Buncha muncha cruncha humans
December 16, 2011 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Dear Humanity, I'm afraid I have some bad news. Nature wants to eat you. SLTumblr. NSFPeople who are frightened of pictures of terrifying organisms.
posted by Horace Rumpole (80 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think there should be baby birds with hooks on their beaks that they use to kill other baby birds. That's just my opinion, though.
posted by redsparkler at 5:22 PM on December 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


Nature wants to eat you.

No shit. (I was diagnosed with scabies today)
posted by jonmc at 5:24 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


NONONONO NOT CLICKING THAT LINK NOT CLICKING THAT LINK
posted by The Devil Tesla at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2011


can a brave person let me know if this link is SFA (safe for arachnophobes)?
thanks!
posted by supermedusa at 5:26 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


why would you do this!!
posted by One Thousand and One at 5:28 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear Nature,

Not if I eat you first.

Love,

Humanity
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:28 PM on December 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


Nope supermedusa, not at all.
posted by pajamazon at 5:29 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


house centipedes are the WORST
posted by Hoopo at 5:30 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


house centipedes are the WORST

Worse even than House Republicans?
posted by the noob at 5:33 PM on December 16, 2011 [21 favorites]


"Sometimes I wonder about the creator of the universe" - Kurt Vonnegut
posted by jcreigh at 5:44 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Conveniently there are also a great many things which want to eat the things which want to eat me. And I wish them the best in all their endeavours.

"Look at it go!" - Kurt Vonnegut
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 5:49 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


No shit. (I was diagnosed with scabies today)

Sympathies. Had these in high school at one point. To this day, every time I get a weird bit of rash or dried skin, I think, "oh god oh god please no". Unfortunately, eczema runs in the family, so this freakout is not as rare as I might like.
posted by curious nu at 5:49 PM on December 16, 2011


house centipedes are the WORST

I'm not afraid of much, but those things freak me the fuck out.
posted by Flashman at 5:52 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


NSFA. As an arachnaphobe, I should have known better. Fortunately, its only one.

Goblin shark... Goblin shark? Goblin shark.
posted by Slackermagee at 5:53 PM on December 16, 2011


Hey, goblin shark! Giger did it better.
posted by likeso at 5:53 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


yeah, curious nu, I kinda wish it was scurvy so could run around "Yarr" ing everybody but scabies dosent have it's own cliche interjection sadly.
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on December 16, 2011


"Why, look you, I am whipp’d and scourged with rods,
Nettled and stung with pismires, when I hear
Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke."

An argument against evolution.
posted by Mblue at 5:57 PM on December 16, 2011


The click-through article about Humboldt Squids ganging up on a diver is amazing. And terrifying.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:00 PM on December 16, 2011


Oh god, this one has to be the worst one. Tongue-eating louse.

You know how it goes: one day you’re swimming happily along, and then a parasitic louse swims through your gills, drinks all the blood from your tongue until it wastes away and then insinuates its own body in the now empty space. It must be Thursday.

Well it might not be the worst one, but I stopped there.
posted by Glinn at 6:00 PM on December 16, 2011


Honeyguide don't care. Honeyguide hatches first and stabs other chicks to death with its sharp bill-hook.
posted by oulipian at 6:10 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, I grew up in Florida. It was pretty evident to me early on that from the sharks and gators to the aggressive poisonous/barbed bugs to the aggressive poisonous/barbed flora to the godawful heat and humidity that nature does not want us there and is telling us to go away.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:18 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fabulous post! Would click again. Seriously, this would be totally great even without the tongue louse.

Once I was staying at a friend's house, and for some reason they often had 1/2" of water in the basement. Late one night I was down in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, and across the room I saw a ginormous (to a Canadian, ok? someone not used to insects bigger than 2" or so) centipede with really long legs run up one side of the bathtub, down the inside, up the other side, and then disappear into the darkness beyond. Now, I love insects, but that kind of weirded me out. Did I mention the 1/2" of water, and the pieces of wood that made stepping stones to the stairs, and the bare feet?

Also, check out this book.
posted by sneebler at 6:33 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


children, this is why. when the dove came back to the ark with the olive branch, Noah found the formulation for DDT written on the back of one leaf and the recipe for gunpowder on another.
posted by Chrischris at 6:33 PM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I am delicious.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:45 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


sneebler, that was a house centipede. They live in basements and come out when it gets wet.

