College mascots are often seen as fierce symbols, and most schools opt for traditional animals like bulldogs, wildcats, and bears. But a few colleges and universities have gotten creative with what represents their institution. From a blue blob to banana slugs, here's a roundup of the most bizarre college mascots.
The Blue Blob
With soft blue fur, a cheerful smile and big eyes, Xavier University's secondary mascot is more adorable than fearful. Oh, and it's literally a blue blob. Unlike other mascots, the shapeless creature has no real connection to its college. After realizing their mascot D'Artagnan (a French Musketeer) scared children, Xavier decided they needed a kid-friendly mascot. And so, in 1985, the blob was born.
Concordia College's mascot makes the list because he's an angry ear of corn with tousled hair and a sweater. This muscular bundle of corn also rocks green husks for pants. When an opposing school called the students of Concordia "corncobs," the school embraced the name and turned it into a mascot. Today, fans rock T-shirts proudly with the saying, "Fear the Ear."
Cayenne The Ragin' Cajun Pepper
Louisiana University's mascot isn't exactly intimidating, but there's something creepy about a giant cayenne pepper grinning with bulging eyes. In 2000, students of Louisiana University wanted a mascot that embodied the South and the Ragin' Cajun spirit of its Acadia location. The result was a flaming cayenne pepper with a human face and spiky orange hair.
The Stanford Tree
How do you expect a tree to put up a fight against opponents? Many mistakenly believe the Tree to be Stanford University's official mascot, but it actually belongs to its marching band. Stanford hasn't had an official mascot since 1972, but over the years the Tree has served as the university's unofficial mascot. The costume is based on El Palo Alto, a historic redwood tree in Menlo Park, and each year the mascot takes on a new design.
The Fighting Okra
Although Delta State University's official mascot is the Statesmen, this ferocious vegetable creature with boxing gloves, which was first suggested as a joke, has now long-served as the school's unofficial mascot. There's even a hashtag and campaign called #FearTheOkra. Who do you think would win in a fight— a fighting okra or ragin' pepper?
Sammy The Banana Slug
In 1980, University California at Santa Cruz (UCSU's) chancellor voted to change the school's mascot to the sea lions, but students wanted a more Zen symbol and championed for the bright, slimy mollusks often found in the redwoods near campus. After a five-year mascot battle, the chancellor gave in and the banana slug became UCSC's official mascot. When their sports team played in the NCAA championships, students wore shirts with the slogan, "Banana Slugs— No Known Predators."
It's a bat...it's an elf...it's a Billiken? With its mischievous grin, elfish ears, and light blue skin, it's hard to tell what St. Louis University's (SLU's) mascot is. According to the university's website, this out-of-this-world mascot is based on a mythical good-luck figure who represents "things as they ought to be." The real story of how the Billiken came to be SLU's mascot is debatable as there are several versions. Some say that it's because one of their football coaches resembled the figure.
Rather than opting for prototypical mascots like lions, tigers, and bears, these schools took the road less traveled. Do these mascots give them the edge when it comes to big sporting events? Likely not, but they certainly make for unique apparel.