Made famous by noted beard-owner, Charles Darwin, the Galapagos Islands are home to some of Earth’s strangest and most fascinating species. And while all species have already been named by the scientific community, I have taken the liberty of renaming them for greater accuracy.
1.) Magnificent Trash Lizard (aka Iguana):
The Galapagos Islands are lousy with these lazy ass lizards, which you’ll find on every island, and also everywhere you could possibly look. They specialize in shows of territorial masculinity by bobbing their heads in the reptilian version of: “hey bro, hey bro, fuck off bro,” sleeping all the time, and visibly sneezing boogers. When you first get there you’ll be like, “Oh cool, look at these huge lizards!” and then by the time you leave, you’ll be like, “Fuck these guys, seriously.”
2.) Cranky Tuxedo Bird (aka Galapagos Penguin):
They may look cute and cuddly, but these little birds will literally do whatever the fuck they can to get away from you and all your friends as they frantically push GoPros at them. Ten points to Ravenclaw for the Cranky Tuxedo Bird and their unwavering self-respect / refusal to support to local eco-tourism business. Stay strong, little guys. Never change.
3.) Wizard (aka Heron)
I know a wizard pretending to be a bird when I see a wizard pretending to be a bird, and this is a wizard pretending to be a bird. That’s just science.
4.) Maggie’s Patronus (aka Galapagos Tortoises)
Are those big rocks irregularly lining the sides of the roads? No. Those are one of the world’s most endangered species, kicking it right next to imminent demise. These boulder-looking, old man-faced tortoises may not be fleet of foot, or quick to react, or have, like, any survival instinct whatsoever other than to pull their tiny faces inside their enormous shells, but it’s a scientific fact that they are the cutest animals on the Islands. It is also true that one sexy tortoise basically fucked the whole species back from being extinct.
5.) Moving Lawn Ornament (aka Galapagos Flamingo)
Did you know the design element popular among grandmas of the midwest and Anthropologie Home Decor circa Spring 2013 are actually based on a real animal? I know. Weird. These improbable animals actually exist, and are actually pink from eating shrimp, despite all better judgement, reason and logic.
6.) Fancy Sea Gull (aka Albatross)
They look a lot, and act a lot like seagulls except that they’re ENORMOUS. And you know what they say: if it looks like a seagull and screeches like a sea gull it’s probably a sea gull. Just like, a fancy one because it’s so big. It’s like the Guinness Book World Record Holding frittata of sea gulls.
7.) Murder-Faced Garbage Birds (aka Pelicans)
8.) Matthew McConaughey Bird (aka Flightless Cormorant)
You know how Matthew McConaughey has weirdly, disproportionally short arms? You don’t? That’s like, a super obscure and random internet discussion among people more interested in body-shaming a random celebrity rather than facing their own desperate loneliness and feelings of inadequacy, you say? Whatever. Anyway, this bird is like that. Or like a T-Rex. Anyway, they can’t fly.
9.) Fragile Masculinity Bird (aka Magnificent Frigate)
These birds are famous for the red throat patches the males use to attract mates. But did you know that, sometimes—when fighting— the patches can get punctured, effectively emasculating that male for life? Who knew masculinity could be so fragile besides all women ever?
10.) Blue-Footed Booby (aka Blue-Footed Booby)
Whoever named this animal really nailed it on the first go-round.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall has an MFA in writing from University of San Francisco, and a tendency to spill things. She splits her time writing for kids and for adults and her debut children’s book, Also an Octopus, has been called “wickedly absurd” and “a perceptive how-to” that will “inspire kids to imagine a story of their own.” She’s the winningest writer of The Booksmith’s competitive erotic fan fiction contest, Shipwreck, and a contributor to the Loose Lips anthology. You can follow her @emteehall, or on her podcast, Let’s Not Panic.