It has been nearly twenty years since many of us captured our first Pokemon. A video game craze that has spawned countless game sequels, tv shows, films, a card game, an endless stream of toys and even a short-lived theme park. For those of you living under a rock, Pokemon is an adventure game that revolves around children traveling around the world capturing animals gifted with elemental powers, training them and then fighting other trainers in your inevitable goal to become the very best and to capture them all.
The game started with 150 Pokemon and I bet if you clicked this link you could probably name the vast majority of them. Its sequels would expand the world and the creatures into a total of 720. Most of these Pokemon are quite simple and resemble birds, rodents or bugs. While some are just insane, designed by a crazy person and should not exist at all. However, many more of them could have only been created by artists with very unique imaginations.
You may look at these imaginary creatures and think that there is no way that a creature like this could exist in the real world. However, there are a number of real life plants and animals that one could confuse with Pokemon.
10. Dumbo Octopus
These things would be cute if it weren’t for the fact that they swallow their prey whole. Which would be impressive if it weren’t for the fact that they’re tiny and about the size of an apple. It gets its name from the two ear-like fins atop its head that help guide it through the ocean. The dumbo octopus spends most of its time at the depths of the ocean and is rarely seen or studied. However, the most interesting thing about this creature is how curious it moves. Like most octopi, it gathers water within itself and then shoots it out to create water propulsion. However, unlike other octopi, when this little guy does, its body spins and fluffs out looking like it’s dancing in a puffy dress. It’s a little memorizing.
No, that is not a manatee that ran head-first into a piece of coral. It’s actually the unicorn of the sea. Many people are confused and don’t believe this animal even exists. However, this animal was so popular years ago, that once again the human race has hunted this creature into endangered status because yep, you guessed it – they’re delicious. Apparently among whales, the narwhal is known for being the most tasty and their horns may or may not have magical properties – jury is still out on that one. The most unique feature of these animals is obvious their horns, which the males use to duel others in territorial disputes. Which sounds awesome until you see it in action. What I imagined was two massive creatures trying to impale one another with spikes attached to their heads is actually them surfacing in the water and just rubbing their horns against the others until one of them gets tired and gives up.
8. Axolotl ‘The Mexican Walking Fish’
A common theme in this list will be that sadly, most of these animals are near extinct or on the verge of becoming so. The name Axolotl is said to come from the Aztec word “Nahuatl” and is a reference to their god of deformation, monsters, sickness and death, which sounds like the most metal god I’ve ever heard of. In fact, there is metal band named after him. The Mexican Walking Fish however, is not a fish at all, a salamander which takes its godly namesake because while it starts out as an adorable pink lizard, it can turn into what can best be described as a turd lizard with a constant ‘derp’ face. The Axolotl is highly sought after in genetics research because it is one the few creatures in the animal kingdom capable of complete limb regrowth.
Most people are aware that this creature is a thing and they probably know how weird of an animal it is. But do they really? It is a mammal that has fur, but it lays eggs. Like most mammals it has to nurse its young, but it doesn’t have nipples to do so. Instead it oozes milk out of pores in its skin; that milk then pools on its stomach where the young then feed off of it. Like bats, they use a form of ultra sensory location. While bats are capable of detecting sound waves, the platypus is able to sense the electric signals given off of living things as they move their muscles. Oh, did I mention that it only eats meat and that it has venomous spikes on its legs that cause its victims a great amount of pain and complete loss of muscle control.
6. Blue Sea Slug
A tiny creature that could have a sting worse than most jellyfish. In fact, its main diet consists of the infamous Portuguese man o’ war, yet another beautiful but dangerous floating animal. The blue sea slug is seemingly immune to the deadly stings of the man o’ war as it swallows them and their stingers whole. It then decides to take a trophy and can collect small amounts of its meal’s poison and then use it as a defense tool in case anyone decides to attack it.
Somewhere between an anteater and an armadillo exists the pangolin. Like most amazing creatures, this one is hunted down, killed and its scales are used to create a bunch of medicine that does absolutely nothing it’s said to do. Obviously, like most animals that look like rolly pollies, it can roll up into a ball as a defense. It can also shoot a foul-smelling acid to fend off predators. Of all the creatures on this list, this one looks the most like it’s dressed and ready for battle.
4. Shoebill Stork
Duck for scale. If you don’t believe that dinosaurs could have evolved into birds you needn’t look farther than this bird on steroids. They have been spotted at near five feet tall making it one of the largest flying birds living today. It eats everything from fish to lizards and even baby crocodiles. If its food is too big to swallow it can easily chop them in half with its sharp beak. A solitary creature, it stalks the central marshes of Africa with its beak causing a constant evil-looking smirk and menacing yellow eyes. If there was ever a real world equivalent of the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal, the Shoebill Stork fits the… bill.
3. Proboscis Monkey
Speaking of Dark Crystal. This guy looked like he walked right out of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The nose is obviously there to attract females and can sometimes exceed seven inches. The science is still not in whether or not it shrinks when it’s cold outside. They were never large in number and only existed on the island of Borneo. Luckily, this is one of the few creatures that actually live longer in captivity than they do in the wild, so even though less than 1000 exist today – they may have a fighting chance. Unless it comes down to an actual fight, I imagine they’re fighting style will be similar to Snorlax. They’ll just take damage until their enemies get tired and pass out from exhaustion. Their drop in numbers is also due to the fact that the men are lazy, don’t actively seek out females and only mate if there is enough food around.
2. Golden Crowned Flying Fox
Talk about ‘Nightmare Fuel’. As if bats weren’t terrifying enough when they were the size of rats. This species of bats found in the Philippines is known to have a five-foot wingspan. That’s enough to entomb a small person in its leathery wings of death. Luckily, they only eat fruits. Not so lucky, most humans in Southeast Asia also enjoy fruit. You can see where this is going. The seeds from the fruit they eat while in flight are spit out and scattered across the land, thus benefiting the rainforest. Naturally, humans don’t care and instead choose to kill them on sight. Sadly there aren’t too many groups willing to start groups to protect these creatures despite how much they benefit the world around them. Unlike pandas, who get all the attention.. God I hate pandas.
1. Red Panda
So far, every creature on this list has been scary, slimy or strange. However, every trainer needs their Pikachu. The animal friend you don’t have the nerve to put into their Pokeball. More like a raccoon than it is a panda, the only thing it has in common with the panda is that both of them tend to eat nothing but bamboo. These adorable fluff balls are very acrobatic, extremely sociable and natural escape artists. There are many stories of them finding elaborate ways to escape from zoos all around the world. They are also known as a Firefox in some parts of the world, so no doubt if it were a Pokemon it would be the fire equivalent to Pikachu’s electric mouse. However, its main power and greatest strength would be using its cuteness to attract girl trainers to talk to you.