Let’s face it: Some animals were created to be super cute and others Mother Nature hit with the ugly stick. But what happens when cute and ugly merge together? Below, we look at 8 of the world’s weirdest creatures who are just so uniquely ugly that they’re actually considered adorable!
Despite being voted the world’s ugliest animal by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, this deep sea blobfish looks so sad that it can’t be anything but cute. Found in the deep waters off southern Australia, the blobfish has a body that is similar in density to water, allowing it to withstand a huge level of pressure from the ocean. Some have compared it to a grumpy old man, but we think it looks more like the children’s book character, Grug!
This hairless, wrinkled cutie hangs out in East Africa and is an extremely unique animal that can survive in the harshest of desert environments. Like many insects, naked mole rats live in large, underground communities, each of which is ruled by a dominant Rat Queen (seriously). In addition to being incredibly cute/ugly, they’re also cold blooded and live for around 20 years.
Dopey and ugly or cuddly and cute? Found in the forests of South America, sloths predominantly hang about in trees and are commonly known as the slowest and laziest mammals in the world, sleeping for around 15-20 hours a day. Thousands of years ago, however, some sloth species were actually as big as elephants and were much more menacing, rather than cute!
Unique to Madagascar, the Aye Aye is cute-ugly in every aspect – it has big round eyes and ears, long, pointed claws and hair like an old man. It also resembles something like a miniature monster or vampire, though it is more closely related to the monkey. While many might go all mushy at the site of a little Aye Aye, some Malagasy cultures consider this animal a bad omen and will often kill it, a practice that has contributed to its endangerment.
What could be cuter/uglier than an animal with the body of a pig and a head with a stumpy elephant’s trunk? Tapirs are found in both South America and parts of Southeast Asia and despite their appearance, they are more closely related to horses and rhinoceroses than pigs or elephants. They do, however, use their little trunks to forage for food and scientists claim that these hybrid-looking creatures haven’t changed much in tens of millions of years.
Many of us have seen axolotls in the pet store, giving rise to debates over whether they’re more cute or ugly. Axolotls first came to be in the lakes of Mexico and in ancient times, they were often eaten as snacks by the Aztecs! Today, these little amphibians are known for their external gills, their unique capacity to regenerate limbs and their ability to smile for the camera!
What do you get if you combine the head of a cute mammal with ugly, webbed wings? A bat! Bats are not generally known for their attractiveness, but baby fruit bats (officially called ‘pups’) can be more adorable than ever! These little cuties received treatment at the Australian Bat Clinic and Wildlife Trauma Centre in Queensland, following some severe storms.
Monkeys are often compared to humans in their physical development, intelligence and behaviour, but the odd-looking proboscis monkey looks more like a cartoon character than a real animal! Found only in Borneo, proboscis monkeys can swim incredibly well and use their noses not to smell, but to attract partners for mating. How’s that for cute and sexy?!
Photo credits: jamasca66, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Thowra_uk, hyperion327, giltay, avlxyz, noiseburst