Begging to be Pokémon

A bogleech Pokemon feature by Jonathan Wojcik

  As a long time advocate of both biodiversity and pocket monsters, I've taken it upon myself to compile an extensive list of fascinating, amazing or just plain obvious living things that would serve as excellent basis for future Pokemon creatures. Use the thumbnails at the bottom to navigate!


Actually closer to octopuses than squids, this unique deep-sea animal has eight tentacles joined in a fleshy black "web" and two long, string-like sensory tendrils. It swims via a pair of ear-like fins and produces light throughout its body - including a pair of large "headlights" resembling a second set of eyes, used to confuse predators.

Pokétential: water/dark or even flying/dark seems sound. Like the frilled lizard, it could play off the popular portrayals of umbrella ghosts with one huge, eerie eye.


You can read much more about these creatures here; once thought to be a link between worms and insects, these soft and harmless-looking animals are actually quite effective predators, shooting streams of "glue" to trap prey from a great distance and sucking body fluids through concealed fangs.

Pokétential: a many-legged bug type with a pair of tubular organic "guns" on its face, perhaps with an automatic trapping ability or at least the spiderweb move.


These primordial arachnids scan for prey with a pair of legs and a long "tail" adapted into thin feelers, also lending them the name "whip-scorpion." Vinegaroon comes from the acetic acid they can spray from their tails when sufficiently upset, the same acid that gives vinegar its distinct odor and flavor.

Pokétential: let's upgrade that acid spray to gasoline and make the whips into lit matches or the claws into organic lighters. A bug/fire arsonist!


I guess I'm cheating a little; a virus isn't an "organism" or even necessarily alive, consisting of only raw DNA in a complex delivery capsule that replicates itself in the cells of proper living beings.

Pokétential: how's this for gimmicky - invisible or only a single pixel in size, no type, one hit point and doesn't take damage, but its only possible move is suicidal, sacrificing itself to inflict some debilitating status on the whole enemy team! What effects could be worth such a strategy, without going too far? Comment below!


With dopey eyes and long, anteater-like snouts, weevils are probably among the most adorable of all insects - as well as the most successful. They're the largest group of beetles, which are the largest group of insects, which are the largest group of animals! All weevils are plant eaters, using their snouts to drill holes even in hard-shelled nuts. Some tropical species bizarrely grow lichens and fungi on their backs, tiny gardens inhabited by even tinier bugs.

Pokétential: the whole "drilling holes" thing says bug/steel, but we're kind of getting overrun with those. You decide this one!


This strange, strange desert plant lacks a normal stem or "body," growing only two huge, long leaves lying directly on the ground. This same pair of leaves continue growing its entire life - which may exceed a thousand years - and can gradually fray into what appear to be many more leaves, tangled in a twisted heap. The whole thing really looks like some other plant somebody chopped down and left out to die.

Pokétential: a classical Japanese monster known as Otoroshi would be incredibly easy to combine with this frumpy plant, as with Ludicolo and Kappa or Shiftry and Tengu!

WOLF (sigh) :

Nature's internet meme, wolves have gone from being senselessly vilified in ages past to senselessly romanticized today. We have dozens of canine pokemon and Manectric is arguably a wolf, but that hasn't stopped kids whining for a "real" wolf with every new generation.

Pokétential: A wolf is completely unnecessary, but I might be entertained by one if its evolved form were a fat, slobbering, cross-eyed domestic dog.


A way cooler thing with the word "wolf" in it, these outlandish anglerfish have a huge upper jaw that folds shut lengthwise like a Venus' fly-trap, forming a toothy cage around small prey before it gets sucked down the throat. Some have a glowing lure dangling right from the roof of the mouth, but at least one sports this uncannily perfect "fishing pole."

Pokétential: my main concern is just that Lanturn, while adorable, sucks at representing the monstrous weirdness of the deep-sea anglers. The wolf-trap could be just as adorable, but please keep the disturbing teeth!


Kiwa hirsuta has been dubbed the "yeti crab" for its milky white appearance and thickly hairy forelimbs, actually a breeding ground for the crab's food source - bacteria it farms in the searing heat of toxic sea vents as it dances and dances.

Pokétential: we've got enough water types, so what if this pokémon farmed a bacterial coating from terrestrial volcanoes, making it fire/poison? Then again, there's that whole "yeti" theme, and the arctic has volcanoes too...an excuse for an ice/poison or even ice/fire.


I'm glad my alphabetical system allowed me to save my very favorite for last. "Zombie" snails as many people call them are actually snails infected with Leucochloridium, a parasitic worm which transforms the snail's eyes into pulsating, colorful brood sacs. Forcing the snail to crawl about in broad daylight, the parasite's egg-filled sacs are attractive lures for birds, who will end up spreading the worm's eggs in their droppings.

Pokétential: a slimy gastropod with "hypnotic" worms for eyes would not only be my ultimate dream pokémon after Garbodor, but a prime candidate for our first poison/psychic type.

  ...Am I actually finished? I can't tell you how bothersome this was to organize and spread out over more than a week. I appreciate everyone who followed these updates, left me great comments to read and even brought some of my ideas to life in lovely fan-art, which I might put up on the site someday if enough of it builds up.

  There are, of course, still hundreds if not thousands more life forms that could lend themselves to video game monsters, and limitless ways in which the same animals can be reinterpreted and modified. As long as there are people who buy and enjoy Pokémon games, we'll keep seeing fresh ideas - just look at what a single person compiled with scarcely any research! I knew every one of these creatures by heart, and could easily name a hundred more with enough time. Perhaps a sequel is in order, but not too soon. Pokéfans may yet want to stick around in the meantime, as I'll soon begin a series of in-depth reviews for existing pocket monsters, where I'll attempt to bring some fresh new insights into even the oldest creatures!















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