The blobfish, which lives deep off Australia, has been voted the mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. (Photo: National Marine Fisheries Service)
(USA TODAY) -- It's a face only a blobfish mother could love, and even that might not be guaranteed.
But the blobfish is beloved by members and followers of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, who voted it the "ugliest animal" on Planet Earth and made it the edu-tainment organization's mascot.
The U.K. group's president, Simon Watt - a biologist, science "communicator," writer, comedian and "TV bod" - announced the winner (loser?) at the British Science Festival.
He believes "the panda gets too much attention," so the UAPS
-- described as "a comedy night with a conservation twist" -- sought a
mascot "to rival the cute and cuddly emblems used by so many
"We've needed an ugly face for endangered animals
for a long time and I've been amazed by the public's reaction," Watt
declared. "For too long, the cute and fluffy animals have taken the
limelight but now the blobfish will be a voice for the mingers who
always get forgotten."
Scientists and comedians made videos of "11
of Mother Nature's most aesthetically challenged beasts," the group
said in anointing Psychrolutes macricus the king of ugly.
Runners-up included the world's only parrot that cannot fly; a
salamander that never grows up; the Andean "scrotum" water frog; and the
proboscis monkey, notable for its big nose.
The UAPS did not release vote totals, saying only that "thousands" had voted. The BBC reported the blob won by almost 10,000 votes.
its Jimmy Durante schnoz and profound frown, the gelatinous, foot-long
blobfish lives under great pressures between 1,800 and 3,600 feet deep
off Australia. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has more info, including a podcast.