The blobfish has more than earned its unofficial title of world’s ugliest animal. The gloomy looking fish is a deep-sea dweller that lives off the coast of Australia, and handily defeated its more attractive competitors by almost 10,000 votes in an Ugliest Animal election put on by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, the BBC reported Thursday.
Runners-up included the kakapo, the world’s only flightless parrot, and the axolotl, a salamander without the ability to breathe on land (pictured below).
Finalists also included the proboscis monkey, a species that bases sexual attraction on the size of a partner’s nose, and the Titicaca “scrotum” water frog, which has skin folds to assist its breathing and a self-explanatory nickname (pictured below).
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society conducts these campaigns in conjunction with the National Science and Engineering Competition in order to draw attention to the plight that these ugly and often overlooked animals face. All of the animal species listed here are currently endangered.
“Our traditional approach to conservation is egotistical,” said Simon Watt, president of the society, told the BBC. “We only protect the animals that we relate to because they’re cute, like pandas. If extinction threats are as bad as they seem, then focusing just on very charismatic megafauna is completely missing the point.”
“I have nothing against pandas,” he added, “but they have their supporters. These species need help.”