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09/12/2013

All hail the mighty – if not exactly gorgeous – blobfish

Blobfish
On the plus side, this somewhat, er, odd-looking creature does have a very nice personality. For a fish. (Rex/Greenpeace.)

Behold the world’s ugliest creature, whose appropriately inelegant name is the blobfish.

A somewhat offbeat organization called the Ugly Animal Preservation Society announced its decision this week at the British Science Festival in Newcastle.

According to a BBC report, the society wants to extend environmental protection to some of Mother Nature’s more “aesthetically challenged” children.

The decision to honour the blobfish was based on public response to a series of YouTube videos, one for each of several worthy contenders. Viewers were invited to vote for their favourites, and the blobfish outdid the second-place finisher by nearly 10,000 votes.

Although not itself edible – or at least not by humans – the blobfish is threatened by fishing trawlers whose nets often catch the creatures by mistake.

Blobfish dwell mostly off the coast of south-eastern Australia, according to the BBC report. Their jelly-like consistency helps them to survive at great depths, under immense water pressure.

What else? Well, they eat crabs and lobster for the most part – and they’re ugly.

Other contenders for the top prize included: the kakapo, a flightless parrot that lives in New Zealand; the axolotl, a Mexican salamander; the euphoniously named Titicaca “scrotum” water frog, which makes its home in Lake Titicaca on the border between Peru and Bolivia; and the male proboscis monkey, distinguished by the immensity of its nose.

Oakland Ross is a foreign affairs reporter for the Toronto Star.

 

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