Pokémon discovery

Pokémon discovery refers to previously unknown Pokémon species or regional forms being discovered in-universe, as seen in several forms of Pokémon media.


A Pokémon is said to have been first discovered (Japanese: 最初(さいしょ)発見(はっけん) first discovery), first encountered, or first found in the region where it debuted in the core series games. For instance, all Generation I Pokémon are known as "first discovered in Kanto", while all Generation II Pokémon are known as "first discovered in Johto".

Pokémon GO

In Pokémon GO, the description of some medals mentions Pokémon first discovered in a region:

  • "Register ___ Pokémon first discovered in the Johto region to the Pokédex."
  • "Register ___ Pokémon first discovered in the Hoenn region to the Pokédex."
  • etc.

Professor Willow also mentions Pokémon species or regional forms first discovered in some regions:

  • "The Johto region is a land steeped in history and tradition, where the bygone beauty of Ecruteak City lies just steps away from the modern metropolis of Goldenrod City. It’s also the region where Dark- and Steel-type Pokémon were first discovered!" ("Pokémon GO Tour: Johto")
  • "Jirachi was originally discovered in the Hoenn region, as you may already know. But it’s not the only elusive Pokémon first discovered in that region. It shares that honor with Kecleon, the Color Swap Pokémon." ("Masterwork Research: Wish Granted" event)
  • "It’s a quality that I imagine makes them ideal first partner Pokémon for Trainers starting out in the Kalos region—where Chespin, Quilladin, and Chesnaught were first discovered!" ("Quality Quills" event)
  • "Zigzagoon's fur is normally earthy in hue, but these Zigzagoon are black and white. [...] I see... These Zigzagoon were first discovered in the Galar region."

In particular, the "Gritty and Glacial" event includes an instance of "first found" which was added in the English localization and is not exactly the same in Japanese:

  • Japanese version:「砂漠(さばく)のサンドも(おな)じくらいタフなポケモンだ。」 (The Desert Sandshrew is also a Pokémon about as tough as [Alolan Sandshrew].)
    • English version: "The Sandshrew first found in the Kanto region are quite fascinating in their own right."


This term has been often used on the website Pokémon.com. Some examples:


Generation Region Ndex Species first discovered Regional forms first discovered Game debut
I Kanto #0001–0151 151 Pokémon Pokémon Red and Green (Japan)
Pokémon Red and Blue (international)
II Johto #0152–0251 100 Pokémon Pokémon Gold and Silver
III Hoenn #0252–0386 135 Pokémon Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
IV Sinnoh #0387–0493 107 Pokémon Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
V Unova #0494–0649 156 Pokémon Pokémon Black and White
VI Kalos #0650–0721 72 Pokémon Pokémon X and Y
VII Alola #0722–0807 88 Pokémon 18 Alolan forms Pokémon Sun and Moon (83 Pokémon and 18 Alolan forms)
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (5 Pokémon)
Unknown Origins #0808–0809 2 Pokémon Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
VIII Galar #0810–0898 89 Pokémon 19 Galarian forms Pokémon Sword and Shield (81 Pokémon and 13 Galarian forms)
Pokémon Sword and Shield Version 1.1.0+ (1 Galarian form)
The Isle of Armor (3 Pokémon and 1 Galarian form)
The Crown Tundra (5 Pokémon and 4 Galarian forms)
Hisui #0899–0905 7 Pokémon 16 Hisuian forms Pokémon Legends: Arceus
IX Paldea #0906–1022 117 Pokémon 4 Paldean forms Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Comparison with regional Pokédexes

The newly discovered Pokémon of each region have some overlap with the respective regional Pokédexes, but there are some differences. A regional Pokédex often has several previously discovered Pokémon in addition to the newly discovered Pokémon. For instance, Pikachu was first discovered in Kanto, but it is a member of several regional Pokédexes (Kanto Pokédex, Johto Pokédex, Hoenn Pokédex, Sinnoh Pokédex, etc.)

In the core series games

Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen, Let's Go, Pikachu!, and Let's Go, Eevee!

In Generation I and III, according to the Pokémon Mansion journals, Mew was a Pokémon discovered in the jungle, in Guyana, South America. In Generation VII, the reference to Guyana was removed, although Mew was still said to be discovered in the jungle. Additionally, Mewtwo was a Pokémon artificially created as a clone of Mew.

Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver

A non-player character in New Bark Town claims that Professor Elm discovered new Pokémon.

In Generation II only, Jasmine and the Cianwood Gym guide mention that the Steel-type was recently discovered. This references the fact that this type was introduced in this generation. Those remarks are absent in the Generation IV remakes.

In Generation IV, it is said that in addition to the 26 original Unown forms, 2 more forms have been discovered: "There aren't just 26 different kinds of Unown. Two more have been discovered! But that begs the question of where those other two kinds are hiding..." In addition, Unown Report's description says that this item is a report of the discovered kinds of Unown.

