Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, nature likes to play with its creations. Not all animals are lucky enough to be as cute and charming as pandas or chinchillas.
However, ugly animals tend to have unique features that make them stand out. And while ugliness is subjective, for this list we picked animals most people consider unattractive to show you how weird nature can get.
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20 Ugly Animals Around The World
First on our list, known as the world’s ugliest animal, is the blobfish. It’s a silly-looking creature resembling a pink scoop of slime rather than a fish. Our weird-looking friend is a deep-water fish that goes by the scientific name of Psychrolutes marcidus.
It looks like this because of its natural adaptation to living at 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 to 1,200 m) beneath the surface. The blobfish has no muscles and, without the pressure it’s used to in the deep sea, bloats into a cartoonish blob.
But in its natural habitat, the blobfish looks less like a blob and more like what you’d expect of a deep sea creature: spiny and sharp.
The aye-aye is another animal that didn’t win the genetic lottery. Its frazzled look and expression earned its place on our list.
The aye-aye has big, bright orange eyes, rodent teeth that never stop growing, and long and thin middle fingers.
Thankfully, they live far away as lemurs native to Madagascar. While this tiny creature isn’t the cutest, its survival techniques are pretty impressive. The aye-aye forages for food at night and is known as the world’s largest nocturnal primate.
Think of the aye-aye as a weird mammalian version of the woodpecker. It finds the perfect tree and taps on it to find grubs. Its sharp incisors then rip through wood to make tiny holes. Finally, it uses its thin middle finger to pull out the grubs.
3. Naked Mole Rat
As you can guess just by its name, the naked mole rat has as much visual appeal as it has fur. Although it’s also known as a sand puppy, it’s definitely a far cry from any cute puppy we know of. However, what it lacks in looks, it makes up in skills.
This underground rodent is a unique creature that’s primarily hairless. As it spends most of its time underground, this rodent is also blind. They do pretty well living in tunnels with limited oxygen levels, lasting 5 hours without distress.
What’s interesting about them is that they live incredibly long lives, with the longest record being 32 years. Their mortality rate doesn’t go up with age, and they rarely get cancer, almost as if they are immune.
4. Bald Uakari
The bald uakari is a primate that looks like someone threw a tomato at its head. It has an incredibly bright red face, a bald head, and shaggy orange fur. But there’s a perfectly logical explanation for its looks.
The bald-headed uakari has a red face because it doesn’t have skin pigmentation. Its blood vessels are very close to the skin’s surface, giving it its color.
This New World monkey lives in Peru and Brazil and prefers to stick to the Amazon river basin.
Unfortunately, this species has been assessed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as their numbers are declining. Deforestation and hunting are their primary concerns.
The anglerfish is a creature that dwells at the depths of the sea — and your nightmares! It earned its name for how it hunts: dangling its luminescent fin ray to lure other fish. Interestingly, the luminescence is from symbiotic bacteria.
They are carnivorous creatures, primarily feeding on other fish and crustaceans with their sharp teeth. The anglerfish will stay still on the ocean floor to conserve energy until other fish get mesmerized by its illicium, the dangly part on its head.
The anglerfish will instantly gobble prey attracted to its light. Their jaws can expand a lot, so they can eat prey twice as big as they are.
6. Hammer-Headed Bat
This long-faced fellow is a megabat found in West and Central Africa. It’s also known as the hammer-headed fruit bat and the big-lipped bat. Hammer-headed bats are the largest bats in Africa, with a wingspan reaching approximately 3.3 feet (1 m).
Males and females look very different, making them a highly sexually dimorphic bat species. Males have vocal cords three times bigger than females due to large resonating chambers on their faces. Female big-lipped bats look more like regular megabats with fox-like characteristics.
They are fruit bats, so they consume large quantities of fruits such as bananas, figs, and mangoes. However, these creatures are considered pests on fruit farms. Locals even hunt this bat for food, as it is considered bushmeat.
7. Goblin Shark
Thanks to its irregularly-shaped face, the goblin shark made it to our list. Aside from the protruding jaw and a long snout resembling a goblin’s nose, this deep-sea fish is also known as a living fossil. This is because it’s the only surviving member of the Mitsukurinidae family from 125 million years ago.
