The badgermole is an enormous, blind mammal native to the Earth Kingdom. Primarily subterranean creatures, badgermoles were the first to master earthbending and the original instructors from which humans first learned the art.
The badgermoles first taught earthbending to Oma and Shu, helping them to create a maze of tunnels through the mountains dividing their two villages. Many centuries later, they were encountered by Toph Beifong in a cave after she ran away from home as a child. Given their shared blindness, they were able to understand each other and helped the young girl to develop her skill in the bending art. According to Toph, the badgermoles' earthbending was an extension of their senses and their way of interacting with the world, and she learned from them by copying their movements as they navigated the tunnels.
Several years later, Team Avatar and a group of nomads they were travelling with got lost in the passages under the Kolau Mountains due to the badgermoles changing the layout of the underground network with their earthbending. The badgermoles eventually encountered some of the group and reacted to their appearance aggressively; they were ultimately pacified, however, after the nomads serenaded them with music, and allowed the travellers to ride them out the other side of the cave.
In 174 AG, when Kuvira invaded Republic City, two badgermoles at the city's zoo were freed by Prince Wu, who guided them with his singing toward Central City Station. Ordered by song, the badgermoles started to tunnel underneath the city and took down three mecha suits of the military of the Earth Empire when they threatened Prince Wu and several evacuees.
Badgermoles are enormous in size and have brown fur with one white stripe between two black ones running down their backs and white, mask-like patches on their faces. They have long tails and five claws on each paw.
Badgermoles use their noses and sensitive whiskers to inspect objects in front of them. Although they have vestigial eyes, evolutionary leftovers from long-forgotten times when they lived above ground, badgermoles are more-or-less blind; their earthbending abilities allow them to feel the presence of their surroundings in recompense.
Badgermoles use their tongues to lick in order to show their affection, an action seen when Toph first met them. They enjoy hearing music, which seems to put them in an almost tranquil state in which one can get them to do nearly anything.
Badgermoles use earthbending to form tunnels and travel underground, where they live and hunt for prey such as wolfbats. When fully and properly tamed, badgermoles can be used as beasts of burden and can perform tasks such as paving pathways or clearing stone debris, such as during the Earth Rumble tournament.
The badgermole resembles a cross between the American badger and the common mole. The facial coloring and white back stripe of the badgermole resemble the badger whereas its claws, tail, and eyes are indicative of the mole's. Both animals are among the best diggers in the animal kingdom: badgers are powerful diggers that can dig through the toughest earth, and moles, also quick diggers, almost "swim" through the earth.
- Badgermoles are the only original animal benders that aren't known to be a companion to an Avatar: Roku had Fang, a dragon, as a lifelong friend, and Aang had Appa, a flying bison.
- Due to the badgermole's importance in Earth Kingdom history, the animal has had an influence on the art of the nation.
- Kyoshi earthbent two statues of badgermoles while in the Avatar State in a vision given to Aang by Roku.
- The earth monarch's throne in the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace is designed after a badgermole.
- Two bagdermole statues are found outside the Earth King's palace. These stone sculptures were launched at Team Avatar by the Royal Earthbender Guards when the Avatar and his friends attempted to break into the Royal Palace.
- Ornate badgermole statues are also found in the ruins of Taku.
- The Boulder had a tattoo of a purple badgermole on his back.
- After the Hundred Year War, a pro-bending team named itself the Ba Sing Se Badgermoles.