We tend to make assumptions about certain kinds of animals -- dolphins are smart, cows are dopey, spiders are secretly amassing in our walls to liquefy our organs while we sleep, etc. But some species just aren't living up to the impressive reputation that all the others of their kind have spent millennia trying to accrue. Like a gangster rapper caught taking a class at the Yarn Barn, these are the creatures who bring naught but shame unto themselves and all who came before them.
5 A Fish That Swims Upside-Down
Catfish by their very nature spend the majority of their lives sucking, but there's one in particular that can't even get the most basic of all fish skills, fucking swimming, down correctly. Like some smart-mouth punk who refuses to play by society's rules, the upside-down catfish (Synodontis nigriventris) has evolved to a life inverted, positioned in a way that other fish only find themselves when they're ready to be scooped out of the tank after their owner forgot to buy them food for a month.
When they were "discovered" in 1936, polite society was aflutter at the audaciousness of a creature that so directly flew in the face of convention and God's plan for the uprightness of all living things. But, as it turns out, the ancient Egyptians knew about them long before Western science, and even included them among their hieroglyphics, possibly as a symbol for the phrase "LOL WTF?" They subsequently gained a measure of popularity in the aquarium trade, although it's been found that they should never share a tank with aggressive fish, since bullies naturally tend to pick on scraggly whiskered, eyeliner-wearing misfits.
You can often hear them complain about the lack of waterproof
Fall Out Boy hoodies available at Hot Topic.
The reason these fish swim around like nature decided they weren't worth the hassle of installing an inner ear is, unlike most catfish, they're surface feeders. They still slurp things up with their suckery mouths like one would expect; it's just that doing so upside-down simply makes the process easier and swimming more efficient. They eat just about anything and are pretty easy to take care of, just in case you feel like buying one to confuse the shit out of all the other fish in your home aquarium. Just watch your pH levels, give them plenty of places to hide, and always be on alert in case they decide to start cutting themselves to express their nihilistic sorrow.
K J Payne/Flickr
Plus, when they do eventually die, it's much easier to pull off the "It's OK kids --
he's just going back home to the sewers" toilet-flushing gambit.
4 Ugly-Ass Parrots
The main thing that parrots have going for them, aside from their propensity for loudly repeating obscenities around the elderly, is the fact that they're pretty to look at. Sure, their faces can be a little messed-up, but at least there are usually plenty of feathers to cover up any unsightliness. But this isn't the case for all parrot species, and a few of them look less like a pet your spinster aunt would want to have bawking it up in her living room and more like what would happen if Richard Simmons got involved in vulture breeding.
World Wide Fund for Nature via telegraph.co.uk
A great pet for companionship and teaching kids about the inevitability of death.
The bald parrot (Pyrilia aurantiocephala) was only recently declared a new species, and why they look like they feast solely on pride-march carrion is basically the same reason vultures look the way they do. While vultures don't have any feathers on their head in order to keep all the putrefied gore from sticking to their faces (which would make them even more disgustingly unsanitary creatures than they already are), researchers believe that bald parrots are follically challenged because it makes it easier for them to eat a particularly sticky type of berries.
And it gets worse. Transitioning from slightly dopey-looking to fricken terrifying, there's also Pesquet's parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus), which does an even better "hurry up and die already so I can peck your face off" impression and goes by the fitting nickname The Devil's parrot.
Peter Tan/Wiki Commons
Now Polly wants your soul.
This species doesn't do much in the way of repeating human phrases like some uppity cockatoo -- they prefer to growl and scream. And their faces are unsettling to the point that only the most hardcore of pirate captains would likely be willing to keep one around as a shoulder pal. But don't worry, they only eat figs, allegedly. And the fact that "figs" is Australian slang for "testicles" shouldn't even enter into the conversation.
If you ever have to pee while hiking in New Guinea, wait until you get back
to the hotel. It's just not worth the gamble.