The goblin shark is pink because its blood vessels are visible beneath the skin. Younger sharks are almost white but get pinker and pinker with age. When it dies, it quickly becomes dark gray or brown.
Like most sharks, they have a sixth sense when they hunt. Their nose contains organs called ampullae of Lorenzini, which can detect weak electric impulses produced by other living organisms. They usually prey on rattails and dragonfish.
8. Indian Purple Frog
This odd-looking amphibian hardly looks like a typical frog. With its bloated body and purple tint, this frog resembles a deformed eggplant more than anything else. If that wasn’t weird enough, it has a tiny head with small distant eyes and a pointy snout.
The Indian purple frog is native to the Western Ghats in India. The frog lives most of its life underground and only comes to the surface for two weeks during the monsoon period to mate. Then, they forage underground and feed on termites.
Locals eat the tadpoles of this species, and many participate in traditional tadpole-harvesting events.
9. Common Warthog
The common warthog isn’t a sight you’d like to behold for too long. It has a long head, a broad snout, and deadly tusks — its most defining and terrifying feature.
While the real warthog doesn’t resemble Pumbaa from the classic Lion King animated film, it does live in semi-open habitats in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, it likes to eat insects, carrions, roots, and bulbs.
Males sometimes fight each other during mating seasons. Other than that, they typically run for the hills when they feel threatened. They are fast and can reach up to 30 mph (48 km/h). They enter their dens backward, keeping their tusks towards the entrance.
10. Southern Elephant Seal
There are two species of elephant seals, the southern and the northern seals. Due to the male’s large proboscis, the large fleshy mass dangling on their faces, these seals resembled elephants. This prominent proboscis is used to make loud sounds during mating season.
The southern elephant seal lives in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters. The northern species prefers warmer climates and lives in the Eastern Pacific in Canada, Mexico, and the USA.
Elephant seals are the only seals that can stay long periods on land and go for weeks without getting in the water.
Males usually come on land sooner than females to fight for control over the harems. The harem masters can have several dozen females. Some males don’t have harems, so they try to mate with a harem male’s female when he’s away.
11. Proboscis Monkey
Much like the elephant seals, proboscis monkeys bear a similar mass of flesh on their faces. But because of this eye-catching look, it is considered one of the most popular monkeys out there.
This monkey resides on the island of Borneo and is one of the biggest monkeys in Asia. The proboscis monkey loves water and is even equipped for swimming with its unique webbed toes. Like most primates, they are highly vocal animals.
To announce the group’s status, males produce a loud honk. Both sexes make warning sounds, but they sound different. Females make specific female calls when they are mad. Proboscis monkeys also communicate nonverbally through branch-shaking and teeth-baring.
Another animal that made the cut on our ugly animals’ list is the hyena. They have a dark reputation associated with witchcraft, as their body parts are used for medicinal properties. In addition, some cultures associate hyenas with robbing graves and stealing children and livestock.
Visually, hyenas look like an ugly cross between a dog and a fox. Their heads resemble dogs, but when they bare their teeth, they look as if they are laughing. But this doesn’t make them friendly. On the contrary, they are pretty vicious to their prey. Even lions don’t dare approach hyenas.
Unlike other predators, hyenas have no problem feasting on dead carcasses and leftovers.
13. Titicaca Water Frog
The Titicaca frog has baggy skin, which helps it breathe in cold water. In addition, they have different color variations from gray to greenish-brown, with spots resembling a marble pattern.
If you stress out a Lake Titicaca frog, it will secrete a gooey fluid from its skin as a defense mechanism. This frog species likes to spend its time lying at the bottom of the lake, but if it wants to, it can quickly move around as it is a good swimmer.
This frog has underwater calls which you cannot hear from the surface. It’s usually active at night, and either calls to attract females or as a sign of aggression.
14. Giant Salamanders
The largest salamander in the world is the South China giant salamander, which can reach approximately 6 feet (1.8 m) long.
