If you’ve never heard of Enneagram before, it has become a huge trend in the last year. You may have seen some popular social media accounts regarding “types,” like Enneagram and Coffee or Socialenneagram on Instagram, that categorize your favorite show characters and different life situations based on a system of numbers 1-9.
These accounts use the Enneagram system to label personalities. Enneagram is a personality test created by the Enneagram Institute that is scary accurate and divides people up into 9 different categories (Shout out to my 2w1!). These categories also have “wings,” which show other type characteristics your answers to the test embody. If you haven’t taken the test, want to find out your type, or want more information about a type, you can click here. This website is not the original website since you have to pay for the original quiz, so this is a free option that is just as accurate (because, in the words of Ellie Schnitt, “we’re always a slut for an online quiz.”). If you want to find more about the Enneagrams or see the original test, click here.
Once you know your Enneagram, the next part is even more fun! Find out what your animal equivalent is based on the qualities and values of your Enneagram type below.
Enneagram 1: The Reformer- The Rational, Idealistic Type
Traits: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
Enneagram 1’s have a tendency to believe nothing is ever good enough and are therefore perfect perfectionists. Their perfectionism leads them to be super detailed oriented and always strive to be better. Based on this description, the beaver is the perfect animal equivalent. Beaver’s are considered nature’s engineers. Beaver’s spend almost the entire year preparing their homes by building dams to create ponds. These animals go through an extremely methodological, precise process to create their homes. They gather wood by using their tails to prop them up, and using their teeth to chip away at tree trunks. The beaver then breaks it down into smaller pieces to transport and places the wood deep into mud to create their dam. Additional wood is stored in other places as food for the winter.
If that isn’t perfectionism, rationalism, and detail-oriented and purposeful action, I don’t know what is.
Enneagram 2: The Helper- The Caring, Interpersonal Type
Traits: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
Enneagram 2’s are known to be the loving, empathetic, and warm-hearted type. They often go out of their way to do things for others and can even become possessive at times of those they love. They show genuine love and concern to the people they care for, even at their own demise.
Elephants are the perfect animal to represent Enneagram 2’s. Not only are they extremely intelligent and loving, but they are the only animals (other than humans) to mourn their dead and complete a burial.
These animals show their compassion for their young ones in many different ways. While most animals would not be afraid to let the weak or young be picked off, elephants show visible signs of distress. When an elephant dies, the others in the family investigate and become completely silent. They investigate the scene by gently running their trunk along the corpse, all while staying in silence. The elephants will then sometimes cover the dead with soil and vegetation to complete their own type of burial. The elephant's mood will be reflected in their body language. Mother elephants of dead calves will mourn as well, and droop their ears to show their depressed mood. Elephants have also been known to return to the burial site of others in their herd and stay for many days to grieve their loved ones.
These animals show their compassion, possession, and protection of others in their heard through their rituals and actions, just like a human Enneagram 2 would.
Enneagram 3: The Achiever- The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type
THE EMPEROR PENGUIN
Traits: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
Enneagram 3’s are often confident, attractive, and charming. They are ambitious and want to achieve at the highest level, regardless of how difficult it is to get there. They are usually well regarded and respected by their peers.
Although many Enneagram 3’s will roll their eyes and disagree with a penguin being their animal equivalent, these driven creatures are essentially the Enneagram 3’s of the wild.
Emperor penguins are some of the most intense survivalists alive and are the largest penguin in the world. They are the only animal able to inhabit Antarctica during the winter and face wind chills as cold as -60 degrees Fahrenheit. These determined birds can swim up to 12 miles per hour (about twice as fast as Michael Phelps could swim), hold their breath for up to 20 minutes, and dive deeper than any bird at up to 1,870 feet (about 5 football fields).
Not only are these penguins able to survive at the highest level in the most difficult conditions, but they also make dedicated mates. Emperor penguins will walk up to 75 miles just to find a mate. Once the mating process is completed, the male Emperor penguin will sit on the eggs for up to 65 days with no break and no food to ensure the chicks will survive the harsh conditions.
Not only are these animals confident in their abilities, but they are also ambitious and unbelievable at besting other animals in their survival abilities. These penguins make the perfect Enneagram 3’s in the wild.
Enneagram 4: The Individualist- The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type
THE HOGNOSE SNAKE
Traits: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
Enneagram 4’s are known to be creative and self-aware. They often withhold from others to protect themselves from feeling vulnerable. At their worst, 4’s can be dramatic and tempermental to others. Henceforth: the Hognose Snake.
If you have never heard of these snakes before, you are in for a treat. These snakes may just be as dramatic as a 13-year-old girl.
These snakes have an upturned snout (even their appearance is dramatic), and their individualized color that can range anywhere from orange to solid black. When Hognoses are threatened, they will puff out their necks and try to appear like a cobra to ward off predators. They will also hiss loudly to try to sound tough, even though these snakes rarely bite.
