The British Science Association through our National Science + Engineering Competition ran a campaign in partnership with the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.

A group of comedians created campaign videos for their chosen animal, and voters were able to cast their vote by liking the selected video on YouTube. Celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Simon Pegg tweeted their support for their favourite unsightly animals.

Our campaign videos clocked-up over 100,000 views, and thousands of votes with the blobfish coming out top, making it the new mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society and the world's ugliest animal.

The project aimed to encourage young people to get involved in conservation projects, as well as helping to promote some of the animals with faces only a mother could love. It also challenged our love-affair with the pin-ups of conservation, like the panda and the red squirrel. The campaign included a range of free education materials on conservation and science.

Meet the new Ugly Animal Preservation Society mascot

The blobfish lives at depths of between 600 and 1,200 metres where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level and they can grow up to 12 inches in length. It spends its life gently bobbing around the deep sea and its gelatinous appearance aids it buoyancy. The blobfish suffers a significant threat from fishing trawlers – although it is inedible itself, it gets caught up in the nets. It feeds off crabs and lobsters living at the same depth.

Paul Foot (Never mind the Buzzcocks) – supported the blobfish. In his campaign video, he explained why he has a soft spot for this gelatinous blob…“Some would describe it as a bit ugly, but I think the sad face of the blobfish belies a kind and very wise little brain in there.”

Meet the runners up

Number 2: Kakapo

A critically endangered giant parrot, the kakapo is a classic example of evolution on an isolated island. The only flightless parrot in the world, it is also the heaviest. Its muscular thighs mean it is better suited to walking and climbing, than taking to the air – although it probably evolved from parrots that could fly.

Steve Mould (BBC Blue Peter scientist) explained why the kakapo deserves more support, “The kakapo encapsulates the fragility of life that evolved in a bubble – in this case, the bubble is New Zealand… but that bubble burst and New Zealand is full of predatory mammals, but the kakapo hasn’t evolved a fear response. Often its response is curiosity – ‘who’s this?’ the kakapo would say – ‘oh, I’m in its mouth…’”

Number 3: Axolotl

Axolotls have the amazing ability to regenerate lost limbs and are a type of salamander that remains aquatic for their entire life. This freaky cross between Peter Pan and the X-Men, is endangered because of urbanisation in Mexico City and polluted waters.

Helen Arney (science presenter and comedian) supported this little critter; “Beauty is only skin deep, and the axolotl has a dark secret… it never truly grows up, it’s like Peter Pan, Justin Bieber, or any character Zooey Deschanel ever played in a film…”

Number 4: Titicaca water frog

The largest truly aquatic frog, the Titicaca water frog is found only in Lake Titicaca in South America. Its Latin name literally translates as the ‘aquatic scrotum’ and the multiple folds in its skin enable it to breathe underwater without needing to surface for air.

Iszi Lawrence (comedian), was very excited by this. She says; “Scrotum frog, you heard me right, scrotum frog. Even better than being called scrotum frog, it lives in Lake Titicaca!"

Number 5: Proboscis monkey

Named after its impressive nose, the proboscis monkey uses its nose as a resonating chamber to increase the volume of mating calls. The bigger the nose, the more attractive the mate. Its diet of unripe fruit makes it a pretty gassy primate and this gives it a fairly rotund appearance.

Ellie Taylor (presenter of Snog, Marry, Avoid) was the supporter for this big-nosed critter, she explains why: “These guys need our help! They can’t compete with the orang-utans, who are really cute, these guys are really hideous… They’ve got massive noses, really ugly willies, and they’re full of farts. I mean come on, that thing needs our help!”