NPR : News

Filed Under:

You May Not Want To Look: Blobfish Named 'Ugliest Animal'

At first glance, we thought it was a Star Wars character.

But, no, the blobfish is a real creature that bobs around in the waters off Australia.

And now it's the "winner" of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society's online vote to choose a mascot.

Or as the society and the British Science Association say, the blobfish has earned the title "world's ugliest animal."

The society is a whimsical British organization that mixes comedy with science to raise awareness about "the threats facing ... weird and wonderful creatures," the BBC says. According to the BBC, the blobfish won the society's contest "by almost 10,000 votes."

Other contenders included:

-- The proboscis monkey.

-- British bats.

-- The flightless dung beetle.

As for the blobfish, here's what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has to say about the "fatheads" in its Weird Fins podcast for kids:

"This is one of the funniest fish faces in the ocean, although you're not likely to see a blobfish since they live in very deep water off Australia. In fact, it's pretty rare for anyone to see blobfish, although they're sometimes taken in nets hauled in by Australia's deepwater fishing fleet. They really do look like a big, blobby tadpole, just a mass of pale, jelly-like flesh with puffy, loose skin, a big nose, and beady, staring eyes. But looking like a floppy water balloon is what actually helps the blobfish make a living. This guy just sort of floats above the sea floor so it doesn't have to spend a lot of energy swimming around, sort of like when you float in the water wearing a life jacket.

"Blobfish seem to grow only to about 12 inches, about as long as a comic book. No one has seen them feed, but scientists think blobfish probably just open that big mouth and let little particles drift in — this is not a critter built to chase down its food."

According to the BBC, by the way, blobish are inedible.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 29, 2015

You can hear classical Indian music or learn about the Arab influences of a traditional Spanish dance form. 

WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Twitter Faces Challenges As It tries To Balance Profitability, Popularity

The social network Twitter is popular with users, but that's not enough. It also needs to be profitable, and by its 140-character nature that's a challenge.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.