As the NCAA tournament continues, we are seeing a lot of  college mascots cheering on their team.  However, there are a slew of mascots all over the country that are a little off-beat.  Here are some of the weirdest mascots from around the country.

1. Fighting Pickles
Like many other schools the North Carolina School of the Arts decided to let their students decide when it came to choosing a mascot. Apparently as a joke the Fighting Pickles was suggested and won the contest in 1972. The pickle has remained their mascot till this day and is still one of the most outrageous mascots in college sports.

Fighting Artichokes

2. Fighting Artichoke
Similar to the Fighting Pickles, the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes was chosen through a contest by the students. Selected in the 1970’s the students used the odd choice as protest to the school administration. Many students were furious with them for giving scholarships to out of state athletes that are were meant to be given to Native Americans. I think they made their point.

3. Boll Weevil
University of Arkansas at Monticello tops the list because of how strange and rather gross its mascot is. The Boll Weevil is an insect that is the number one enemy of cotton farmers all over the United States. Even though it is quite unusual, I guess it might be seen as intimidating especially if you are a cotton plant.

4. Banana Slugs
Like the University of Arkansas at Monticello, The University of California-Santa Cruz is on the list because of their choice of a very small creature as their mascot. Banana slugs are bright yellow slugs with no shell that live on forest floors and are not a likely choice to represent a school. The students chose this seemingly harmless mascot to protest the serious athletic competition that other schools promote.

5. Mastodons
Indiana Purdue University at Fort Wayne secured a spot on this list by choosing an extinct prehistoric animal as their mascot. A mastodon looks like a large elephant with lots of hair and long tusks. The mastodon became their school mascot after the student body president dared the students to be different and choose an unusual mascot.

6. Gorlocks
Webster College Gorlocks makes the list by taking the mythical route with their mascot. A Gorlock is a made up creature that was designed by students at the school and entered into a contest. It is said to have the horns of a buffalo, paws of a cheetah, and the face of a Saint Bernard dog.

7. Purple Aces
Evansville College’s Purple Aces mascot can be credited to the University of Louisville’s basketball coach. During the mid 20’s the coach said after getting beat by Evansville, “you didn’t have four aces up your sleeve, you had five!” The “Aces” nickname stuck and Evansville now has a mascot that closely resembles a pimp in a white and purple suit.

8. Rainbow warriors
The University of Hawai’i Manoa mascot is one that really threw me for a loop. The “warrior” part of the name is strong and common for a mascot; however the “rainbow” part is the complete opposite. The physical mascot however makes up for the name when he appears at the sporting events as a traditional Hawaiian warrior, adorned in tribal wear.

Ant Eaters

9. Ant Eaters
Although animals are commonly used as mascots, anteaters are not. The University of California-Irvine got their inspiration from a comic strip by Johnny Hart which featured an Anteater during the 1960’s. These days Peter the Anteater is looking pretty tough with his bulging muscles, jersey, and sweat bands.

10. Seawolves
When you think about what the Stony Brook University Seawolves mascot might look like you may picture a cross between wolf and fish like I did. The Physical mascot Wolfie appears to be all wolf but it turns out that Seawolves are a mythical sea creature. According to legend it can bring you good luck if you see one.

11. Battling Bishops
Ohio Wesleyan adopted their new mascot in 1925 due to the fact that there were quite a few other Methodist Colleges in the area and they wanted to stand out. Originally just “The Red and Black,” they hosted a contest in order to select a new name. The “Battling Bishops” ended up winning and makes the list due to the oxymoron the name seems to be.

12. Friars
Similar to the Battling Bishops the Providence College Friars are included in this list because of their religious nature. Providence is a private Catholic college in Rhode Island, so it makes sense that they are a religious bunch. The physical Friar mascot closely resembles Friar Tuck from Robin Hood sporting a round belly and big smile.

13. Trolls
The story behind how Trinity College became the Trolls is one that has many variations. The first is that in 1959 students took the letters in the word “Troll” out of the words “Trinity College.” Another theory is that the president of the time wanted to find a word starting “tr” that flowed perfectly with “Trinity.” Lastly some stories tell of Troll sightings in the area, so who really knows!

Little Giants

14. Little Giants
I think Wabash College was on the right track when it decided on the Giant for their mascot; however what I don’t understand is adding the “little” part.  Wabash College is an Indiana school for men that have 11 teams and 23 intramural sports. Some say they might have gotten the idea from the movie Little Giants but no one knows for sure. If so, Rick Moranis should be pretty upset!

15. Poets
Named after the famous poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the Whittier College Poets are not the most fearful of the bunch. Johnny the Poet is the official mascot and represents its 21 sports teams. This peace loving poet is not high on the intimidation factor but makes up for it with his scowling face and large fountain pen.

16. Lumberjacks
Northern Arizona’s Lumberjack mascot is not that strange but it doesn’t seem to fit the state. When I think of Arizona I think of a desert climate with tumbleweeds and cactus. After some research I found that it is actually home to quite a few forests that support local logging businesses.

Can’t get enough weird college mascots? Make sure and check out the Mascot Rumble on the eCampus.com Facebook page!

This is a guest post from our PR Intern Chelsea. Many thanks to her!