14 Pokemon You Didn't Realize Were Based On Real World Things

Sure, we know a lot of Pokemon are based on animals, but some of those Pokemon are a lot MORE based on animals than you'd realize. Like, actually based on very specific species and containing very specific traits and features unique to certain types of animals. Here are 14 examples that will make you re-think everything you thought you knew about Pokemon.

Or, at least, make you go "Huh. Neat."

1. Poliwag is based on translucent tadpoles

Sure you know Poliwags are meant to be tadpoles (and if you didn' probably have time to think about things other than what Pokemon are based on. Good for you). But the weird thing about Poliwag is a certain design choice that most wouldn't think has any significance. The swirl on Poliwag's (as well as Poliwhirl and Poliwrath's) stomach isn't just an aesthetic design - it's based on some species of translucent tadpoles' visible, swirled intestines.

2. Gorebyss is the long-nosed chimaera

Gorebyss very closely resembles the long-nosed chimaera - particularly in the face: they both share the innocent, cutesy eyes and the long snout. Except, of course, Gorebyss looks pretty ridiculously cute and has Ariel-esque shells permanently attached to it, and the long-nosed chimaera is a creature from your nightmares made real. 

3. Caterpie is based on the Eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar

Sure, Caterpies are based on caterpillars - but the specific design of Caterpie (including its weird attenae things) ARE based on a specific kind of caterpillar. Even more weirdly - that thing you thought was Caterpie's eye? NOPE. Just a marking on the caterpillar. Are Caterpies totally blind? Not saying definitively, but mine has missed A LOT of String Shots.

4. Luvdisc is based on the kissing gourami

Luvdisc instantly looksl ike such a silly fish - its pink coloration, heart-shape, and...does it actually have lips?! Why would a fish have lips? For kissing or someth...oh. The kissing gourami even ACTUALLY kiss (sorta) - they lock "lips" to spar with one another.

5. Mudkip is based on the axolotl

Mudkip seems like a weird animal - one too many fins, goofy eyes, and things just sprouting out of its cheeks for no reason? That's because it's based on the axolotl - or possibly a mudpuppy, but let's stick with axolotl, since it's a way cooler word and JUST LOOK AT THAT PICTURE.  

6. Magikarp looks just like the yellow rockfish


7. Krookodile is a gharial

The most iconic part of Krookodile is his long, thin snout that looks completely exaggerated from what most crocodile snouts actually look like. Except it's based off of the gharial, and it actually plays DOWN the ridiculous snout a bit, if anything.

8. Vileplume is a Rafflesia arnoldii

The huge, ridiculous magenta, spotted petals of Vileplume are actually real - they're virtually identical to those of Rafflesia arnoldii - even the central pit looks the same. It should also be noted that Rafflesia arnoldii is the largest flower on Earth. Basically, Vileplume SHOULD be a legendary.

9. Chatots are pretty much yellow collared lovebirds

The colorful Chatot looks virtually identical to the yellow-collared lovebird (minus the musical note-shaped head). The white coloring around their eyes even gives the appearance of the sclera (white of the eye) on Chatot! 

10. Victreebel is a pitcher plant

Victreebel - a genuinely terrifying Pokemon - is based on pitcher plants, a VERY genuinely terrifying real life thing. When you Google image search "pitcher plant", the first suggested addition is "eating a mouse." The leaf over the Victreebel's mouth even matches up with those of pitcher plants - sadly, pitcher plants don't actually have fangs, because not even Mother Nature is that sadistic.

11. Sandslash is a pangolin

It's got the claws, it's got the scales - it even has the eyes! Yep, pangolins are the Sandslashes of reality. And - just like Pokemon - they're only available in the "blue world" (since, uh, the Earth looks pretty blue from space?).

12. Drowzee is a Malayan tapir

The dream-devouring Drowzee is basically the Malayan tapir (except with a few more psychic abilities). The same elephant-esque nose, the same ears, and the same hooves. Let's just hope it doesn't start hypnotizing people when it grows up.

13. Shellos is based on Chromodoris lochi

The mysteriously shell-less Shellos is pretty obviously inspired by sea slugs - the wavy body, the shape of the antennae, and even those things on its back - but, more specifically, the Chromodoris lochi.

14. Stunfisk is a stargazer

The horrified upward-facing eyes say it all. Yep. That's a Stunfisk all right.

Bonus 1: Trubbish is a literal overflowing bag of garbage

Also, a metaphorical one.

Bonus 2: Mr. Mime is a clown-like performer who uses gestures and movement in place of spoken words to suggest action and emotion

Hm. Really wish there were a more succinct term for that.

Source: 14 Pokemon You Didn't Realize Were Based On Real World Things