You think you have troubles? Consider the blobfish.
As reported in The Telegraph, the sad-looking sea creature was already on the endangered species list. Now it has to deal with the unflattering distinction of being named the most hideous creature in nature.
Famed for its mournful expression, the gelatinous fish is currently under the threat of extinction courtesy of trawling off the coast of Australia, where it resides at depths of 600 to 1200 metres below sea level.
The blobfish was named the world’s ugliest creature in a recent YouTube poll that included the participation of celebrities including Stephen Fry and Brian Cox.
The poll was conducted by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, a non-profit group with the goal of heightening awareness of creatures whose impending extinction from the planet is ignored because they’re simply not “cuddly” enough.
To determine the world’s ugliest creature, UAPS founder Simon Watt commissioned a group of 11 celebrities and comedians to film short videos promoting one member of the animal kingdom as the ugliest on the planet.
The videos received nearly a hundred-thousand views online and each one was awarded a score based on the number of times viewers liked the footage.
The results were announced at the recent British Science Festival and the blobfish finished in first by a longshot with nearly 800 “likes.”
In making the announcement, Watt told festival attendees that he hoped the exercise would make people think about Mother Nature’s less attractive creations.
“We are very good at talking about mammals,” said Watt. “People know all about the panda and the snow leopard and tigers and lions, and you’d swear at times that’s all we care about. But we are living in an era when about 200 species are going extinct every single day and we have to talk about the rest of it.”
Blobfish grow to nearly a foot in length and have virtually no muscle in their bodies. Their rubbery flesh is buoyant and enables them to bob around in the deep sea, but that also means they regularly get caught up in commercial fishing nets.
If it’s any consolation, the blobfish has plenty of company on the ugliest creature list.
Finishing in second place, with 617 votes, was the Kakapo, a “rubbish parrot” in New Zealand. The Kakapo is incapable of flight and completely unafraid of predators, which has resulted in its numbers dropping to critical levels.
Also in the top five: The Axolotl, an angry-looking salamander native to Mexico; the Amazonian amphibian known as Telmatobius Culeus, whose name translates literally into “scrotum frog” due to its wrinkly appearance; and the proboscis monkey, which has an unusually long nose, along with a pot belly. The proboscis monkey is also renowned for its remarkable flatulence abilities.