The Most Unusual College Mascot: Unconventional Representations in Higher Education

Choose the mascot you think is the most unusual!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 7, 2023 10:18)
Dive into the wacky world of college mascots with StrawPoll's latest ranking - "What is the most unusual college mascot?" From the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space, these quirky characters have won the hearts of students and fans alike. But which mascot reigns supreme in the realm of the peculiar? That's where you come in! Cast your vote for your favorite bizarre college mascot, and if you think we've missed one that deserves recognition, don't hesitate to suggest it. Join thousands of other curious minds as we uncover the hidden gems of collegiate mascots and celebrate the playful, creative, and downright odd mascots who bring spirit and smiles to campuses across the nation. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in and discover the most unusual college mascot of them all!

What Is the Most Unusual College Mascot?

  1. 1
    The Fighting Artichokes were chosen because they are unique and represent the college's creative and unconventional approach to education.
    The Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes is the mascot of Scottsdale Community College located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a unique and unusual choice for a college mascot as artichokes are not commonly associated with athletics.
    • Name: Fighting Artichokes
    • Meaning: Symbolizes the strength and tenacity of athletes
    • Origin: Chosen through a student competition in 1979
    • Appearance: The mascot is an anthropomorphic artichoke with a determined expression wearing boxing gloves
    • Colors: Green and white
  2. 2
    The Fighting Okra was chosen because it is a symbol of the university's agricultural roots and represents the strength and resilience of the Delta region.
    The Delta State University Fighting Okra is a unique and offbeat college mascot that represents Delta State University, located in Cleveland, Mississippi. The mascot is a personified okra vegetable, with a fierce and determined expression. It wears a green and white athletic uniform and is often depicted holding boxing gloves or flexing its muscles.
    • Height: 7 feet
    • Weight: 150 pounds
    • Color: Green
    • Expression: Fierce and determined
    • Attire: Green and white athletic uniform
  3. 3
    The Eutectic is a scientific term for the point at which two substances combine to form a uniform mixture, which represents the college's focus on pharmaceutical science and research.
    The St. Louis College of Pharmacy Eutectic is a unique and intriguing college mascot. It is a representation of a eutectic mixture, symbolizing the blending of different elements and the balance achieved in a pharmacy education. The mascot embodies the college's commitment to science, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • Appearance: The Eutectic mascot appears as a dynamic and colorful mixture of various elements, resembling a vibrant, swirling potion.
    • Symbolism: It represents the college's focus on pharmacy education, where different elements, such as chemistry, biology, and patient care, combine to form a cohesive and impactful whole.
    • Personality: The Eutectic is depicted as energetic, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. It reflects the college's spirit of curiosity, exploration, and dedication to academic excellence.
    • Engagement: The mascot plays an active role during college events, supporting the student body and fostering a sense of unity and pride among the St. Louis College of Pharmacy community.
    • Costume: The Eutectic wears a custom-made costume featuring a mixture of vibrant colors, resembling the appearance of various beakers and flasks.
  4. 4
    The Banana Slug was chosen by students in the 1980s as a symbol of the university's commitment to individuality and unconventional thinking.
    The University of California, Santa Cruz Banana Slugs is the unique and unusual mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz. The mascot represents the spirit of the university with its quirky and unconventional nature.
    • Mascot Name: Sammy the Banana Slug
    • Appearance: A yellow slug-like creature with a big smile and googly eyes.
    • Symbolism: The banana slug represents the values of non-tradition, uniqueness, and embracing one's own identity.
    • Meaning: The mascot celebrates the diversity and individuality of the UCSC community.
    • Name Origin: The banana slug was chosen as the mascot due to its prevalence in the local Santa Cruz area and its association with the university's commitment to environmentalism.
  5. 5
    The Geoduck is a type of giant clam found in the Pacific Northwest, which represents the college's connection to the region and its commitment to sustainability and environmentalism.
    The Evergreen State College Geoducks is a unique and unconventional college mascot. The mascot is a geoduck, which is a large, burrowing clam found in the Pacific Northwest.
    • Mascot Type: Animal
    • Mascot Name: Geoducks
    • Species: Panopea generosa
    • Size: Up to 15 inches in length
    • Appearance: Long neck, siphon, and a unique shape
  6. 6
    The Zips were originally named after the rubber industry in Akron, but the name has evolved over time to represent the university's innovative spirit and commitment to progress.
    The University of Akron Zips is the mascot of the University of Akron, located in Akron, Ohio, United States. The Zips is an unusual mascot and is known for its distinctive appearance and identity.
    • Name: Zippy the Kangaroo
