Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
These mascots are actually kind of cute.
The non-human faces of Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics will be a cat that's not a cat and tree that's not a tree.
Unveiled early Monday, the mascots were, according to the Games' website, born from the "explosion of happiness" that occurred in Rio on October 2, 2009, when the city's bid to host the Games was selected. Jacques Rogge's voice holds fertile powers.
Though the mascots were conceived five years ago (more on that below), both remain nameless.
Non-Cat, who'll represent the Olympic games, is a "a mixture of all the Brazilian animals"; he lives in the Tijuca forest and claims to always hang out around Rio. His best friend and Paralympics mascot, Non-Tree, is a fusion of Brazil's native plants. Less of an urbanite, Non-Tree has a love for napping on water lilies and the ability to pull various objects out of his leafy hair at will.
On the mascots' official site, voters can choose between three sets of names: "Oba and Eba," "Tiba Tuque and Esquindim," or "Vinicius and Tom."
You can vote for your favorite pair of names here. And if you need a video summarizing their conception and first few years of life, that exists:
No matter what they end up being called, they're already a lot better than the terrifying, one-eyed duo of Wenlock and Mandeville that London rolled out for the 2012 Games.