“And our national song is ‘Self-Esteem’ by The Offspring”
~Most of the Countries Listed
For the last few weeks, we’ve talked about nations throughout the world whose national animals were a bit lacking. Mostly they were lacking in actual permeance, as none of are “things” that “really exist” yet they somehow are “national animals” for “some reasons” and “we can’t stop doing this quotation mark gimmick we’re so sorry.” But our research did more than just tell us that a whole bunch of countries had no idea what lions looked lack back in the day. It also clued us in on the fact that a lot of countries don’t really realize that a national animal is there to represent the country. Or, they realized that, and they have a very low opinion of their own countries. Here are some of the more depressing animals that some nations looked at and said, “Oh yeah, that’s us to a T.”
The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Embarrassing Animal Selections
Now, not all countries have lame national animals. Most are actually pretty good! And trust us, we’re not exactly known for saying nice things about other countries round these parts. Colombia’s got the Andean condor, for example. That’s pretty badass. Gabon went with the black panther, and India has literally five national animals and almost all of them are winners (they’ve got the Royal Bengal tiger, the Indian elephant, and the king cobra, which is basically cheating). And Estonia somehow managed to call dibs on getting the wolf as a national animal, which we’re frankly a little jealous of.
But while most countries managed to achieve the simple goal of “don’t embarrass yourself with your national animal” these following nations, well, not so much.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Okapi
Otherwise known as “the silly animals you’ve seen in the zoo.” We get why this was included—it’s a very unique animal and it’s only found in the northeast forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We’re sensitive to that. But, on the other hand, just because a animal only lives in your country doesn’t mean you need to base your national identity off of it. The duck-billed platypus is also ridiculous looking, and you can only find that in Australia, and you know what Australia went with for their national animal? The kangaroo and the emu. Okay so none of those are exactly winners either. But you get our point. Just look at that fucking thing. “Goofy” is one last adjectives you want for a national animal. Goofy’s not even the national animal for Disneyland, guys.
Finland and Latvia: Ladybugs
First of all, only a few countries decided to have a national insect. Because that’s a stupid thing to have. And also, of all the insects to pick, why choose the cute one? Like, is there a quicker way to say “our country has never won a war” than “our national insect is the seven-spotted ladybird”?
Finland’s problem here, it seems, is that they must have a national everything. They’ve got a national animal (brown bear, pretty good), a national bird (whooper swan), a national fucking butterfly (the holly blue if you care), and even a national fish (goddamn perch). But Latvia doesn’t have that excuse. We’ve already established how depressing Latvia’s food is, but apparently their national animals are too! They’ve got two, but they only chose a ladybug and a little bird called a white wagtail. Which is basically a cute little bird that abandons Latvia to spend time in Africa for much of the year. We’ve got to chip in and get Latvia some therapy or something, they’re in a pretty rough spot it seems.
Costa Rica: Manatee
Manatees are either cute in a “fat pug” way, or depressing in an “Eeyore” way. Either way, they’re not really the best animal to really prop up as a testament to your nation. “Hi, we’re Costa Rica. We have no standing army, and also we feel we are best represented by the slow sea cow that keeps getting in the way of boat propellers and are constantly messed with by drunk Floridians.”
Croatia: Pine Marten
The pine marten is basically a little weasel animal that’s everywhere in Northern Europe. Which is not exactly an imposing creature. These fuckers max out at about 2 feet in length, which makes Croatia’s animal choice here the equivalent of America making its one and only national animal, like, a goddamn raccoon. It even looks like a raccoon, just with less personality and shittier fingers. Did Croatia know that they were destined to max out as a mid-level country, at least economically, and just decide to go with a similarly imposing mascot? It’s fine if that’s the case, Croatia, but next time don’t sell yourself short! Shoot for the moon! Or at least upgrade to an otter or something.
Papua New Guinea: Dugong
Goddamn it, Papua New Guinea. Haven’t you listened to a single word we’ve said? Readers, can you look at that picture without giggling? Okay, let’s rephrase that—readers who still have a sense of wonderment and merriment in their soul that hasn’t been sucked out by years of cynicism, can you look at that picture without giggling? Of course not. Dugongs are hilarious. Even their names are hilarious. If a 6 foot 5, 250 pound bodybuilder walked into a bar, accused you of sleeping with his wife, demanded a fight to the death out in the parking lot, and then, to prove he’s deadly serious, ripped open his shirt to show a giant dugong tattoo right on his chest, you would die the very next minute from bursting out laughing and saying, “Hahaha, what the fuck is that, is that a dugong tattoo? Hahaha holy shit.” Listen Papua New Guinea. How can you expect us to take you guys seriously if you won’t do that yourselves, hmm?
That said, this is not the worst nor the most embarrassing animal choice. That belongs to…
Come on, guys, do you not know how symbolism works? The fact that Mauritius, the island nation whose settlers almost immediately wiped out the dodo bird to extinction upon discovering it, decided to make that very no-longer-living bird their national animal is the most depressing thing we’ve heard all week, and we were in a hospital’s maternity ward yesterday and heard a mother say, “Yes, I’ve chosen a name. Easton.”
We get it, you don’t really have a lot of animals to choose from there, and the dodo is arguably the most famous thing about Mauritius to about 95% of people. But that doesn’t mean you need to embrace it as the emblem of your national identity. A lot of people best know America from Marvel movies and fast food, but we’re not suggesting our new national animal be Iron Man trying to eat a Big Mac, but not realizing he needs to take off the mask first, so he’s just sort of mashing it in there. Actually, we’d fucking love that. But you get our point. The dodo is a really embarrassing national animal. Get a good one, next time, dinguses! Like the bald eagle! Just, not the bald eagle, ‘cause that’s all ours baby.