In an attempt to counter the idea that only cute endangered animals matter, the U.K.’s National Science and Engineering competition is holding a vote to decide which hideous animal should be the mascot for “the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.” Here are the contenders, ranked in order of ugliness:
2. The Blobfish.
Poor blobfish — the saddest little creature in the ocean. Just look at his face. His miserable, gelatinous face.
3. Update: the Blobfish won.
4. The Axolotl.
An incredibly ugly creature, but great at Scrabble.
5. The Pig-Nosed Turtle.
Combining all the best elements of a pig and a turtle into one ill-advised face.
6. The Greater Short-Horned Lizard.
The greater short-horned lizard just looks pissed off with everything. Also it has this trick of squirting streams of blood out of its eyes when it’s startled.
8. The Titicaca Water Frog.
Its Latin name means “aquatic scrotum,” on the grounds that it looks kinda scrotum-y. With a name like that, the scrotum frog did not get a good start in life.
9. The Dromedary Jumping Slug.
Take all the aesthetic qualities of a slug, and add a lumpy thing on its back. Then make it jump. Well, sort of jump. It’s not very good jumping, admittedly. More frantic wiggling:
Look, it’s a slug, all right? It’s not supposed to jump at all. Give it a break.
11. The Kakapo.
The world’s most useless parrot. It’s overweight, it can’t fly, and its instinctive reaction to predators is mild curiosity, rather than running away in fear. Basically the kakapo is rubbish at being a bird, and as a result it is very, very, very endangered. It’s also a bit dowdy, as parrots go.
12. The Pubic Louse.
The pubic louse is currently under threat because of the deforestation of its natural habitat. Basically, people are waxing it to extinction. This a is a terrible way for any species to go.
13. The Flightless Dung Beetle.
It’s not really noticably uglier than any other beetle. It’s just that it spends its time rolling big balls of elephant and buffalo faeces around. Like, imagine if Joseph Gordon-Levitt was sitting on top of a giant ball of dung. Would he still be hot? It’s an important question.
15. Some of these ugly animals aren’t ugly enough, frankly.
Here are some suggestions for creatures the Ugly Animal Preservation Society could have included, except presumably they’re not endangered enough.
16. The Star-Nosed Mole.
Mate, your… your face has kind of exploded there.