MANY Pokémon are inspired by real-life objects, animals and plants that have a clear connection.
Look at the adorable axolotl that gave us Wooper, or Heracross the stag beetle for clear examples.
However, some Pokémon are based on real-life animals which seem as if they originated in an Eldritch horror.
Here are the five weirdest real-life animals and their Pokémon counterparts.
It is well known that Charmander is based on a salamander, after all it’s right there in the name, but the reason is rather interesting.
Salamanders are amphibians. They can hang out on land, but really their natural habitat is in a river or lake. Basically, they like to keep moist.
When salamanders do hang out on land, they are very likely to take a quick nap in something that retains water, such as nearby damp logs.
Back when people burnt logs for heat, occasionally they would use one of these damp salamander bed chambers, and see the now toasty salamander run out from the fire.
This led many people to believe that salamanders were born of fire. This may sound dumb, but you might think the same if a salamander ran at you every time you lit the fire up.
Nincada, Ninjask and Shedinja
Shedinja is one of the weirder evolutions. You need to evolve a Nincada into a Ninjask while you have a space in your party and a Shedinja will appear.
This is because the family is based on the cicada, a type of bug that lives underground and comes up in the summer in droves.
Cicadas dig up through the ground and up nearby trees where they burst out of their shells with freshly grown wings.
Collecting cicada shells is a popular pastime for kids in Japan, as they are usually well preserved in the shape of the bug.
Shedinja is the empty shell that the Ninjask leaves behind when it evolves, which makes its Ghost-typing rather fitting.
Poliwag, Poliwhirl, and Poliwrath
It may seem obvious that the Polis are based on tadpoles and frogs, but they are actually based on a specific frog known as the glass frog.
As the name suggests, these frogs and tadpoles are transparent, meaning you can see all of their organs.
This is what makes the signature swirl on their bellies. But can you guess what it is yet?
That’s right. The delightful black swirl on the Polis’ tummies is their intestines, or more specifically the poo inside their intestines.
If you watch a video of glass tadpoles, it’s easy to see the poo working its way out. Isn’t nature beautiful?
Drowzee is based on a tapir which is easy to see given the animal’s long snout and two-toned body. However, this doesn’t explain its Psychic-typing.
You may have heard how when scientists first discovered platypuses they thought it was some practical joke, where someone sewed a beaver, duck and otter together.
A similar story is true of tapirs. Except instead of some naughty seamstress, they simply believed the tapir was some sort of mystical creature made up of other animals’ body parts.
This led the tapir to gain status as a supernatural creature. The main rumour surrounding it is that if they happened upon a sleeping person, they would eat their dreams.
The legend is still popular in Japan today, hence why Drowzee is so sleepy and learns moves like Hypnosis and Dream Eater.
Slowpoke and Slowbro
This story is a little bit more muddy. The obvious connection is to the hippo, and another one can be made to our friend the salamander.
There’s even an argument for a jaguar or a fishing cat, which are known to lure fish to them by dipping their tails in the water.
However, it is none of these that Slowpoke most closely resembles. For that we have to look to that tasty yet overpriced delicacy, the Slowpoke tail.
These are very clearly based on geoducks, a kind of mollusc that looks like a slimy tail poking out of a clam.
The geoduck is a rather expensive delicacy in Asia, which is probably where the Slowpoke tail story comes from.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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