This species is distinguishable from other salamanders by its large size, but they are highly endangered. Its extinction is highly possible due to its overharvesting as a delicacy. It’s even used in Chinese traditional medicine.
Other species of giant salamanders live in Japan and the western USA. The Japanese giant salamander can reach up to 4.7 feet (1.44 m), the size of a 12-year-old child. It can live for a long time in captivity, with the longest record being 50 years.
Unlike other species of salamander, which can live on water and land, the giant salamander is fully aquatic when it reaches adulthood. It has folds of skin all over its body which helps it absorb oxygen from water.
15. Saiga Antelope
The saiga antelope looks constantly sad due to its quirky nose. It has a long face with downward-facing nostrils. This eccentric feature helps the antelope during summer migrations.
The nose points downwards to filter dust and cools the animal down. During winter, it helps warm the air reaching the lungs.
Saigas live in dry grasslands and deserts in Asia. You can spot one in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, and Uzbekistan. They live in large herds and eat many species of plants, including poisonous ones. They can walk great distances and even cross rivers to find food but avoid rugged areas.
16. Star-Nosed Mole
The star-nosed mole is the second mole species on our list. However, this one looks more like an alien than the previous one. This is due to the freakish tentacle-like organs coming out of its face.
This nose contains 22 fleshy appendages with 25,000 minute sensory receptors known as Eimer’s organs. It’s said that it can detect seismic wave vibrations. Like most moles, the star-nosed species is pretty much blind.
The star-nosed mole lives in the northern part of North America, especially in low wetlands areas. It feeds on small aquatic insects like midges, dragonflies, and terrestrial insects like worms.
17. California Condor
The California Condor is one of the rarest birds worldwide. It briefly went extinct in 1987 but was reintroduced to northern Arizona and southern Utah. However, this species is still listed as critically endangered.
They look incredibly gorgeous and majestic mid-flight, but they give off a completely different vibe when you see them up close. They have bald wrinkly heads with many purple sickly-looking spots.
What’s impressive about them is that they are the world’s longest-living birds, with a record lifespan of 60 years. The condor is an important bird for the Californian Native American people as it plays a significant role in their traditions.
18. Marabou Stork
The Marabou Stork is one of the world’s biggest birds, with a highly peculiar look. With bald heads and a few hair strands, this creature is the grumpiest-looking animal on our list. This species lives in Africa, south of the Sahara, and is comfortable in both wet and arid habitats.
This bird looks like an undertaker from behind because of its cloak-like wings and skinny legs. It’s also massive, reaching 5 feet (152 cm) in height and 20 pounds (9 kg) in weight. Due to their size, Marabou storks don’t have many natural predators.
The aardvark’s bizarre look is all thanks to its pig snout, kangaroo tail, and back hunch. The aardvark has a stocky body, which is impenetrable to insect bites, and pinkish skin. It also has abnormally large rabbit ears, which help disperse heat.
The aardvark is native to Africa and avoids rocky areas. It is a nocturnal mammal that feeds on termites and ants, using sharp claws to dig out its prey.
20. Giant Anteater
The giant anteater is another long-faced creature on our list of ugly animals. Its unique feature is its incredibly long mouth, but it has no teeth and limited jaw mobility. The mouth only opens wide enough for the tongue to stick out.
This tongue has sticky saliva to catch as many ants as possible. It is also quite long, reaching up to 18 inches (45 cm), and moves in and out 160 times per minute.
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Which ugly animals are endangered?
Due to human consumption and pollution, the lake Titicaca frog faces endangerment. Another endangered species is the proboscis monkey, mainly due to deforestation. In addition, the California condor, Saiga antelope, and South China giant salamander are listed as either endangered or highly endangered.
What is the coolest animal in the world?
One of the most remarkable animals in the world is the axolotl. It is a freshwater salamander that is also highly intelligent. They can regenerate most of their body parts, such as their limbs, spine, and parts of their brain.
What is the ugliest animal in the world?
Due to popular vote, the blobfish wins first place as the ugliest animal in the world.
What is the scariest animal in the world?
The scariest animal in the world is the coconut crab. It is the largest crab in the world. It is also said that this species might have eaten Amelia Earhart’s body.