A World of Ugliest Animals — The Ugliest Animals on Earth…

A World of Ugliest Animals — The Ugliest Animals on Earth…

Sphynx kitten
Sphynx kitten, 12 weeks, 2005. By M.M.Minderhoud GFDL

Large ears. Large eyes. Gaping mouths. Weird noses. Lack of hair. Wrinkled skin. What do the animals with these features have in common? They’re all considered ugly. Indeed, if you think ugly creatures only exist in books or fantasy films, think again. Below are the ugliest animals in the world. Ready to hold your breath and promise not to cringe? Let’s dive in.

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Ugliest Dog — The Chinese Crested

Hairless Chinese Crested dog
Hairless Chinese Crested dog. Zucci High Virtue – Indy (2004-2011). Photo taken by Tommy Gildseth GFDL

Since 2000, of the fourteen dogs that have been crowned the world’s ugliest dog at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, nine of them have Chinese crested blood. One look at the Chinese crested dog and you’ll understand why.

The Chinese crested dog comes in two types — hairless and powderpuff — with the hairless variety being more popular. Hairless Chinese crested dogs are not completely hairless, though. They do have long hair on their heads, legs and tails. But for the rest, it’s bare skin, which can be pink, gray or black. Think this makes it easy to groom? Maybe, but leave the Chinese crested out in the sun for too long and it can get sunburned. Also, the skin of the Chinese crested can get oily and, if left untreated, can be covered in pimples. Yikes!

Other hairless dogs, such as the xolo (or Mexican hairless dog) and the Peruvian Inca orchid dog, are also in the running for ugliest dogs. Then there’s the puli, which, in contrast, has too much hair. It has so much hair, in fact, that it naturally forms cords, which when left alone, can accumulate mildew.

Ugliest Cat — Sphynx

Sphynx kitten
Sphynx kitten, 12 weeks, 2005. By M.M.Minderhoud GFDL

If there are hairless dogs, then there is a hairless cat, and that’s the sphynx. This cat isn’t truly hairless, but has such fine hair that it’s hardly visible. Aside from this, sphynx cats have large ears and heavily wrinkled skin, especially around the shoulders and muzzle. Kittens are wrinkled all over. The skin of the sphynx can range from pink to black, sometimes with markings that would have been present on their fur. Sphynx cats tend to have bulging bellies, as well, since they have a high metabolism and therefore, a large appetite.

Like the Chinese crested dog, the sphynx cat has to be groomed properly or it will get acne, especially in the folds of its skin. It also tends to accumulate earwax.

Sphynx Cats are featured in this following book:
25 Weirdest Animals in the World!

Ugliest Mammals

Daubentonia madagascariensis
Aye aye. Image credit: Daderot

Mammals tend to be among the cutest, cuddliest creatures on earth and yet, even among them, there are ugly ones. Take the aye-aye, for example, a kind of lemur living in Madagascar. This is one animal you definitely don’t want to approach, with its clawed long fingers that it uses to find insects hiding inside trees, and its large eyes which glow in the dark. The locals fear this primate, in fact, regarding it as a symbol of death. Sadly, this superstitious belief has caused the aye-aye to be killed on sight and even to be hunted down so that now it is an endangered species.

Lowland Streaked Tenrec
Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Mantadia, Madagascar by Frank Vassen cc2.0

The lowland streaked tenrec, a hedgehog-like mammal also living in Madagascar, isn’t for cuddling, either, since its body is covered in quills, some of which are detachable and barbed so as to be used as weapons against predators.

Naked mole rat
Naked mole rat – Roman Klementschitz cc3.0

The naked mole rat, considered one of the world’s ugliest animals, might welcome a cuddle because of its lack of hair, that is if you can stomach giving it one. Naked mole rats have yellowish or pinkish skin, overgrown front teeth, hardly any eyes and thin legs. They spend their entire lives underground, where they live in colonies led by a queen, much like ant colonies.

Platypus Credit JohnCarnemolla
Saiga tatarica
Saiga tatarica by belgianchocolate cc2.0

Other contenders for ugliest mammals include the platypus (yes, it’s a mammal even though it has a duck’s bill and lays eggs) and the saiga antelope, with its oversized nose that looks like an anteater’s snout cut short. This unique nose structure helps the saiga keep dirt out, and to heat air during cold weather — very useful, though it doesn’t make it less ugly.

Ugliest Birds

Many birds enchant us with their colorful feathers and melodious songs. Some of them are the most beautiful creatures on earth. And then there are these birds.

Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus)
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus). By Lip Kee cc2.0

The marabou stork is far from beautiful, with its bare, dirty-looking head which is seamlessly attached to its huge bill and its skinny black legs. Another ugly fact about it? Marabou storks eat corpses and fecal matter. Oh, and they poop on their legs, too, in order to cool themselves.

california condor
california condor by Stacy Spensley cc2.0

The California condor may be a symbol of majesty, but its appearance surely draws more fear than awe. It has a bald pink or yellowish head with patches of black, a hooked beak and black feathers, including those that form a ruff around its neck like a collar.

Common Potoo
Common Potoo – Panama – 5-24-12. By HarmonyonPlanetEarth cc2.0

Both of these birds are very large, though a bird doesn’t have to be large to look scary. Just take a look at the potoos. Potoos have large heads and large eyes that make them look like they are always startled, and which glow in the dark. Even with their eyes closed, potoos can still see, since they have slits on their eyelids. When threatened, potoos “freeze”, making them look like tree stumps.

Ugliest Reptiles

Many people run away at the sight of reptiles, and even if you’re not one of them, these are sure to make you grimace.

Female Langaha madagascariensis
Female Madagascar Leaf-nosed Snake. By Alextelford cc3.0

The Langaha madagascariensis, or Madagascar leaf-nosed snake, is one weird-looking snake. It has a thin body which makes it easily mistaken for a twig, even when it is hanging upside down. Females have leaf-shaped snouts, while males have long, pointed snouts.

male gharial
Close-up of a male’s ghara

Imagine having a bulb at the end of your nose that looks like a small earthen pot. That is exactly what mature male gharials have to deal with. Gharials have long, thin jaws that differentiate them from other crocodilians, as well as thin, interlocking sharp teeth and large yellow eyes.

Ugliest Amphibians

If an animal lives both on land and in water, it has to be weird. Sometimes, unfortunately, that means it also has to be ugly.

Japanese Giant Salamander
Giant Japanese salamander by Brian Gratwicke cc2.0

Just take a look at the Japanese giant salamander. These salamanders can grow over 5 feet (1.5 meters) long and have broad, flat bodies covered in mucus, which protects them from getting hurt when they’re walking on land. As if that’s not slimy enough, when threatened, Japanese giant salamanders produce a slimy, sticky substance that smells like pepper.

Purple Frog
Purple frog Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis by Karthickbala CC-BY-SA-3.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

There’s also the purple frog, which looks like it belongs in a witch’s brew. Aside from being purple, it seems to be permanently bloated, and has a long snout, tiny eyes and warts on its hind feet for digging.

Ugliest Sea Creatures

Believe it or not, some of the ugliest animals in the world can be found in the ocean.

Blob fish by Claf Hong cc2.0

The blobfish tops the list, considered by many to be the ugliest creature in existence.

What makes it ugly? Well, it has no skeleton and no muscles, so take it out of water and it will droop just like a pile of blob, its mouth sagging into a frown and its nose hanging down.

Head of a pacific Viperfish
Head of a pacific Viperfish caught during trawling operations.

At least the blobfish isn’t scary. The viperfish looks as menacing as it is ugly, with long, protruding sharp teeth, large eyes, and sometimes, a transparent body.

Gulf toadfish aka Opsanus beta

And let’s not forget about the toadfish. Both the gulf toadfish and the oyster toadfish have large heads with bulging eyes, flat bodies, tabs of flesh around their faces (like thick whiskers or overgrown skin tags), tentacles around their eyes, and gaping mouths.

Ugliest Insects

We round up our list of the world’s ugliest animals by taking a look at some despicable creepy crawlies.

Bed bug, Cimex lectularius
Image provided by: CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki

The bed bug may not be easily visible to the naked eye, but look at it under a microscope and you’ll see a monster with a long proboscis that it uses to suck blood. No wonder you shouldn’t let the bed bugs bite!

male giant waterbug with eggs on its back
Abedus indentatus species of Giant Water Bug. This is the male of the species, which during the cold winter carries the eggs of the female on its back. By noisecollusion cc2.0

The giant water bug is one of the largest insects in the world. It is an efficient predator that lies in hiding, waiting for a smaller insect to feed on, turning its insides into liquid and suck them out. One look at it is enough to make a person squirm, and the males can be even more startling when they’re carrying eggs on their backs.

Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor
Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor. By Dave McLear cc2.0

From bugs, let’s move on to caterpillars. The elephant hawk moth may look pretty, but as a caterpillar, it’s a different story. Elephant hawk moth caterpillars look like crawling elephant trunks and, when startled, they can look like four-eyed snakes. Then there’s the Harris’ three spot caterpillar, which is not just covered in hair, but also camouflages itself as bird poop to prevent itself from getting eaten. Even more disgusting? It keeps its heads from previous molts stuck to its body, using these as weapons to throw at approaching predators. A crawling piece of bird poop with a lot of dead heads. Now, that’s downright ugly.

What do you know?

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The world’s ugliest animals!

25 Weirdest Animals in the World!



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