The animals are created using only the lines, stations and junctions of underground railway maps. They were first spotted in the world famous London Underground map by designer and illustrator, Paul Middlewick in 1988.
The original animal, the elephant, was discovered while Paul was staring at the London Underground map (or, more commonly known as the ‘tube’ map) during his daily journey home from work. The more he looked, the more animals he found and the elephant was quickly joined by many other cute animals from the tube map including a bat, a cat, a polar bear, several dogs and even a bottlenose whale.
In 2001 Paul was joined by Nick Thomas and together they approached Transport for London (who own the copyright for the London Underground map) for permission to use the map officially to develop what became known as ‘Animals on the Underground’ and to establish the web site. Permission was granted and the licensing team at Transport for London became our most treasured supporters and remain so to this day.
Paul is always looking for new animals. Incredibly, he still finds them in the London Underground map. And, in response to many requests, he has now expanded his search to other maps from metro systems around the world and now has collections of animals on the Moscow Metro, Paris Metro and the New York Subway.
Keep checking this website, or sign-up to our newsletter, as there will be yet more animals coming from around the world!
We want the world to know about the Animals!
Already popular in many countries around the world, and appreciated throughout the internet as a fantastic, unique creative concept; the recently revealed ‘hidden world of the Animals’ promises to open a whole world of opportunities to us.
Along with an endless series of storybooks, we hope to produce an animated TV series, toys, an extended clothing range and a whole range of branded materials.
We are looking for sponsors and partners who can work with us to make the world of the Animals come to life. If you can help, or are interested in developing commercial opportunities, please get in touch with Nick Thomas on 07813 099141 or fill in the contact form below:
If you prefer to write to us, our address is:
Animals on the Underground
1 Noel Street
London W1F 8GA