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What's the Ugliest Creature Alive Today? The Blobfish Of Course [VIDEO]

Update Date: Sep 12, 2013 01:45 PM EDT

Who knew there were awards for the world's ugliest animals? Well there is, and the British Ugly Animal Preservation Society crowned the blobfish, a sad-looking fish, the coveted award on Thursday. The purpose of the contest is not to poke fun at the animal, but instead highlight nature's less captivating animals and prevent them from becoming extinct.

The blobfish received 10,000 votes cast in the online competition, according to the BBC. Runners up included the proboscis monkey, native to Borneo, the greater short-horned lizard from North America, the dung beetle, native to Australia, along with other unappealing critters.

Leading up to the end of the competition, the group has hosted comedy shows where comedians tout the finer points of under-appreciated animals, lofting signs that praise the slug, the flightless dung beetle, and the proboscis monkey and its unusual snout.

Although the competition may appear insensitive, the campaign has actually given these needy animals exposure. According to the organizations website, "the Ugly Animal Preservation Society is dedicated to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature's more aesthetically challenged children. The panda gets too much attention."

Simon Watt, biologist and President for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society explained: "We've needed an ugly face for endangered animals for a long time and I've been amazed by the public's reaction. 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 purpose behind the organization goes in line with a recent report released by the National Environmental Research Program's Environmental Decisions Hub and The University of Queensland which noted that only 80 mammals receive the majority of preservation funds raised by international, non-governmental organizations.

Professor Hugh Possingham, who wrote the report, called animals like pandas, tigers and rhinos as "celebrity species" as they are usually used to raise funds for animal conservation. Possingham said there is a major imbalance in the world of conservation. In spite of some 20,000 mammals are endangered in this world, many only pay attention to the 80 celebrity species.

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