Pudgy pandas and tiger cubs peer out from most conservation pamphlets, but what about the aesthetically challenged creatures on the endangered animal list? They deserve some loving too. Enter the Ugly Animal Preservation Society (UAPS), an organisation in England that is dedicated to raising awareness about the planet’s awkward but threatened species.
The UAPS combines conservation, comedy, and science in their hilarious events, which take place in theatres, schools, and festivals in the U.K. At these gatherings, stand-up comics and scientists make a case for their favourite ugly animal, followed by an audience vote to select a local mascot. In 2013, UAPS held a nationwide online poll for a mascot, with celebrities like Stephen Fry joining in. The pale, shapeless blobfish won by 10,000 votes, and was adopted as the official face of the society. Honourable mentions from that year include the proboscis monkey with its phallic long nose and the Titicaca water frog whose extra layers of skin make it look like it got tangled in a parachute.
Follow the UAPS on Twitter to keep up with the real-life adventures of Blobby, their melancholic mascot, and to learn about our planet’s conventionally unattractive species. They may not be the pin-up stars of the animal kingdom, but they are fascinating creatures that need our protection.
Kamakshi Ayyar is a former member of NGT India's digital team. She is partial to places by the sea and desserts in all forms. When she isn't raving about food, she's usually rambling on about the latest cosmic mysteries. She tweets as @kamakshi138.