Nature's Outcasts?  13 Species with Unconventional Charm

13th March, 2024


Adaptations: Features that make an animal "ugly" are often vital for survival (camouflage, defense, etc.) Human Bias: We find things unfamiliar or unlike ourselves strange. Beauty is Subjective: Every creature is remarkable in its way! 

What Makes an Animal "Ugly"?


The gelatinous poster child for "ugly," its droopy form is an adaptation for deep-sea pressure.

Naked Mole-Rat

Nearly hairless, wrinkly, and buck-toothed but fascinatingly immune to cancer and pain.


An eternally juvenile salamander with feathery gills and a goofy grin.

Star-Nosed Mole

Its bizarre nose is a super-sensitive touch organ for finding prey underground.

Proboscis Monkey

Known for its comically large, fleshy nose, it was likely used for attracting mates.


Lemur with huge ears, rodent-like teeth, and a skeletal middle finger for snagging grubs.


Enormous eyes for nocturnal hunting and a head that can rotate almost 180 degrees.

Marabou Stork

Scavenger with a bald head, dangly throat pouch, and an intimidating presence.

Goliath Tigerfish

A monstrous freshwater predator with razor-sharp teeth.

Goblin Shark

A deep-sea relic with a protruding, nail-studded snout and extendable jaws.


A walking pincushion, this spiny mammal is one of the only egg-laying mammals. 

Sea Pig

Translucent, blobby deep-sea dwellers related to sea cucumbers graze on the ocean floor.

Hairy Frog

When threatened, males break their bones to form defensive "claws."

California Condor

Massive scavengers with bald heads, crucial but not conventionally beautiful.