What would Pikachu, the most recognizable Pokémon, look like if he was a real animal? That’s the thought experiment behind the latest sculpture from North of the Border. In the video below, he works aluminum foil, clay, and something called static grass into what he describes as an “electric banana rat.” It’s not as creepy as some of his other creations, but the snarl and lightning bolts would certainly be disconcerting in real life.  

The creator considered other additions needed to make Pikachu realistic, like how chunky he should be to help protect him from the electricity he produces. Some led to cute additions, like what kind of paws and toe beans Pikachu would have. But he did decide a snarl was necessary since he’s mid-strike. The sculptor wasn’t able to find helpful pictures of angry-looking gerbils and hamsters online, it still sounds like it was time well spent. The addition of yellow static grass certainly looks easier than the alternative of adding fake fur. And it means that all those details in the clay still show through.

This isn’t the only realistic Pokémon creation we’ve come across recently. The book Pokénatomy reveals their anatomy and other artists have speculated about how evolutionary forces would change them over time. There’s even an entire museum exhibit dedicated to comparing Pokémon to their real life influences.

photo of pikachu artist version if character were real with lightning bolts
North of the Border

There are some other realistic sculptures on the North of the Border YouTube channel, including what a LEGO minifig would look like. There’s also some wild mashups that usually turn pretty creepy, like these zombie Minions and a version of Yoda mixed with the Hulk

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.