Deepwater Blobfish voted planet's ugliest animal

The blobfish was voted the world's ugliest animal. Credit: YouTube/NSEC UK

A living blancmange that dwells in the darkest depths of the ocean has been officially named the world's ugliest animal.

The blobfish, described as "hideous" by Simon Watt from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, is milky white and jelly-like.

Measuring up to a foot in length, it lives between 600 and 1,200 metres below the ocean surface off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania.

Experts believe the blobfish is under serious threat, although there are no reliable estimates of its numbers.

The Ugly List

Scientists and comedians published "election broadcasts" on YouTube to persuade online voters that their chosen animals were the ugliest.

The results are in:

1. Blobfish

2. Kakapo

In second place was the Kakapo, a critically endangered giant parrot from New Zealand, and number three was the Axolotl, a weird type of salamander from Mexico that is the equivalent of a giant tadpole.

3. Axolotl

At number three was the Axolotl, a weird type of salamander from Mexico that is the equivalent of a giant tadpole and can regenerate its own limbs and bones.

4. Titicaca (Scrotum frog)

Next on the list was the Titicaca water frog, aka the "scrotum frog", which is only found in Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia.

Locals make a frappe of the unfortunate frog, which is considered an aphrodisiac, by cooking it and running it through a blender.

5. Proboscis monkey

The last ugly animal is the proboscis monkey, from Borneo, whose enormous nose is literally its hooter.

The nose provides a resonating echo chamber for the monkey's deafening mating calls.

The Ugly Animal Preservation Society was set up to champion the cause of endangered creatures with no friends.

"We've needed an ugly face for endangered animals for a long time," said Mr Watt, speaking at the British Festival of Science at the University of Newcastle.

"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."

The blobfish topped a shortlist of five ugly animals voted for online by members of the public.