Dec 9, 2008

Human Fish

Can a cave-dwelling amphibian be anything other than a resident of Ugly Overload? I challenge you to find one that doesn't belong here (that's a largely rhetorical challenge).

I'm proud to introduce the Olm (Proteus anguinus). If Falkor the Luck Dragon were an amphibian, he'd be one of these. They are Europe's only cave-adapted vertebrate, a coveted title. They are sightless and live their entire existence under water and in the dark. Their senses of smell, taste, hearing, and electrosensitivity make them remarkable hunters.

But the remarking doesn't end there.

They are long-lived (more than 58 years) and can go 10 years without a meal. And last but not least, they are nicknamed the 'human fish' because their skin is reminiscent of human skin. Lovely. I guess that's better than having it the other way around: humans' skin texture causing us to be nick-named the 'salamander monkey'.

Photo source: 1, 2, 3 via


Anonymous said...

I may be in the minority, but I'm not sure these guys belong on UglyOverload. They have an unexpected ethereal beauty to them.
Granted, they don't belong on CuteOverload either.

niner said...

Anon, most things posted on this site are not literally "ugly". I'm not sure if that was ever Wombat's attempt or true meaning (maybe it is, I don't know!). Creatures on this site are odd, different, scaly, other words not cats or dogs (mostly).

That is why I stopped visiting CO. One post that wasn't a baby pup or fuzzy cat and the flames start rolling.

This site is more educational, I believe, to bring out the strange creatures that the world has to offer. Unfortunately, some animals don't get the help/recognition, etc. they deserve because they aren't considered cute. I have no idea how many animals I have seen here that I had no idea existed.

Many people are happy to post there pets on here (including me) because people usually find them to be strange. I don't think my iguana is ugly in the least bit, but I know very well 80% of the people I know are scared to death of him. No one wants to lizard-sit when we go on vacation!

I prefer to think of this site as StrangeAndUnique Overload, because in my opinion, that is the intent more so than ugly.

As for these creatures I quite agree, they look so graceful and angelic. The middle picture is gorgeous.

Swintah said...

You ask, and I shall provide:

The Cave Salamander:

I live near southern Indiana, USA, and I've caught either this salamander or another very similar, literally, in the mouths of caves. Isn't it adorable?

As cute overload might say: big eyes and tiny ears = cute.

LibrarianJessica said...

That is intensely gross. Thank you for sharing. lol

Denita TwoDragons said...

Niner, you took the words right out of my mouth!

These things definitely look like some cave-born variation of a Chinese Dragon. What kind of mystical pearls are these creatures guarding, hmm...?


Flartus said...

Looking at the first pic, all I can say is "Oh my."

However, I do agree that the middle pic puts these animals in a whole other light. Literally and figuratively.

Theodosia said...

Hey, recently History Channel' "Cities of the Underworld" did a show on the Olm and the underground caves in their area of the world. Medieval legends said that during wild storms, dragons in the caves gave birth to babies that would be found in surface streams.

Yeah... it was Olms washed out from their cave habitats! You can see why people would look at them and see baby dragons!

(I just love it when Ugly Overload and Cute Overload accidentally overlap on the same picture. Ugly is in the eye of the beholder?)

jenjen said...

I think it's very interesting that the fleshy pink view of these critters is somewhat reminiscent of a certain human, er, organ, yet they go on display as being ugly. Glad I don't have one then!

Nonexistant Black Feather said...

Hmmm... it makes me think of Gollum.. (you could pronounce it Ollum instead of Ohlm.) And the fact that it's long-lived, is an incredible hunter, and can go years between meals. It's also from Europe, where a lot of the inspiration for Middle Earth came from. I wonder if Tolkein knew about these beasties? Also... where's the ring of power? ;P

Anonymous said...

@ niner
You make several excellent points! I'm going to follow your lead and think of this site as "StrangeandUnique Overload" from now on.