We had the pleasure of having the author of Mr. Mehan’s Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals on the podcast. His mellifluous menagerie has a representative for each letter of the alphabet, and an extensive glossary to boot, but just in case the Jargontalky and Angogrobugunkalungstis only whetted your appetite for whimsically named creatures, we’ve got you covered.
As the title should suggest, Dame Julie Andrews packs a Poppins-bag full of fanciful fauna into The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. Including, but not limited to:
- The High Behind Splintercat
- The Oinck
- The Tree Squeaks
- The Swamp Gaboons
- The Whangdoodle (duh)
The Lands Where the Jumblies Live
If you are looking for something with a shorter wordcount and a higher absurdity level, Edmund Lear’s nonsense verse should do the trick. Travel in company with the Jumblies (whose heads are green and whose hands are blue and who went to sea in a sieve) or witness the Courtship of Yonghy-Bonghy Bo (the object of his affection is Lady Jingly Jones, just in case you were curious).
Real Names for Real Animals
If you are looking for bizarrely named creatures IRL, you might consider The Encyclopedia of Strangely Named Animals by Fredrik Colting & Melissa Medina, which reminds us all that the scientific name for the American Robin is Turdus migratorius and the tasseled wobbegong swims in the seas of our own earth (off the coast of Australia, naturally).
Last Call for Luggnagg
And no list would be complete without mentioning the OG of odd geography, Jonathan Swift himself, whose Gulliver’s Travels put Lilliput and Brobdingnag on the map and Parliament on notice. “Yahoo” has successfully made the jump from “name coined for a satirical fantasy” to “dictionary entry,” which is as about as good as it gets for creators of nonsense-sounding nomenclature.