Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus).
The blobfish got its name from, well, looking more like a blob than a fish. This ugly ocean dweller lives in deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania. Since the blobfish’s body is made up of a gelatinous substance that’s slightly less dense than water, the fish is able to float above the sea floor without using much energy. Blobfish are typically shorter than 30 cm. They live at depths between 600 and 1,200 m (2,000 and 3,900 ft) where the pressure is 60 to 120 times as great as at sea level!
In 2013, the blobfish was formally named the “World’s Ugliest Animal” by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. In the wild, the blobfish feeds by opening its mouth, floating and simply swallowing edible matter like crabs and sea pens that float nearby. Though rarely seen by humans, the blobfish is now facing extinction due to deep sea fishing.
A talking blobfish appears in the film Men in Black 3, sat on the work surface in the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant along with a couple of other alien food animals.
Naked Mole Rat (Heterocephalus glaber).
A.K.A: Sand Puppy, Desert Mole Rat.
Naked mole rats are an unusual burrowing creature that is native to parts of East Africa. The Naked mole rats had their fifteen minutes of fame when one was featured as Rufus, a beloved pet in Disney’s cartoon series, Kim Possible. Since then, this wrinkly, hairless creature hasn’t spent much time in the spotlight, aside from topping a number of “ugliest animal” lists like these.
The naked mole rat is one of nearly 30 different species of mole rats. These rodents live in large communities led by a queen, whose main purpose is to give birth and raise young. Blind naked mole rats use their sensitive hairs to navigate underground passageways. These rodents are found in a number of geographical locations. The mole rat also lacks pain sensitivity in its skin, and has very low metabolic and respiratory rates. It is also remarkable for its resistance to cancer and its longevity (up to 31 years).
Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus).
A.K.A: Long-nosed monkey, bekantan.
The proboscis monkey is an endangered mammal that lives on the island of Borneo. While most people find their large, bulbous noses laughably ugly, the animals make good use of their fleshy schnozes in courtship. Male proboscis monkeys utilize their bulbous snouts to attract females while scaring off potential males. These monkeys subsist on nuts, leaves and unripe fruit (the sugars in ripe fruit can make them sick!).
Proboscis monkeys travel in groups, called harems, and prefer to stay in the trees, only coming to land to eat occasionally. These monkeys love water, and are best known for comically jumping from tree limbs to belly flop into lakes and streams. Since proboscis monkeys only live on Borneo, their numbers have rapidly declined in the past few years as the island’s landscapes are transformed by human development.
Star-Nosed Mole (Condylura cristata).
Though weird and downright unattractive, the star-nosed mole is an intelligent little creature that uses air bubbles to smell. These moles are found in the eastern edge of the United States and Canada in marshes and wetlands. They have a peculiar appearance due to their noses, which are made up of 11 pairs of tentacles that form a circular star.
The star-nosed mole can detect seismic wave vibrations via its nose tentacles, each used as a touch organ containing more than 25,000 tiny sensory receptors known as Eimer’s organs. Despite the poorly developed eyes, star-nosed moles have an intricate system to detect prey and understand their environment. When foraging, moles search in random patterns of touches lasting 20–30 ms. These nasal tentacles also help the star-nosed mole identify food like worms and crustaceans by touch. This foraging behavior is exceptionally fast, such that the mole may touch between 10 and 15 separate areas of the ground every second. It can locate and consume 8 separate prey items in less than 2 seconds and begin searching again for more prey in as little as 120 ms, although the average time is 227 ms. These moles enjoy water and often dig their shallow surface tunnels underwater.
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex).
A.K.A: Whalehead, Shoe-Billed Stork.
The shoebill is a solitary bird that’s characterized by its bulky, large bill. Shoebills are stork-like birds that reside in Africa’s tropical swamps and marshes. Preferring solitary lifestyles, the birds only come together when food is scarce or during mating season. Little is known about these birds, as they prefer to live in areas uninhabited by humans.
The shoebill’s awkwardly large bill makes the animal look both prehistoric and ugly. Still, shoebills are swift and feed easily in poorly-oxygenated waters, preferring to hunt at night. These birds are also referred to as whaleheads or whale-headed storks. Baby shoebills are very dependent on their parents’ help, and are unable to hunt until they are a few months old.
Hardwicke’s Woolly Bat (Kerivoula hardwickii).
A.K.A: Reddish Brown Kerivoula.
Known by a slew of names including the common woolly bat and Hardwicke’s forest bat, Hardwicke’s woolly bat looks like it belongs in a horror film. This bat, which resides in parts of Asia and China, usually lives in the forest understory, building its home in hollow trees and piles of dead leaves. While little is known about the Hardwicke woolly bat, scientists have recently noticed these creatures roosting above the digestive fluids within carnivorous plants.
Keriovula hardwickii in Nepenthes helmsleyana
A species of the vesper bat, the fur on the dorsal, or backside, of the bat is typically a smoky brown color while the ventral portion is a lighter greyish brown color. A forearm length for this bat is typically 31-36 millimeters and the ears are approximately 11-15 millimeters.
Giant Water Bug (Belostomatidae).
A.K.A: toe-biters, Indian toe-biters, electric-light bugs, alligator ticks.
While there are a number of unsightly bugs that probably could have made this list, the water bug is particularly unpleasant looking, especially when it’s carrying its eggs. Giant water bugs, known as belostomatidae, are also referred to as toe-biters and alligator ticks. These massive water bugs can grow to nearly five inches long, and are one of the largest beetles in the world.
Giant water bugs are carnivores that hunt and feast on fish, crustaceans and amphibians. These giant bugs are known to chomp on unsuspecting humans (hence the “toe biter” moniker) and have one of the most painful bites of all insects. They often lie motionless at the bottom of a body of water, attached to various objects, where they wait for prey to come near. Adults cannot breathe under water, so must surface periodically for air. Many photos show male water bugs carrying their eggs upon their wings, which is why many consider these bugs pretty hands-on parents. Preferring their taste to their appearance, in some countries giant water bugs are considered a delicacy.