MELBOURNE, Sept. 13 (Xinua) -- The Australia's blobfish, which lives in deep waters off the southern Australian coast, was announced Thursday as the world's ugliest animal in 2013 British Science Festival, hosted by the British Science Association in Newcastle, northeastern England, local media ABC News reported Friday.
The blobfish has been voted as the new mascot of the British- based Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which aims to protect the world's weird but endangered species, after a global online poll, the association's latest media release said.
Working in partnership with the National Science + Engineering Competition in the festival, the society's campaign videos have recorded nearly 100,000 views, and more than 3,000 participants contributed to the poll.
The blobfish, which won the 795 supporting votes, lives at depths of between 600 and 1,200 meters where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level and can grow up to 12 inches in length. Although it is inedible itself, now it suffers a significant threat from fishing trawlers to be caught in the nets, the media release said.
The campaign that aimed at raising public awareness of endangered but ill-favored species which play an important role in the ecological web, also received supports from celebrities.
"I support the ugly animal campaign, there are too many people trying to save cute animals. They get all the press, and all the attention. Ugly animals are more deserving than cute animals. So I think it is a superb campaign." said Brian Cox, British particle physicist and famous broadcaster in BBC.
"We've needed an ugly face for endangered animals for a long time and I've been amazed by the public's reaction. For too long the cute and fluffy animals have taken the limelight but now the blobfish will be a voice for the mingers who always get forgotten. "said Simon Watt, biologist and the president for Life of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society in the festival.
The campaign also focused on how to encourage young people to get involved in conservation projects to help to promote the unsightly species while the public prefers paying attentions and supports to the conservation of the adorable species, like the panda and the red squirrel.
"It's a light-hearted way to make people think about conservation." said the communications manager of the British Science Association, Coralie Young.
In the poll, New Zealand's kakapo, a rare flightless owl-like parrot, and the axolotl, a Mexican amphibian also called the " walking fish", won the second and the third rewards for the world' s ugly animals respectively.
The British Science Festival is one of Europe's largest celebrations of science, engineering and technology, with over 250 events, activities, exhibitions and trips taking place over a week in every September.
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society is a loose association of stand-up comedians who humorously champion endangered but visually unappealing species.