You'll be well aware beauty pageants are a place for beautiful gowns, tiaras and sparkles.

But while the swimwear component is out these days, did you know about the section that still allows for some Victoria's Secret-style outfits to make their way into the competition?

This year you'll find contestants clad in feathers, wearing baskets of Banh Mi, sprouting plastic foliage and flashing mermaid tails.

Welcome to the real treat in the annual beauty event that is Miss Universe: The national costume section.


Previous years have included Miss America as a Transformer, Miss Zambia as a gourd and Miss Canada as an ice hockey scoreboard.

Here are 10 of 2018's most outlandish offerings.

Miss Bahamas

While we can't be 100 per cent sure, we are hedging our bets on this one being a pineapple, complete with sequin embellishments.

Unfortunately for Miss Bahamas, transport was not kind to her fruity frock, ripping the bottom section between the structural hula hoops.

Miss El Salvador

Miss El Salvador came in hot with this look, which featured, well, everything. From the sequinned sword to the masks and the boots, this costume packed all the wow factor elements in.

Comprising of an insane amount of feathers, one is left only to question how many birds had to die to achieve this level of extra.

Miss Ecuador

Birds were clearly a popular choice for this year's national costumes, and Miss Ecuador didn't disappoint.

Her beak was bent out of shape and looked more like a carrot, but we cannot deny the sparkle power of this meticulously bedazzled outfit.

Miss Finland

It's likely that when Miss Finland signed up for beauty pageants, she never imagined rocking antlers on a world stage would be part of the deal.

Clearly, she was up for the challenge, pairing the sequined moose horns with a white leopard print dress that would have made Betty Rubble jealous.

Miss Japan

Miss Japan rocked a cosplay-inspired look from the iconic Japanese animation franchise "Sailor Moon."

For those who weren't familiar with the sisters of the moon, the announcer was quick to clear things up, stating: "It's the female version of a ninja."

No, Janette, it's actually about fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight, never running from a real fight, because she's the one, named Sailor Moon. Duh.

Miss USA

Miss USA, appropriately named Sarah Rose Summers, rocked the country's national flower, right on top of her perfectly groomed noggin.

With all the birds in this year's parade, we can only hope she didn't have any unwanted landings atop her nectar-filled forehead.

Regardless, she earned bonus points from us for tying together her country's flower and her own name in the process.

Miss Peru

In a nod to national folklore, Miss Peru dressed as a siren with a sparkling silver mermaid tail.

"[Miss Peru] grew up hearing stories of spirits who live in the jungle . . . One of the sirens turned herself into a beautiful woman and captivated with her beautiful voice," the announcer said.

Well, she certainly captivated us with this look.

Miss Vietnam

Miss Vietnam is resplendent in a pate-wrapped dress adorned with Banh Mi. Photo / AP
Miss Vietnam is resplendent in a pate-wrapped dress adorned with Banh Mi. Photo / AP

Miss Vietnam no doubt made the famished contestants' tummies rumble as she posed in a basket of her country's signature sandwich, Banh Mi.

While we're impressed by how much her bodice looks like she's actually been wrapped in pate and sprinkled with chili flakes, the best part about the tasty look is that she seems genuinely thrilled to be wearing tiny Banh Mi earrings and parading a fully packed sandwich basket.

Miss Puerto Rico

Miss Puerto Rico's outfit symbolised Puerto Rico rising up out of the ocean after the hurricane Maria disaster.

The truly enormous hands symbolise those who helped Puerto Rico in a time of need. While Donald Trump claimed to have been a big help to the country, his tiny hands don't appear to have received a shout out.

Miss Laos

Miss Laos knew she couldn't pull off this look alone, so she brought along two friends for the ride.

The entirely gold outfit speaks for itself, really. It is the veritable definition of extra.

Miss Thailand

There's something Dark Vadar-esque about Miss Thailand's giant elephant head. How she saw her way down the runway is anyone's guess, too.

What about Miss New Zealand?

Perhaps we're a little bias but Miss New Zealand's kowhai-inspired gown is comparatively tasteful.

The dress itself is flattering and does well to remain elegant while having a bit of fun with the exaggerated sleeve and headgear.