at zoos and aquariums worldwide. However, the same cannot be true of the elephant seal’s adult male population.
Elephant seals have a life expectancy of 21 years on average (Southern Elephant seals). By the age of 7-8, male elephant seals (bulls) exhibit distinguishing traits not seen in the female population, such as a larger chest region and a proboscis or long floppy snout.
Male elephant seals’ proboscis strongly resembles the trunk of an elephant, as the name implies. Like that of the proboscis monkey, their nose generates loud sounds to attract mating mates. More significantly, it enables the animal to maintain sufficient moisture throughout its prolonged stay on land.
Elephant seals are characterized by huge round and black eyes, facial whiskers, and the absence of external ears. Their bodies are completely coated with blubber, which protects them from very cold temperatures. However, it has a significant effect on their land migration.
Warthogs are pigs (Suidae) that are found across the African savanna south of the Sahara. There are two separate species of warthogs: common warthogs and desert warthogs. The latter is confined in a tiny area of East Africa and is somewhat smaller in size than its relatives.
They exhibit classic pig physical traits, such as a huge head, a long snout with wart-like features, and prominent tusks. The common warthog has two tusks. Their full tusks are curled upward as they stretch from their jaws. They are longer and more conspicuous than the lower tusks, which are placed immediately underneath them. The animal’s body is covered with prickly or coarse fur.
While these characteristics make warthogs unappealing, they enable them to flourish in Africa’s grassland ecology.
Monkfish, frogfish, and sea-devils are all popular names for numerous lophiid anglerfish species found in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean and Black Seas. They are most accurately characterized as freakish in appearance.
The head, which accounts for a significant amount of its body, is big and flattened. Their mouth is large enough to devour prey the same size as themselves in one go. Additionally, monkfishes have angular teeth and tiny eyes.
Monkfish have odd filaments protruding from the crown of their heads. The longest filament, esca or illicium, can be moved in all directions and is utilized to attract prey and other fish. Additionally, they can ‘walk’ on the seabed thanks to a pair of modified pelvic fins (as shown above).
All of these characteristics combine to make monkfishes not just unsightly and unappealing but also ugly.
Also Read: Can fish drown? How They Breathe.
As with most insect-eating bats, horseshoe bats have a twisted appearance that resembles an ear rather than a face. This modification increases their sensitivity to sound waves, allowing them to manoeuvre quickly through the air.
The bat’s name derives from the form of its “noseleaves,” the fleshy tissue that surrounds its nose. The top portion is pointy, while the bottom part resembles a horseshoe. The bat utilizes its distinctive snout — with its unique size and shape — as a kind of sonar beam to assist it in detecting its surroundings.