Meet the Zoo Hiding in the Tube Map

All Elephant and No Castle: a secret bestiary of the London Underground

Meet the Zoo Hiding in the Tube Map

Rats and other vermin live in the London Underground, and there are probably urban legends around about bigger, nastier animals down in the Tube. But a whale? An elephant? And an emu? How about a pig, a polar bear and a baby rhino? All these and more species, enough to fill a zoo, live in the Underground – but not in the actual tunnels: they’re cleverly hiding in the map of the Underground.


Someone collected them all at this site, where you can check out all the beasts squatting in the Tube Map. Henceforth, you will be travelling along familiar lines to stations code-named for their parallel purpose in this secret bestiary:

  • A trip from Euston to Angel is a ride along the top of the Whale’s Fin
  • Travelling from Goodge Street to Holborn means switching from the Northern to the Central Line at Tottenham Court Road. Which is a hassle. But now you’ve made the Polar Bear Smile
  • Green Park is the Whale’s Eye
  • Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square are the Hound’s Eyes - right and left, respectively
  • It’s all a matter of taste, of course. The Hound’s Eyes are also the Fox’s Eyes. And the Whale’s Eye could be the Elephant’s Mouth, if you prefer.
  • Westferrry, on the Docklands Light Railway, pretty much is the Dog’s Arse, though
  • Foxes, the sourge of London - both overground and Underground.

    Since Animals on the Underground first came to our attention, the scope of the website has expanded. The site now also shows animals on the New York, Moscow and Paris Metros:

    Moscow Metro Goldfish 

    Blue Tit hiding in the New York Metro, just south of Central Park

    An Alsatian on the Paris Metro

    Malcolm Gladwell live | How to re-examine everything you know

    Join Radiolab's Latif Nasser at 1pm ET on Monday as he chats with Malcolm Gladwell live on Big Think.

    Big Think LIVE

    Add event to your calendar

    AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo


    Keep reading Show less

    Humans evolved for punching, study confirms

    University of Utah research finds that men are especially well suited for fisticuffs.

    Image source: durantelallera/Shutterstock
    Surprising Science
    • With males having more upper-body mass than women, a study looks to find the reason.
    • The study is based on the assumption that men have been fighters for so long that evolution has selected those best-equipped for the task.
    • If men fought other men, winners would have survived and reproduced, losers not so much.
    Keep reading Show less

    To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

    Innovators don't ignore risk; they are just better able to analyze it in uncertain situations.

    David McNew/Getty Images
    Personal Growth
    Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was America's first female self-made millionaire.
    Keep reading Show less

    Study: Private prisons result in more inmates, longer sentences

    The Labour Economics study suggests two potential reasons for the increase: corruption and increased capacity.

    Politics & Current Affairs
  • After adopting strict sentencing laws in the '80s and '90s, many states have turned to for-profit prisons to handle growing prison populations.
  • A new study in Labour Economics found that privately-run prisons correlate with a rise in incarceration rates and sentence lengths.
  • While evidence is mixed, private prisons do not appear to improve recidivism or cost less than state-run facilities.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Videos

    The art of asking the right questions

    What exactly does "questions are the new answers" mean?

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast