Pokemon is the legend that we all know and love, an ever-expansive dynasty that includes anime, games, apparel, and so much more for fans to enjoy. It saturates every market and expands beyond generational gaps, uniting people in a common love for the Pokemon universe. With all of the attention that Pokemon is given, you might think you know all there is to know about Pokemon.
However, that is simply not the case. While the major facts, Pokemon stats, and gym leaders might be common knowledge, Pokemon has its fair share of surprising secrets that most fans are not aware of. We’ve listed the top ten most interesting facts below, but there are hundreds more available for people to explore!
10. Drowzee’s Inspiration:
Drowzee, the dopey yet lovable Psychic type Pokemon, has a more mysterious background to it than what it seems at first glance. Inspiration for its design comes from Japanese folklore surrounding the baku, a tapir-like creature. According to the stories surrounding tapirs, those animals are supposed to devour dreams and nightmares.
This discovery makes sense, since Drowzee is a Pokemon capable of inducing sleep, which would be the perfect time for feasting. Surprisingly, Drowzee is not the only Pokemon based off of Japanese folklore. Others’ designs, such as Ninetales or Sneasel, can trace their roots back to a variety of ghosts and tales in history as well.
9. The World of Pokemon is Based off of Real Life Places (mainly Japan)
While some people might believe that the world of Pokemon is entirely fictional, that is not always the case. Modern games, such as Pokemon Pearl, can find their influence in modern western cities such as Paris. However, the early Pokemon games took inspiration almost entirely from Japan.
The names used in the Pokemon world are taken straight from Japan. Kanto, the first region we are introduced to in the Pokemon world, is the word used to describe the greater Tokyo area in Japanese. Most of the geography in the earlier games can match up completely with different places throughout Japan. Other aspects of Japanese culture, such as the prevalence of bug catching, the uniforms that young students wear, and the usage of hot springs, can be found woven throughout the game. If you’ve always wanted to live in a Pokemon world, then plan your next vacation to Japan!
8. Spinda’s Patterns
Spinda, a cute pink Pokemon found in the mountains, are seemingly unremarkable. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll be able to see that nearly no two Spindas are alike. Intended to be unique, the game developed over 4 billion different type of skins for the Pokemon’s design. That means that every Spinda you catch or see will be slightly different from each other.
In a game like Pokemon, where collecting unique and different Pokemon types is a major objective, this trait of Spinda is remarkable. Most trainers are unaware of the minuscule discrepancies between different Spindas, as most people do not catch more than one, and if they do, do not carefully observe the Pokemon’s patterns. Next time you catch one, make sure to check for their distinctive design!
7. The Move Splash
There has always been some confusion surrounding the move Splash. Unanimously agreed as entirely useless, the move is merely Normal, despite belonging to a fish. Splash seems like it should be a water type. Later, land-based Pokemon, with no affiliation towards anything that might be even remotely able to splash, can utilize the move.
The answer? The name Splash is merely an error made when translating. The Japanese game makers intended for the move to be called Hop, which would explain why it is a Normal type move and why non-Water type Pokemon can use it. Therefore, not only is the move inefficient, but it also is a complete mistake. The error ironically seems to fit the move’s abilities perfectly after all.
6. Pikachu’s name
Pikachu’s namesake is undeniably adorable. Although so famous it is essentially a slogan of the game in itself. Pikachu is a word that might seem like gibberish to non-Japanese ears. However, the meaning behind the name has a hidden depth (and a cuteness that simply cannot be ignored)! In Japanese, the word pikapika translates to sparkle, while chuuchuu is an onomatopoeia for the sound of squeaking. Therefore, Pikachu can be translated as sparkle squeak, which is by far the single cutest name for anything that has ever existed.
If you didn’t love Pikachu enough before, this discovery will certainly steal your heart. Imagine that every time you went into battle, your victory cry would be to yell “sparkle squeak” with all of your might. This endearing and yet, little known fact about Pikachu will surly change how you view this tiny Pokemon.