The kicker is this: if the snake is still being attacked, it will fake its own death by opening its mouth, rolling over onto its back, and writhing around. It will then still itself, open its mouth, stick its tongue out, and stay completely still. If the snake gets rolled onto its belly by the predator or by a human, it will flip itself back over onto its back to continue its act of playing dead.
Don’t believe me that this is the most dramatic animal in the kingdom? Check out this video here.
Enneagram 5: The Investigator- The Intense, Cerebral Type
Traits: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
Enneagram 5’s are insightful, curious, and independent. This type of person enjoys searching and delving deep into whatever they are involved with. They can often be intense and isolated in their most extreme forms.
These rare cats, called Margays, live in South America. They are extremely mysterious because they are mostly nocturnal and spend their entire lives living in the treetops of the forests. Not much is known about their habits because they are so hidden in their environment.
Margays are ultra-independent and only meet up with others of their kind to mate. They are one of the only cats to have such flexible ankles that they can climb down trees to get to their prey. Another thing that makes The margay is the equivalent of an Enneagram 5 is their sneaky, intense eating patterns. These animals will actually mimic the sound of their prey’s young (for instance, they would mimic a baby monkey) to attract the parent as their next meal. These cats are willing to study their prey for a long period of time to be able to perfect those sounds and gain their next big catch.
Enneagram 6: The Loyalist- The Committed, Security-Oriented Type
Traits: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
When most people think of loyal animals, they often think of wolves or dogs. But one surprising loyal animal in the kingdom? Swans.
Swans actually mate for life, and pairs stay together all year long. These animals show their affection by kissing- or the swan version, touching their beaks together. If one of the partners of the pair dies, the other swan can, in fact, die from a broken heart (I’m starting to think swans have a better love life than I do, by the way.)
Not only are swans loyal to their partner, but they are extremely loyal to their young as well. Baby swans stay with their parents until they are at least 4 years old and deemed ready to go find a mate. In addition, during breeding seasons, the parents will aggressively defend their territory from anything that comes by to ensure the protection of their young. Just like human Enneagram 6’s, swans are extremely anxious and suspicious when it comes to important things like their young ones and will do anything to protect them from harm or predators.
Enneagram 7: The Enthusiast- The Busy, Fun Loving-Type
THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Traits: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
7’s are often extroverted, spontaneous, playful, and high-spirited. They see the world with curiosity and optimism, and they constantly seek new and adventurous experiences. Enneagram 7’s can tire from being on the go constantly and are known as impatient and impulsive at their worst.
In writing this article, I tried to pick unique animals that perfectly fits the type description (and allow you to learn some fun facts, too). However, I cannot think of a better animal to describe a “fun-loving, spontaneous” type.
Although not unique, the Golden Retriever is known for being high energy, silly, and loveable. They love to swim and play, and they make great therapy dogs.
They are also just downright adorable. If you haven’t heard of Tucker Budzyn on Facebook, check out his ultra-cute videos here.
Enneagram 8: The Challenger- The Powerful, Dominating Type
THE HONEY BADGER
Traits: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
When people think of the strongest animal, they may think of a lion or tiger. But in fact, there is an even better animal to represent Type 8’s that can be domineering, assertive, strong, and have a major temper: the infamous honey badger.
Declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Most Fearless Animal,” these animals are also ranked the #1 Toughest Animal in the World by Esquire. The honey badger is an incredibly smart, mean little guy with a huge attitude.
Honey badgers have extremely sharp teeth and long claws, and they can chomp hard enough to break a tortoises shell. They are known to kill bigger animals for food and eat the entire thing (including skin and bones) and steal food from any animal of any size. They have their own built-in protection with their tough skin, which is so thick it can resist bee stings, porcupine quills, and dog bites. Just like a skunk, these creatures can also release a stink bomb as protection when threatened.
When it comes down to it, honey badgers are the bad a** kings of the kingdom. They’ve got the skills to be dominant and the protection of their own bodies to help them be strong and assertive. Just like a Type 8, I wouldn’t want to mess with these animals, especially not on a bad day.
And, of course:
Enneagram 9: The Peacemaker- The Easy Going, Self-Effacing Type
Traits: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, Complacent
Enneagram 9’s are known for being peaceful, stable, and just wanting everyone to get along. They will do practically anything to help keep the peace in a large group, and in the ocean, the manatee is definitely the main Enneagram 9.
The manatee is a large, slow-moving sea-bear-creature-looking-thing that only swims between 3-5 miles per hour. Even their habitat is easy going: they only live in shallow, slow-moving water. Manatees have no natural predators in the wild and only eat plants in the ocean (what better way to keep the peace then not eat anyone?).
Manatees are known to be super gentle and spend most of their days eating, sleeping, or traveling their shallow waters. They are extremely friendly and often nuzzle and play with each other and humans they come in contact with.
These gentle giants are the best representation of Type 9’s with their peaceful, easy way of living. In today’s society, everyone should try to be more like a manatee. Big shout out to the 9’s that are already there!