Consequently, this past summer I lived in a basement and it often got wet. So there I was on my computer, when I see on my left GIANT FUCKING SEGMENTED MONSTER INCHES FROM MY FACE. I'm glad no one else was home, because I screamed like a little girl. I know from countless research that they pose me little harm but man, they are segmented, multi-legged, stripey and worst of all, FAST. Every part of me screams that is the enemy. And I say this as a kid who loved staring at millipedes and all manner of spiders in my grandmother's garden in India.
posted by Seiten Taisei at 6:49 PM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


...nature does not want us there and is telling us to go away.

Oh, Greg_Ace, I hear you. One of the recurring themes while travelling with Dutch folks is trying to get them to understand this. They have no Concept of Nature. They live in a denatured construct of a country. They watch nature documentaries and want to step into the frames. They want go blithely bippity-boppiting around mountains, deserts and seas.

("No, you do not pick up some random insect you do not recognize to look at it." "You hear that snorting? That is a rhinoceros. It is a female. Accompanied by her young. Get back into the jeep." "You may think it a fun challenge to play 'calculate the exact distance to the next gas pump and drive riiight up until the needle's on E' but I don't. You wanna play this game in the Mojave, you play alone." "When your horse is snorting and whiting his eyes and rearing up at that path, you might want to rethink your route. Yes, there are bears here. No, they are not cute." "That is a stonefish. I cannot carry you. Please do not nudge it." Etc.)
posted by likeso at 6:50 PM on December 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


that was a house centipede. They come from the gaping ass of Hell and look like evil mustaches.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:57 PM on December 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Those cookie cutter sharks freak me out. The story of the dude swimming open channels at night in Hawaii? With lights? That would freak me the fuck out. I couldn't handle that. The lights attract all manners of fish and predators, including those evil little bastards.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:06 PM on December 16, 2011


that was a house centipede. They come from the gaping ass of Hell and look like evil mustaches.

Someone once referred to them as "speeding eyebrows" and that's all they will ever be to me now.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:06 PM on December 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Having accidentally once googled "goblin shark" after hearing a character on TV use it to disparage another character, I am afraid that this FPP is dead to me.
posted by pineapple at 7:07 PM on December 16, 2011




That baby is huge.
posted by curious nu at 7:24 PM on December 16, 2011


So much hate for centipedes.

Have you heard the one about the guy that wanted a truly unique pet? So, he goes to the pet store and asks for a truly unique pet, and the clerk sells him a talking centipede.

The guy takes his new pet home.

The centipede is in a box, doing nothing, and the guy gets impatient and says, "hey centipede, wanna go to the park?" He gets no response.

So he asks again, "I said, hey centipede, wanna go to the park?". Again, no response.

The guy is getting really frustrated now, so he taps on the box and again asks, "hey centipede, wanna go to the park"

At that point the centipede hollers back, " I heard you the first time, I'm putting my shoes on."

Unrelated, I once had a baby sea lamprey squirming between my toes, inside my tennis shoe, while wading in the Manistee River in Michigan. THAT was creepy.
posted by bricksNmortar at 7:36 PM on December 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Someone once referred to them as "speeding eyebrows"

That was me! Me and some roommates used to have these in an apartment in an old wood frame building we lived in. Every now and then someone would scream "AARGH EYEBROW!" and smuck one with my Econ 101 textbook (I dropped the class and this was it's designated purpose). Even grosser? Because they're so fast sometimes you'd only squish half of one and the rest would keep moving. FUCK. My hair is standing up on end just thinking about those little fuckers.
posted by Hoopo at 8:22 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Now what sort of man or woman or monster would stroke a centipede I have ever seen? 'And here is my good big centipede!' If such a man exists, I say kill him without more ado. He is a traitor to the human race." - William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:24 PM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've said it before and I'll say it again, "Mother Nature, she is one amazing, scary bitch."

That's why I stay home.
posted by shoesietart at 8:25 PM on December 16, 2011


Goblin shark

oh my god no why why
posted by elizardbits at 8:26 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The leatherback turtle reminds me of the sarlacc pit
posted by Hoopo at 8:42 PM on December 16, 2011


So, I have a CPAP, and I use tap water, and then I see this article about amoebas in water and people dying because they use tap water in their neti pots and get infected by this brain eating amoeba and...