    • Physical Appearance: Zippy is a large, anthropomorphic kangaroo with blue fur, a white belly, and a tail.
    • Costume: Zippy's costume consists of a full-body kangaroo suit with the university's colors, blue and gold. The suit includes a large, friendly head with a smiling face.
    • Personality: Zippy is portrayed as friendly, energetic, and lively, symbolizing the spirit and pride of the University of Akron community.
    • Origin: Zippy the Kangaroo was introduced as the university's official mascot in 1953.
  7. 7
    The Boll Weevil is a pest that has had a significant impact on the cotton industry in the region, and the name represents the university's connection to the community and its history.
    The University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils is a highly unique college mascot. It is a representation of a boll weevil, a small beetle known for its influence on the cotton industry. The mascot captures the spirit of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.
    • Origin: First introduced in 1910
    • Symbolism: Represents the impact of the boll weevil on the local agriculture and the ability to overcome challenges
    • Uniqueness: Considered one of the most exclusive mascots in college sports
    • Popularity: Gained popularity and recognition over the years
    • Team Name: UAM Boll Weevils
  8. 8
    University of South Carolina Gamecocks
    Ianmccor · Public domain
    The Gamecock is a proud and fierce bird that represents the university's competitive spirit and dedication to excellence.
    The University of South Carolina Gamecocks is the mascot of the University of South Carolina, representing the athletic teams of the university. The mascot is a gamecock, a type of rooster known for its aggressiveness and fighting spirit.
    • Nickname: Cocks
    • Gender: Male
    • Physical Appearance: A feisty gamecock with a muscular build and colorful plumage
    • Attire: Typically depicted wearing a garnet and black colored athletic jersey
    • Representation: Symbolizes tenacity, determination, and a fierce competitive spirit
  9. 9
    The Poet is a symbol of the power of words and the importance of literature in shaping our world, and represents the college's commitment to the humanities and creative expression.
    The Whittier College Poets is the official mascot of Whittier College located in Whittier, California. It is one of the most unusual college mascots as it represents the literary heritage of the college.
    • Mascot Type: Personified representation
    • Appearance: A person dressed in a traditional poet's attire with a quill and parchment
    • Symbolism: Signifies the importance of literature and poetry in the college
    • Origin: Adopted in the late 1920s when the college began emphasizing its strong English and creative writing programs
    • Representation: Connects the college with renowned poets and writers throughout history
  10. 10
    The Gaucho is a cowboy from South America, and the name represents the university's connection to the global community and its commitment to diversity and inclusion.
    The University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos is one of the most unique college mascots in the country. The term 'Gauchos' refers to the cowboys of the South American pampas, known for their horsemanship and rugged independence. As the UCSB mascot, the Gauchos encompass the spirit of adventure, resilience, and a love for the outdoors.
    • Name: Gauchos
    • Meaning: Refers to the cowboys of the South American pampas
    • Symbolism: Adventure, resilience, rugged independence
    • Representatives: UCSB sports teams and student organizations
    • Costume: Men: traditional gaucho attire with a wide-brimmed hat, poncho, and boots; Women: traditional gaucho attire with a long skirt, blouse, and wide-brimmed hat

Missing your favorite mascot?


Ranking factors for unusual college mascot

  1. Uniqueness
    The mascot should be unique and distinguishable from other mascots, and there should be a clear reason why it was chosen to represent the school.
  2. Relevance
    The mascot should relate to the school or its history. For example, if the school is known for a particular animal or activity, the mascot should reflect that aspect of the school.
  3. Creativity
    The mascot should be creative and memorable, and it should have a strong visual impact.
  4. Cultural significance
    The mascot could represent a cultural or historical aspect of the school or its community.
  5. Memorable Name
    The mascot must have a unique and memorable name that contributes to its overall recognition.
  6. Originality
    The mascot should be original and not a copy of another school's mascot.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most unusual college mascot. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or mascot is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 218 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each mascot once every 24 hours. The rank of each mascot is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most unusual college mascot

College mascots are an important part of the collegiate experience. They represent the spirit and identity of the institution and foster a sense of unity and pride among students, alumni, and fans. While most colleges and universities have traditional mascots such as tigers, bears, or eagles, some have chosen more unique and unusual symbols to represent their school. From live animals to fictional characters, the world of college mascots is full of surprises. In this article, we will explore some of the most unusual college mascots and the stories behind them.

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