10 Most Controversially Cute Animals Of Our Time
Despite our differences, most of us can agree on a couple of points: Namely, dogs and cats are cute.
Unless you're a cartoon villain, you can probably at least understand what's cute about cats and dogs. But beyond those two species, what animals are cute? That's a more controversial question than you might think. Here are 10 animals that some people think are cute, and some think are hideous.
Axolotls are undeniably weird. They resemble a cross between a ghost and a small fish, but in fact, are neither: They're amphibians. Axolotls live in fresh water, and their nickname is "walking fish." Whether you think they're cute or ugly, we can all agree that they are not from this planet.
Hairless guinea pig
Hairless animals, especially hairless rodents, are a constant source of controversy. Some people find them gross, but plenty of people disagree. Ludwik the hairless guinea pig, with his 124,000 Instagram followers, is living proof that hairless guinea pigs can be cute and popular. Plus, they can wear little hats!
Armadillos get a bad rap. They're scaly, they have long tails, and they can carry leprosy (although your chances of contracting leprosy from an armadillo are very low). But armadillos are amazing animals. Most armadillo species are impressive diggers, and you can't deny how cool it is that they can roll into a ball as a defensive mechanism. Plus, look at their weird little faces!
Bats are another animal that have earned a bad reputation, arguably more unfairly than the armadillo. We tend to conflate all species of bat with vampire bats (thanks a lot, Bram Stoker). To be fair, vampire bats' all-blood diet is creepy, but let's not blame their innocent relatives. Other bats, like the fruit bat, are herbivores. Plus, they have the funniest little faces, and they are so small! Bats Queensland, an Australian bat rescue organization, has lots of baby bat photos that could convert even the biggest bat hater. Tell me you don't like this baby bat bottle feeding.
Banded Piglet Squid
When you think of squid, you probably don't think "cute." But with the Banded Piglet Squid bursting onto the scene, conventional ideas of cuteness are getting shaken up. This little guy lives at depths of 660 to 3300 feet, where there is very little light. Its light-producing organs help it to navigate the briny deep. Beyond that, not much is known about the Banded Piglet Squid.
Moles: are they cute? America has been asking itself this question since its infancy. The star-nosed mole, with its super weird nose, only deepens the divide between the Yes On Moles and No On Moles camps. The Star-Nosed Mole, which is functionally blind, primarily uses the tiny appendages on its super-sensitive nose to detect prey. Moles can even smell underwater. It's an impressive creature, but are moles cute? The jury is still out.
Pangolins look like a cross between an anteater and an armadillo, but in fact are related to neither. They're true originals. Pangolins are the only known mammal that has protective keratin scales, which serve as protection for their skin. These spiny little guys ride on their moms' backs when they're babies, which is an automatic "cute" in my book.
Tapirs have long, droopy noses, and weigh between 330 and 700 pounds. They're herbivores, and live in the forests and jungles of South America, Central America, and Southeastern Asia. They kind of look like long-nosed pigs. Tapir babies have stripes, while the adults do not, which, if you ask me, is cute.
The Gundi is a small, stocky rodent that lives in the deserts of Northern Africa. It looks something like a cross between a rabbit and a hamster. Gundis can live in colonies with a hundred or more other Gundis, which sounds like a recipe for driving each other crazy. I vote "cute," but others disagree when it comes to large colonies of rodents.
The Aye-Aye is a type of lemur whose giant eyes make it look like a real weirdo. It's native to Madagascar, and is the world's largest nocturnal primate. Its long, narrow fingers and round yellow eyes give it a sort of goblin-like appearance, but many find it cute, including the folks at the Aye-Aye Conservation.