In Generation IV, a non-player character in Goldenrod City says: "I wonder how many kinds of Pokémon there are in the world. A long time ago, Professor Oak said there were 150 different kinds... Since then, many new Pokémon have been discovered in different regions. There are almost 500 different kinds known now..."

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

According to the Pikachu Professor quiz at the Pikachu Valley, it is said that Professor Elm was the first person to discover the existence of Pichu.

Pokédex entries

Some Pokédex entries mention the discovery of certain Pokémon:

  • Voltorb was discovered at a company that manufactures Poké Balls.
  • Doduo was discovered as a sudden mutation.
  • Lunatone was discovered 40 years ago where a meteor fell.
  • Solrock is described as a new Pokémon species.
  • Baltoy was discovered in ancient ruins.
  • Relicanth was discovered in deep-sea explorations.
  • Roggenrola was discovered 100 years ago in an earthquake fissure.
  • Elgyem was discovered 50 years ago.
  • Rolycoly was discovered 400 years ago in coal mines.
  • Marshadow went undiscovered for a long time.

In Generation III game data, this is the placeholder text for an unknown Pokédex entry: "This is a newly discovered Pokémon. It is currently under investigation. No detailed information is available at this time."

In the books

Pocket Monsters Encyclopedia

Pocket Monsters Encyclopedia contains the original story of the first systematic study of Pokémon.

  • The first 30 Pokémon were discovered and scientifically described by a French author, Baron Tajirin in the late 18th century.
  • Up to 80 Pokémon have been discovered at the time of Professor Nishinomori's life, the leader in the study of Pokémon in Japan who published the paper “An Observation on the Evolution of Pikachu” in 1899, where he described his observation that Pikachu and Raichu are actually the same creature, but one of them was evolved. At this time Professor Nishinomori have done an experiment with Primeape that shrunk into Poké Ball, therefore it was one of the discovered Pokémon then.
  • As of 1996, the total of 150 Pokémon were discovered thanks to work of scientists like Professor Oak.
  • Bulbasaur was discovered at least 6 years before 1996 because that's long how scientists have been debating if it should be classified as a plant or an animal.
  • Gyarados's most recent documented specimen was a corpse washed up on shore 35 years before the publication of the book.
  • Doduo is described to be discovered 3 years before the book publication and speculated to be a mutation.
  • Farfetch'd have been reported on the deliciousness of cooking it with their stalk several years back.
  • Grimer came to life from a toxic sludge transformed by the X-rays from the moon. It was first discovered in empty lots behind factories.
  • Porygon was created in 1995 when Silph Co. successfully applied state-of-the-art technology to create this man-made Pokémon.
  • Koffing was first discovered in a munitions factory, however their habitat has grown in recent years.
  • Kabutops's one and only fossil was discovered 6 years before the book's time in a soil horizon approximately two million years old.
  • Dratini was discovered by a lucky angler who happened to catch a Dratini in the Safari Zone's pond and became an overnight sensation with news of the discovery exploding globally.
  • In his lecture, Bill gets a message about the 151st Pokémon being discovered.

In the anime

In early episodes the anime, it was often said that there are only either 150 or 151 known Pokémon species in the world. In Mystery at the Lighthouse, Bill mentions the idea that there may be even more Pokémon that have not been discovered yet.

In the anime episodes released in Generation II, the Pokémon found in Johto have been originally introduced as newly discovered, previously unknown species. However, in Generations II and III, it is established that the multiple regions simply have their own Pokémon which are often well-known to the inhabitants of each region rather than new discoveries. This includes several regions with known events from decades or centuries in the past, including the native Pokémon of each region, contrary to the belief that those Pokémon were previously unknown.

During a quiz that was part of the Pokémon League Admissions Exam, Jessie answered that Koffing was first discovered in a public bathhouse. This contradicts the Team Rocket expansion's Koffing card stating that Koffing was discovered in a weapons factory. This may be either because Jessie answered the question incorrectly, or due to an inconsistency between the TCG and anime.

In the manga

Pokémon Adventures

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.

Red, Green & Blue arc

In this arc, it is said that 150 Pokémon were known to exist, until Mewtwo is artificially created as the 151st known Pokémon.

Gold, Silver & Crystal arc

At the start of this arc, it is said that new Pokémon have been discovered in the Johto region, contrary to the previous belief that there are only 151 Pokémon. Professor Oak hires Crystal to complete the Pokédex after Red and Blue previously failed to complete the Pokédex and went to pursue other goals. However, at the end of this arc, after Crystal's success in completing the Pokédex with the 251 Pokémon from Kanto and Johto, Professor Oak decides to hide from her that even more Pokémon have been discovered in Hoenn.

In the TCG

See also


  This game-related article is part of Project Games, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon games.