Platypus


An animal that would honestly make a lot more sense if it was inspired by Psyduck than the other way around. The platypus is one of the only five remaining species of monotremes. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs, as opposed to giving live-birth, and are endemic to Australia. It was discovered by European explorers in 1798 and a specimen was later examined by zoologist George Shaw.
Its strange appearance and features made Shaw question whether or not this was a hoax. Again, how can you not. It looks like a reversed beaver. He writes in a scientific journal from 1799 that: “Of all the Mammalia yet known it seems the most extraordinary in its conformation; exhibiting the perfect resemblance of the beak of a Duck engrafted on the head of a quadruped.” He also writes “it naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means”. So in more modern terms, was this just another social experiment by some 18th century YouTube prankster or could the specimen truly be that of a real creature? Evidence for its existence and its supposed egg-laying capabilities remained highly debated topics for almost a century. Of course, we now know that this Scrooge-McDuck-looking Pokémon-template of an animal is more real than your hopes and dreams.