Mascots are a strange thing. When it comes to sports or general rallying around a topic, humans seem to need another human sweating underneath a furry costume to bring them together. Sometimes that costume is an animal (my middle school mascot was a trailblazer, a.k.a. a horse with a flaming mane and tail). Or sometimes they’re something else entirely (my fellow Clearwater High School alumni know the struggle of having an anthropomorphized tornado as a mascot). Because we’re fans of all things science at Popular Science, we’ve searched high and low for the strangest, nerdy science mascots out there. Here are a few of our favorites.