5. A Newly Discovered Protein is Named after Pikcachu
In 2008, scientists discovered a protein with unique properties that reminded them so much of one of the most beloved Pokemon, Pikachu, that they named the material after it. Called Pikachurin due to its fast movement and electrical conductivity, this bestowed honor shows that even scientists have become entrapped in the addiction that is Pokemon.
The matrix-shaped particle could possibly be the first of many objects named in honor of Pokemon. As Pokemon fans exist all over the world and work in a variety of different fields, it does not seem impossible for other people to find inspiration for names by looking towards their favorite Pokemon. Pokemon fans can hopefully expect to find more curiously named things in the future, and not only in protein.
4. Azurill is the Only Pokemon that can Change its Gender While it Evolves:
While some Pokemon lack genders, and most stick to just one or the other, there is only one Pokemon in the entire game that can switch genders. When an Azurill makes the transformation into a Marill, there is a 25% chance that the Pokemon’s gender can change. This strange power can only be found in Azurill, and is often overlooked by players who have no reason to pay attention
While fans are not certain why this switch occurs, there are multiple theories in place. Some people believe that Azurill is based off an amphibious animal, which are occasionally known to have the ability to change their gender. Others believe that because an Azurill is not fully formed, it can still be considered in the embryonic stage, and does not possess a stable identity. Either way, it is the only Pokemon that possesses this strange capability.
3. Ditto is Thought to be a Failed Attempt at Creating a Mew
Perhaps the greatest Pokemon movie (or movie in general) was “Mewtwo Strikes Back.” If you watched that movie (and if you haven’t, then you should), you’ll remember the struggles scientists faced when attempting to create a copy of the legendary Pokemon Mew. As depicted in the movie, the process of cloning Mew was certainly not an easy one that was bound to create quite a few rejects before the final and disastrous result in which Mewtwo was created.
While simply a fan theory, the evidence is plentiful. Both Pokemon can learn all of the moves in the game, are the same pinkish hue, and weigh exactly the same as well. Additionally, both Pokemon can only be caught in the same specific area of the game, and are found nowhere else. It certainly makes sense that these two distinctive and unique Pokemon might have a secret connection between them
2. Pokemon Have Appeared on a National Currency
Niue, a small South Pacific nation, minted special Pokemon coins in 2001 with a select group of Pokemon’s faces on them. It is absolutely amazing that a nation loved Pokemon enough they enacted public policy in order to place it on all of their money. Production of these coins have now stopped and are currently collector’s items.
Imagine, every time you were buying milk from the supermarket or paying for delivery food, you would get to see a Pikachu’s face looking back at you. It is any Pokemon lover’s dream. Therefore, this country seems like a paradise for any Pokemon fan and those seeking a new, interesting place to head for vacation might be intrigued enough to check out Niue.
1. Celebrity Inspired Pokemon Names
The popular Fighting type Pokemon, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee, derived their names from two very popular fighting type celebrities. The combative, punch-loving Hitmonchan is designed to be similar to Jackie Chan, the beloved Hong Kong kung fu actor. Likewise, the powerful leg thrusts of Hitmonlee are meant to mimic the fighting style of Bruce Lee.
Both Pokemon can pack a punch (or a kick) and are supremely effective when fighting. They’re quite rare to find in the game, and so trainers often covet these special Pokemon. They live up to their feisty namesakes quite well. Now, fans of both celebrity superstars should search even harder for this duo in the next Pokemon game they play!
Even if you’ve been a fan of Pokemon all of your life, or even just started loving it recently, these ten facts are sure to surprise you. The hidden background and thought that went into these intricate bonuses are shocking, and a wonderful, little known addition to the world of Pokemon. Next time you’re playing Pokemon, be sure to impress your friends with these unique, startling facts. What else surprises you about Pokemon? Educate us in the comments below!