Pets have been around for quite some time; one of the first mascots was a taxidermy mount in 1908 for the Chicago Cubs. However, it was not until 1964 that live costumed mascots began to appear. It wasn’t long after that costumed mascots became an expected part of many sports teams, universities, businesses, organizations, and schools.
Most of the pets make sense and go with an associated name. However, other pets are fully available. Some of the pets are adorable despite their strange design. Others make you scratch your head and wonder what the designers were thinking. Here are ten weird pets you probably haven’t heard of.
Related: 10 Iconic Pets And Their Surprising Backstories
10 stanford tree
Technically, Stanford Tree is the band’s mascot. But the tree actually symbolizes the city of Palo Alto, which has a Redwood tree as its logo. It just so happens that Stanford University also has a tree on its official seal, proving just how inseparable the university and Palo Alto really are.
The school never had an official mascot because no one agreed with any candidate. Around 1975, the band performed several halftime shows slyly featuring mascots they thought would work for the school. The Stanford Tree received such a positive reaction that the band decided to keep it.
Now the Stanford Tree has become a part of many other university traditions. One tradition is known as Full Moon on the Quad. This tradition began in the 19th century. The men of the senior class kissed the women of the freshman class and sometimes exchanged roses. Today, the tradition boils down to kissing as many people as possible. On that night, the Stanford Tree can receive at least 1,000 kisses.
9 blue drop
In 1985, Xavier University already had a mascot, D’Artagnan, the musketeer. However, Sally Watson, the coordinator of the spirit squad, was concerned that the sword-wielding character would scare children. So she Sally decided to design a softer and more adorable pet.
Since its introduction, the Blue Blob has been a part of sporting events and even appeared in two Sports Center But unfortunately, Blue Blob doesn’t have much of an origin story, which caused many students to create their own version.
So today, the question remains, what is Blue Blob? But that’s the thing; he is just a drop. He is a blue, furry and energetic character that even adults love. The pet also has a two foot long tongue which he uses to lick the fans. The Blue Blob even has his own merchandise.
Anyone can wear the Blue Blob costume, but the candidate must meet a requirement. The Blue Blob cannot be higher than D’Artagnan. Beyond that, anything goes.
In 1904, football coach RJ Kirk needed a name for the Wichita State University (formerly Fairmount College) team. RJ decided on the Wheatshockers. This was due to many football players earning tuition and harvesting boards, also known as “shocking”, wheat.
Later the name was shortened to Shockers. Until 1948, the university used a simple wheat stalk as its symbol. In 1948, junior Wilbur Elsea won the Kappa Pi honor society competition to design a mascot to represent the spirit of the school.
In October 1948, the school newspaper ran an ad asking students to submit names for the new mascot. Freshman Jack Kersting submitted the name WuShock.
However, it wasn’t until 1954 that the mascot was given a 3D rendering, with a costume created by a WU cheerleader and members of the art department.
7 mystery fish
In Japan, one of the rarest pets is the Mystery Fish. The mascot was introduced in May 2017 by the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team. The pet starts out as an anglerfish with legs. However, the fish reveals new forms throughout the game, including a skeleton fish.
Mysterious Fish has worked with Hawaiian Airlines since 2018. However, in 2021 the person playing the character announced his retirement. Unfortunately, this also meant that Fish would retire rather than have someone new fill his fins.
6 fight okra
Delta State University has always had two mascots. The official mascot has been the statesman due to the role state representative Walter Sillers, Jr. played in locating the school. However, in the 1980s, a series of events led to the student body adopting an unofficial mascot.
The students never felt that a statesman was very intimidating. One day, some college basketball and baseball players were talking in the “Governors Court” dormitory. Basketball player Houston Williamson expressed that the Fighting Statesmen did not scare opponents. It also didn’t help that the mascot was temporarily banned from sporting activities due to a physical altercation with another pet.
Everyone in the group agreed with Williamson and said that a pet should be mean and green. A lively discussion ensued, and the players made many suggestions. Baseball pitcher Bob Black suggested okra because the fruit is green, hairy, and hard. But it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the Fighting Okra was adopted as an unofficial mascot.
5 You star in the water tower
Y’all Star the Water Tower, the mascot of Florence Y’alls, hosted its first game on May 13, 2016. The inspiration for this mascot came from the famous water tower in Florence, Kentucky.
The water tower was first built in 1974 and sported the words Florence Mall. However, due to the location of the Florence Mall and legal complications, something had to be done. So, the city changed the M on the water tower to a Y, reading Florence Y’all. The water tower quickly became a regional landmark.
The baseball team was initially named the Florence Freedom. In 2020, the group changed their name to Florence Y’Alls after the water tower.
4 crunchy the cake
In 2019, Wigan Athletic, a member of the professional association football (or football, depending on your preference), held a primary schools competition to develop a mascot. The team did not have a mascot and decided that the time had come for one.
Wigan Athletic organized the competition to give the team a mascot and get the creativity flowing for local children. In addition, the competition would teach children to take the initiative. Most of the entries were some kind of cake design because apparently everyone in Wigan loves cakes.
The winners were local children Cayden and Neve, who presented Crusty the Pie. The children had the honor of presenting the mascot alongside former England international Peter Reid.
Kingsley, the one-browed mascot, was designed by David Shrigley for the Patrick Thistle Scottish football team. The problem is that no one seems to like the character or know what he’s supposed to be. The poor pet has gone so far as to be branded as the pet that nobody loves.
The character looks like a sun with a single eyebrow and buck teeth. Despite looking totally weird, Kingsley has become part of the team. Fans and outsiders alike want a piece of him. Jay McGhee, the man inside the costume, finds his head very useful for storing his water bottle, phone, and his keys.
The name Youppi means “Yippee” in French. Youppi represents the Montreal Canadiens (formerly known as the Montreal Expos). The mascot is an orange furry character with an exclamation point as a jersey number. Youppi entered the sports arena in 1979 and continued to be a part of the team until 2004.
Youppi is also the first mascot to be ejected from a Major League Baseball game. On August 23, during the 1989 season, the mascot took a leap and landed hard and clattering in the visitors’ dugout in the 11th inning. Youppi then snuck into a front row seat. The mascot was later allowed back into the game, but was confined to the roof of the team’s dugout.
In 2005, Youppi moved from baseball to the world of hockey. By December 2019, the adorable orange character was voted into the Mascot Hall of Fame. Youppi is the first Canadian pet to receive this honor.
1 phillie fanatic
Phillie Phanatic didn’t get the usual introduction that most new mascots get. Instead of making a big announcement, the poor creature from the Galapagos Islands just walked onto the field. Onlookers saw the giant, green, furry creature and laughed at its antics.
Although Phanatic’s debut wasn’t a big deal, it was a success. The Phanatic’s start began when former Phillies owner and vice president Bill Giles decided that his team needed a mascot like the San Diego Chicken in order to get more families to attend the games.
Bill Giles originally asked Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, to design the new mascot. However, Henson declined and passed the opportunity on to Bonnie Erickson, who created Miss Piggy, Waldorf, and Statler.
David Raymond was the first person to fill out the costume. Unfortunately, his first night as a Phanatic didn’t go as planned. Raymond accidentally fell over a railing and the fans laughed. Raymond quickly adopted fall humor and on-the-spot antics from him.
In 1994, Tom Burgoyne took over the duties of the Phanatic. Burgoyne easily took the Phanatic persona and built on it. Burgoyne began riding an all-terrain vehicle, taunting the opposition and shooting hot dogs out of a hot dog cannon.
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