According to the National Pokedex Number, there are currently 721 Pokemon in existence. Sweet, Jesus! This isn't even counting the Mega Evolutions that some Pokemon have, as the Pokedex doesn't actually acknowledge them. This world has transformed beyond belief since the days when I sat down and watched the cartoons on TV with Pokemon Red running on my GameBoy.
Creating this many mythical creatures must be insanely taxing, even for those that have created some of the most recognisable Pokemon in the world. Therefore, real life has often become an inspiration for the design team and it's kinda hard to believe how some of the most peculiar Pokemon look exactly like their real life counterparts.
Therefore, I thought I'd compile a list of some of the most unusual real life animals that inspired Pokemon, but also some of the most terrifying myths that will change how you see some of these cute little guys forever! Let's start with the real stuff before we get creepy!
Pokemon Based On Real Life Animals!
Shellos is Beautiful
Shellos is a rather beautiful little Pokemon, I mean she's just adorable. She's naturally inspired by sea slugs, which really doesn't sound like anything any person would like to see. But after seeing the one that Shellos is based on, I can't help but want one. Say hello to the Chromodoris lochi, something which will make you marvel at the wonders of evolution and our incredible planet.
Sandslash is a tough little Pokemon, no doubt about it. But when you see the creature that its based on, and how it raises its little claw in the picture below, you can see how the design team really evolved this animals appearance. But don't worry little guy, we still love you! This little creature is called a pangolin and there are an alarming amount of images of it being eaten by lions in Google images...
Krokodile is NOT a Crocodile
Krokodile always looked like a bandit to me. It seems like he's wearing a mask and is about to try and find a way to infiltrate your home. But you'd assume that the chap was based on a crocodile, oh how wrong we were. He's actually based on a gharial. Which I must say, I'd never heard nor seen of before this image. Doesn't it look like someone just squished the hell out of his snout?
Magikarp is Just As Weird in Real Life
I always thought that Magikarp was just a fish stuck in a constant state of shock. They always seemed like they couldn't believe a camera was on them and that they weren't up for the pressure that it put upon them. Well wait until you see the shock on the face of the real one. This thing cannot handle it right now and there's no way that I'd want it to level up.
Poliwag (Used to Be My Favourite)
I loved Poliwag as a kid. There was something about his face that screamed innocence. It was like he was thrown into a situation and had no idea what was going on, but decided to go along with it anyway. Well even the swirl pattern on his little tummy is taken from the real life version of him! These are translucent tadpoles and am I the only one that thinks the guy on the bottom looks like someone drew a moustache onto him with a pen?
Pokemon Based On Terrifying Myths!
Now with the real life section out of the way, let's take a look at the more mythical inspirations that Pokemon's designers have used. Of course some claim that these creatures exist within the land of Japan, but I'd rather not take them to seriously in order to further sustain my ability to sleep.
Sneasel & the Terrifying Kamaitachi
Sneasel is kind of an amalgamation of the words sneaky and weasel - and believe me, they aptly some up the character of the Kamaitachi! These little guys hunt in packs of threes, according to the legend in Japan. They utilise their lightning speed to get the better of us when we're vulnerable. You think you've just fallen over, but oh my friend, how wrong you are!
The first Kamaitachi trips you up, the second one moves in and uses its razor-sharp talons to flay the flesh from your legs. Then the third one comes along and mends your wounds so that you can't even realise you've been assaulted. All this happens in the blink of an eye; you think you just tripped, while three weasel monsters with huge claws run off chewing on your leg skin. Not exactly my ideal method for losing weight...
Mawile & the Futakuchi-onna
Mawile is already a very strange Pokemon. You see this cute little thing in a dress and are suddenly greeted by this giant crocodile-like head growing out of its hair. But according to the Japanese myth, this is what would happen to women who went on a diet. Our modern world would be fu&§?/! It's a cautionary tale, one which warns women that if they didn't eat enough food, a second mouth would form at the back of their heads that would require twice the amount of food as a normal person!
The creature eventually gains control of the woman's hair and begins to grab at food at random in order to pander to its insatiable diet. And they decided to base Pokemon off of these things?!
So there we have it folks! Some of the strangest things that Pokemon have been based off of. Our world is a very peculiar place at times. Let me know which one you enjoyed the most in the comments, and I seriously hope that none of you trip in the near future. POKEMON!