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!


This Australian reptile is immediately recognizable for the umbrella-like frill of skin around its neck, which it can flare out to intimidate predators as it runs around like a crazy idiot.

Pokétential: reptiles tend to be combined with every pokémon type imaginable, the sky is literally the limit, if it went for a parachuting theme. Fire, dragon, grass, psychic, who knows...give it a single eye and a single leg, and you would also have a reptilian Kasa-Obake, a mythological creature I'm amazed isn't already an official 'mon.


Frogfish are directly related to deep sea anglerfish and share their natural "fishing lures," but can be found much closer to the surface in warm, tropical reefs, where their blobby, warty, sometimes fuzzy bodies blend in with corals and seaweed. Sometimes barely capable of swimming, they simply walk about on their hand-like fins.

Pokétential: this could be a leafy water/grass type, with huge toothy jaws and a lure resembling a whole separate little fish or worm, complete with its own tiny eyes.


We already have a nudibranch in the form of Gastrodon, but Glaucus atlanticus is a quite different slug, spending its life floating upside-down near the sea's surface where it feeds upon the tissues of the fearsome Portuguese Man O' War (Tentacruel's basis). Stinging cells from its meals are stored in its own tentacles and often highly concentrated, giving it an even nastier sting than its gelatinous prey.

Pokétential: its tiny, angelic appearance belies its ability to badly poison any foe on contact. It could also learn sketch or other moves allowing it to copy enemy characteristics.


There are many insects who go by the name "glow worm" at some point in their life cycle, but Arachnocampa luminosa is easily the coolest; actually the maggots of fungus gnats, they dangle sticky strands from cave ceilings and attract insect prey with a beautiful blue light, almost resembling a starry sky.

Pokétential: this could be a rather "ugly" little worm, not unlike a warty and misshapen Weedle, hiding behind a beautifully glowing hypnotic orb. Why not bug/psychic?


This rarely seen deep-sea shark grows up to ten feet long, but preys upon only relatively tiny creatures "vacuumed" into its amazing extendo-jaws. In Japan, they're referred to as "Tengu" sharks, after mythological crow spirits often portrayed with long, pointed noses.

Pokétential: Sharpedo and Garchomp are hardly enough sharks at all! The goblin shark is one of the strangest and creepiest in the sea, and with the "Tengu" association in Japan you know the design could turn out quite strange. It could even be a hybrid bird-shark flying type!


These ancient, "jawless" fish are easily the slimiest animals on Earth, able to generate a massive cloud of glue-like mucus instantaneously. They use this slime to protect themselves and "lube up" before slipping in and out of a rotten corpse - a favorite meal. They keep from choking on their own goo by sneezing from their single, giant nostril.

Pokétential: I once drew an original pokémon resembling a hag-infested skull, but I'd also go for a single hag controlling an amoeba-like body, or a hag who spews slime from its cannon-like nose. No grosser than Cubchoo, right?


This bizarre Cambrian animal was long thought to resemble the drawing you see here, but it was later deduced that the long spines were on its back, and the bulbous "head" may have only been a fossilized gas bubble. Unfortunately, we still don't know which end was actually the front.

Pokétential: a fossil called "Hallucigenia" gives me a rock/psychic vibe. It could randomly appear in different forms, alternately standing upon its tentacles or spines with either end as the front.


Also called a "daddy long-legs," "Harvestman" is considered slightly more correct though Opilione is the proper scientific term. These arachnids lack silk or venom glands, but are commonly confused with spiders and falsely rumored to possess deadly venom, with jaws too weak to actually bite. When necessary, they can drop entire legs to escape predators, which continue twitching on their own.

Pokétential: simulating their ability to shed legs, this could be a bug type whose ability automatically turns a portion of its health into a "substitute" at the start of battle, replacing them as needed.


These prickly little desert lizards feed exclusively on ants, which is thought to give their blood a noxious flavor. This would explain why they defend themselves by squirting their own blood from their eyeballs, often aiming for a predator's face and mouth.

Pokétential: I must grudgingly admit that there will probably never be a pokémon who spouts blood. Shooting acid or flames from its eyes would make a reasonable compensation. I could even see the latter as a fire-type "starter" line (for non-fans, those are pokémon chosen at the start of the game.)


Also known as ghost plant and corpse plant, this pallid hyperparasite completely lacks chlorophyll, parasitically drawing nutrients from subterranean fungi which, in turn, parasitically draw their nutrients from tree roots.

Pokétential: what else but grass/ghost? Perhaps another of those feminine, humanoid flower pokémon that are always so popular, but with eerie eyes and a parasitic theme. Maybe even a tiny drop of blood hanging from its fanged smile...














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