The Beautiful, Terrifying Animals of the Future

In a world permanently altered by climate change, pollution, and ceaseless human expansion, what might it take for the rest of the animal kingdom to survive, even thrive?

It’s clear that the Earth’s climate is changing—but the long-term effects on humans and other animals can only be guessed at. Below, our best (and wildest) musings as to what may be in store for creatures great and small.

Feral Poodles and Dump Wolves

Abandoned by their owners as they fled the suburbs, poodles and other toy dogs should have withered away. Instead they adapted, learning to survive on the scraps of civilization and, in some cases, growing multiple heads. Eventually, these adorable mutants teamed up with scavenging wolves and settled in the sprawling dumps that hem towns and cities around the country. Now, any humans looking to scavenge supplies need to make a deal with the dogs first.


 

 

Enormous Pigeons and Rats

Most of the appeal of the Big Apple has rotted away, but there are still two major attractions: watching famous landmarks sink beneath the sea, and witnessing swarms of enormous pigeons and giant rats duke it out for scraps in the ruins of midtown Manhattan.


 

 

Undying Tortoise

Climate change, famine, die-offs: this tortoise has seen and survived it all. He soldiers on, but to where? Who knows.


 

 

Cluster Frogs

Wildly deformed by pollution and swollen with toxins, these frogs have a certain grace to them, even if they can’t help but clog our drains.


 

 

Clone Lion

The world celebrated “the return” of a selection of previously extinct animals (lions, tigers, woolly mammoths, etc.) thanks to the science of cloning, but the wonder wore off fast in a world where new tech outpaced the human attention span. Now these lonely clones haunt second-rate zoos and amusement parks, reminders of all that we have lost.


 

 

Ark Whale

The death of the ocean’s coral reefs was tragic for the majority of marine animals, but saviors appeared for some: whales, riddled with coral and rotted by pollution, began to serve as unlikely mobile homes for the creatures of the sea. These beautiful wraiths are able to sustain life for the lucky few: a small school of fish, a pod of dolphins, and all those survivors looking for a home in the ocean’s depths.


 

 

Glow Deer

It seemed like a good idea at the time: scientists tweaked deer DNA to glow at night and reduce the number of deer-vehicle collisions.

Instead, the deer figured out how to tweak their brightness as they saw fit. Suddenly they were blinding predators, motorists, and anyone who got in their way. Now, they find themselves the masters of the road, with no enemies in sight.


 

 

Ultimate Beef Cow

Bred to be the meatiest, beefiest, and tastiest, these cows are towering sentinels of consumable capitalism. But their enormous size masks their deficiencies and tragedy: they’re highly susceptible to infection, and do not have the ability to moo.


 

 

Zombees

Good news! Thanks to several major corporations’ efforts, the bees are back from the dead! These bees are at our beck and call, provided we set up an affordable Pollination Plan™ for daily or weekly pollination. (Call or text now.)


 

 

Hairless Polar Bears

This future is not far away at all—you’ve already seen this one. Parched, starving, and dying, these bears linger among the living, as ghostlike beings in a changing, shifting landscape.

Share this story

Loading more