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!


Closely related to starfish and other Echinoderms, these globular animals are usually coated in sharp, sometimes even venomous spines. Most of them are scavengers, armed with a ring of five sharp "teeth" on their underside. Amazingly, the entire spiny body also functions as a simple compound "eye."

Pokétential: There's so much you can do with a living ball of thorns! A grass/ground cactus urchin, crystalline ice urchin, electric, steel, rock, fire...maybe a single urchin with many elemental forms.


So called for their shining metallic scales, these extremely basal insects are common household pests, capable of living off dry, nonliving materials like paper, cloth and even dried glue.

Pokétential: bug/steel is getting cliché, but what if these were bugs who ate steel? They could be pokémon's answer to the Rust Monster! Maybe their ability could make steel foes weaker to bug moves, or even allow steel types to be poisoned?


Caprellids or "skeleton shrimp" are even more mantis-like than mantis shrimp, clinging to seaweeds or corals with their rear legs to ambush passing prey with their hooked claws. Females even routinely devour the males after mating, which is only a myth of the mantis. Did I mention that they're venomous? Lucky for us, they hardly exceed flea size.

Pokétential: make them even more like skeletons, with skull-like faces, and you're really speaking my language. Bug, ghost, water, dark, poison or ice would all be interesting.


I know I already included "lattice" stinkhorn, but this ghostly, lacy mushroom gives a very different impression. The purpose of the "skirt" isn't clear, but may serve to keep out larger insects, letting in the smaller flies who will disperse its spores.

Pokétential: like Indian pipe, I can't help but see another elegant, lady-like grass/ghost type, albeit with an odor to rival my beloved Gloom. Grass/psychic could also work.


Not actually a mold or fungus at all, slime molds are formed by millions of amoebae, clustering together into a slowly, slooooowly crawling film that eventually forms into mushroom-like growths packed with spores.

Pokétential: it might not be especially pokémonesque, but I'd love a puddle of slime without even simple Ditto-like eyes. Maybe some "mushrooms" sprouting out of it, but I think a faceless amorphous mass would add its own unique charm.


Widely referred to as "camel spiders," these menacing but harmless arachnids aren't spiders at all, having no silk glands or venom of any sort. What they do have are huge, powerful jaws, amazing speed and extremely long palps ("arms" near the jaws) with sticky tips.

Pokétential: you know what that face always oddly reminded me of? A baboon. Give it dark fur, mandrill-like facial patterns, bright red butt cheeks and you have a pretty wicked pun on "spider monkey." I don't want to say bug/dark again, but I just did. How many is that now?


The Porifera are one of the planet's oldest forms of animal life, their porous bodies consisting mostly of collagen fibers and a nonliving jelly inhabited by several different cell types. With thousands of waving cilia, they continuously pump water through their myriad openings and feed on trapped bacteria.

Pokétential: I like my gimmicky creatures. What if a sponge pokémon could learn no attacks (besides possibly splash) but by being in your party at all, it took a portion of all damage meant for your active pokémon? You would sort of be devoting a whole slot to an extra health bar for the rest of the team.


Spookfish or barreleyes exhibit many strange ocular adaptations, but the strangest of all is probably Macropinna microstoma, whose bulbous green eyeballs are shielded under a transparent dome. This is believed to protect its eyes from the stinging cells of its preferred prey, deep sea Hydrozoans related to the Portuguese Man O' War. Hydrozoan predators certainly seem to take a lot of pokémon-worthy forms, don't they?

Pokétential: this bubble-headed freak could easily be stylized into a diving suit or submersible-like creature.


This strange mole has over twenty sensitive, fleshy "feelers" surrounding its completely unique snout, which is also adapted to carry an air bubble when this amphibious mole tunnels into bodies of water. Check out this freaky video!

Pokétential: we've already got Diglett and Drilbur, but neither of these moles have tentacle faces, or would have any excuse to be water types. A tentacled aqua-mole is already pokémon-level insanity!


These beautiful carnivorous plants are named for the droplets of fluid topping their dense "tentacles," actually globules of sweet-smelling glue used to trap and digest hapless insects. Many species even slowly curl their leaves around their mired prey.

Pokétential: many grass types combine real world plants with appropriate animals, and I see nothing else here but a giant, grass type land squid with whole sundew traps for its elongated whips!














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