The 5 ugliest monkeys in the world

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While there are many different kinds of monkeys in the world, some monkeys look weirder than others. Some might even be considered unremarkable or downright ugly monkeys. All agree, however, that they are interesting and worth a closer look. So, let's see what makes these five monkeys the ugliest monkeys in the world.

1. Proboscis

big nose animal proboscis monkey
The proboscis monkey is one of the strangest and most bizarre-looking monkeys.

©David Evison/

The proboscis monkey is one of the strangest and most grotesque-looking ugly monkeys. It is easily recognizable by its large bulbous nose. Male monkeys have noses that can grow up to 7 inches long and are used to attract mates. However, females have much smaller noses. So even though a human might view it as an ugly monkey, its nose is certainly an extremely attractive quality among its kind.

Proboscis monkeys are native to the island of Borneo, their only natural habitat. They live in swampy mangroves near rivers and are excellent swimmers, often diving to avoid predators.

Their diet consists mainly of leaves, fruits and seeds. While monkeys do eat some insects, they are not a significant part of their diet.

There are only an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 proboscis monkeys left in the wild. Therefore, this species must be protected from extinction.

2. Bald Uakari

The bald uakari is one of the ugliest monkeys in the world, so it deserves a special mention.

© Ipaat – Public Domain

Bald uakaris is a species of macaque that can be found throughout the Amazon rainforest. These ugly monkeys are easily recognized by their bald heads, crimson faces and tufted white tails. Although they look odd, their flushed, hairless faces symbolize masculinity and health. However, seeing a monkey with shaggy long fur and a completely bald red face is weird.

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Bald uakaris are relatively small, with an average body length of about 12 inches. They weigh between two and four pounds, with males usually being larger than females. Their faces are bright red due to tiny blood vessels very close to the skin, which is why they are sometimes called "scarlet uakaris".

Bald uakaris are considered vulnerable. Thankfully, several conservation efforts are now underway to help protect these fascinating creatures.

3. Chacma baboons

mammal species
The Chacma baboon is a species of monkey native to southern Africa.

©Grobler du Preez/

The Chacma baboon is a species of monkey native to southern Africa. They are the most inconspicuous of all baboon species. For example, their dun fur is nothing compared to their mandrill cousins, which have distinctive, colorful faces and fluffy coats. Additionally, Chama baboons have long snouts, long, sharp canine teeth, and the angularity of their faces. Therefore, they are often called "dog-faced monkeys".

Another slightly disturbing characteristic of Chama baboons is their red or blue rump. While the exact reason why these primates had colorful buttocks is unknown, several theories exist. One idea is that color can attract a mate. Another idea is that the colors help the monkeys communicate with each other visually.

Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that the Chacma baboons are among the ugliest monkeys in the world.

4. Spider Monkey

spider monkey
Spider monkeys have long, thin, spider-like limbs and tails, but their faces make them one of the ugliest monkeys around.

© Ana_Cotta / Creative Commons

There are many strange looking monkeys in the world, but the spider monkey may be the strangest! With their elongated, spider-like limbs and tails, they look more like creatures from alien movies than real-life animals. While their appearance may be a little off-putting, there's something incredibly fascinating about these strange little creatures native to South and Central America.

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First of all, spider monkeys are very agile. They can easily swing through the woods, using their long tails as fifth limbs. They are also one of the few monkeys that can swing from trees and walk on all fours, meaning they are just as comfortable on the ground as they are high up in the forest.

But while their physical abilities are impressive, it's their intelligence that really sets them apart. For example, spider monkeys use tools to scratch themselves or get food.

So while they may not be the cutest creatures in the world, there's no denying that spider monkeys are stunning animals.

5. Tarsier

Animals with Big Eyes - Horsfield's Tarsier
The tarsier's large eyes take up more than half of its face.

©Ryan M. Bolton/

There are hundreds of different species of monkeys around the world. While they all have their unique features, some definitely stand out more than others. Tarsiers are one of those weirdest looking primates you can't help but stare at.

These small primates are native to Southeast Asia and countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Tarsiers are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. They are also one of the few primates in the world that are completely carnivorous, as their diet consists mainly of insects.

Although they may be small, tarsiers are actually quite large when it comes to their eyes. Their eyes are huge and take up almost 75% of the entire head! While you might think that having such large eyes would be an advantage for these animals, it makes it difficult for them to see clearly during the day.

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That's why tarsiers are mainly active at night when it's darker, and their eyes can adapt better. Tarsiers are also known for their long legs. Their legs are so powerful that they can jump up to six feet in the air.

While tarsiers may seem like strange otherworldly creatures, tarsiers are fascinating animals. So next time you see it, take a moment to appreciate all of its unique features.


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A Chacma baboon lifts its left paw during de-lice (South Africa)

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I'm a freelance writer with over eight years of content creation experience. My content writing covers many genres, and I have a business degree. I'm also the proud author of my memoir, My Life as a Liam. This work details the impact of living with an undiagnosed infection such as Rickettsia, such as Lyme disease. By sharing this story, I hope to give others hope and courage to overcome life's challenges. During my downtime, I value spending time with friends and family.

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