Ever wondered if fictional or fantasy animals are actually inspired from real-life strange looking creatures? Here's a list of some animals that have inspired Pokémon, and some more that should!
Ever looked at a praying mantis and wondered, “Wow, you actually look pretty unreal!”? If you’ve watched animal channels on TV as a kid, you’ve definitely seen some episode where they display ‘Nature’s Weirdest’ animals — and some of them actually look like they’re made-up. Astonishingly, some of these ‘Pokémon-looking’ animals have actually inspired real Pokémon! Nature has some really weird looking animals, to the point where you wonder if evolution is just… playing jigsaw(?)! Here are four animals that inspired actual Pokémon, and four more that definitely should!
1. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar- Caterpie
Good old Caterpie, who’s been around since Generation I of Pokémon and who eventually turns into Butterfree, is actually an exact replica of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar! Caterpie is cute but the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar is undoubtedly cuter.
2. Yelloweye Rockfish- Magikarp
Yes, everyone remembers getting a Magikarp in the beginning and then just waiting for it to evolve into a Gyrados. This curious flopper is actually completely inspired from the Yelloweye Rockfish, one of the biggest species in the genus - an adult weigh above 10 kgs! The resemblance is uncanny.
3. Transparent Glass-frog Tadpoles- Poliwag
Now, this is an interesting one. Glass frogs are a family of frogs that have certain species with completely transparent skin! Their skin is so transparent that you can very clearly see all their internal organs. Glass frog tadpoles have tightly coiled intestines, that are visible through their transparent skin- which is what inspired the design for Poliwag. Is it weird that the spiral on Poliwag is actually tadpole intestines?
4. Pangolin- Sandshrew
First guess is Armadillo, right? Wrong! Everyone’s favourite cute ground-type Pokémon Sandshrew is actually inspired by the now critically endangered Chinese Pangolin. Since the “cute” appeal of the Chinese Pangolin rose, populations have reduced due to illegal pet trade, and various other reasons. The real world is not as child-friendly as Pokémon, unfortunately.
5. Red-lipped Batfish
Now, this animal actually looks photoshopped, but we swear it isn’t. This species of batfish found around the Galapagos Islands, and Peru is genuinely one of the weirdest looking creatures alive. Not to say it isn’t absolutely beautiful. That lip colour really brings its eyes out. It definitely should be Poké-inspiration.
6. Glaucus Atlanticus
This little member of the snail family, actually has many names - the blue sea angle, blue dragon, blue ocean slug, sea swallow - all incredibly fitting. It’s a brilliant looking, tiny little mollusc, isn't a Pokémon, but definitely should be. In fact, it even has a superpower; it can store little poison-stings in its tentacles, stolen from creatures like the jellyfish, and then use them as a weapon! So yes, it can be poisonous.
This species of the Giraffidae family definitely looks like evolution played jigsaw. Also known as the Congolese Giraffe or Zebra Giraffe, it’s the only other member of the Giraffidae family, excluding Giraffes. This could be a Pokémon purely because of its colour-scheme and pattern aesthetics!
8. Panda Ant
This little bug is undoubtedly the most adorable critter to exist, and hopefully a Generation 8 Pokémon. Despite its name, it’s neither a panda nor an ant - its wingless wasp species. The males usually have wings, but the females do not. It can make a loud noise like crickets or locusts when stressed. So basically it’s a panda-ant-cricket-wasp.
Wildlife can be colourful and funky. While immersed in fiction, we forget to look and read around once in a while and appreciate the astonishing patterns around us. Or we’re so used to the physical aesthetics of the fish, mammals and insects around us, that anything outside that is just weird. Let’s take a moment to appreciate nature’s weirdest for how beautiful they all are! And maybe, give Nintendo a heads-up for new ideas.