I think I'm gonna start to make sure I use distilled water from now on!!!
posted by symbioid at 8:47 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love using neti pot. There is no need to use distilled water. Please use neti pot with normal water now. It is very good.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:14 PM on December 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


What is UP with all of the jaw launching animals out there in the world? Not quite the tongue louse, sure, but the idea of Alien-esque jaws emerging from some animal's throat sends me into a dither, and for good measure, also a lather. Too much jaw launching occurring in nature nowadays. Please, oh please....stay off of my lawn. And my pillow. And if you could exit my imagination, why that would be just lovely.
posted by but no cigar at 9:32 PM on December 16, 2011


Great site! Had not heard of the goblin shark or cookie cutter shark before - showing pictures and video to everyone at work, all the better to horrify.

Re: Komodo dragon. Had the chance to see a pair at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle some years ago. Went with a couple friends. Dragons are behind glass in their own area, kind of a hallway open at both ends to the outside. So, facing dragons, outside to right and left, info wall behind. Hall is mostly quiet, kind of dark. Suddenly, one friends starts screaming incoherently. She's standing at one of the outside openings, everyone is jumping away from her, counting how many dragons are still behind the glass. Finally, she has words - "RAT! RAT! RAT!" Yeah, a wild mouse ran across the path in front of her. Scarier than the dragons we'd come to see!
posted by dorey_oh at 10:04 PM on December 16, 2011


We had an infestation of house centipedes. Like, multiple seen at a time in a single room. They sometimes crawled on the ceiling.

Sometimes they fell off the wall. One time they fell into the sink. At that time my s/o screamed "It killed itself! It killed itself!"

They are the fucking F-14 of insects.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:09 PM on December 16, 2011


Many years ago now, I was chillin' in the living room after work, and a centipede crawled up out of the air-return vent across the room from me, and zipped in a straight line toward me. I barely had time to react before it disappeared under the couch. "Oh, well", I thought, "it's got other business than to freak me out", and I went back to calmly watching tv.

I was mistaken. Twenty minutes later, I saw movement where there shouldn't be any: My shoulder. I had my shirt off in about two seconds, and the centipede dropped off onto the floor, and before it could reach the refuge of the couch, I swung my shirt at it as hard and fast as I could, sweeping it from immediate view.

Once I finished checking my shirt for centipede, and found none, and started to calm down, I happened to glance over at the front door. There lay the dead centipede, right below a splat on the door, about two inches or so off the floor.

Strangely, once I found out they eat insects, my mind shelved them next to spiders, and they don't bother me any more. I don't jump like most people do, I just shrug and go back to what I'm doing.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:34 PM on December 16, 2011


Strangely, once I found out they eat insects, my mind shelved them next to spiders, and they don't bother me any more. I don't jump like most people do, I just shrug and go back to what I'm doing.

I am totally down with spiders. They're usually pretty chill and, as you point out, they eat bugs. House centipedes also eat bugs, but they really are quite perfectly designed to give people the horrors. They have a fleshy color, they crawl, but also have a long body so they can slither, too. They have way, way too many legs, which also happen to be whispy. They really hit all the gross-out buttons at once.

For me, the most horrible thing about these creatures is that they are called house centipedes, as if that is their natural, rightful place in the world. Presumptuous little fuckers, aren't they?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:51 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tom Bombadil's army is in place, and has been ready for thousands of years.
posted by Xoebe at 1:02 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


From redsparkler's link:

"somehow, the chick managed to stab its bill hook through Ranger’s tongue"
posted by idiopath at 1:49 AM on December 17, 2011


"I am totally down with spiders. They're usually pretty chill and, as you point out, they eat bugs."

Yeah, same here. I find it pretty interesting why a bunch of people have primal fear reactions to spiders and some others, like us, don't. In general, I'm pretty creeped-out by insects. I'm frightened out of reason by flying, stinging insects—including bees, which I know to be mostly harmless. Nevertheless, it took me years to learn to inhibit my impulse to run away. Like into adulthood years.

And my disgust reaction to cockroaches is almost limitless. I'm not sure that I would say I "fear" them, except insofar that I am so intensely disgusted by them and despise them, that my reaction is not that different.

But the cockroach thing might be a clue because, according to my mom, when I was a baby we lived in an apartment that was badly infested with cockroaches and I suspect that's when I acquired my strong feelings against them. Maybe I just never had a similar experience with spiders.

And, like you guys, I find that the fact that spiders eat other bugs to be very much in their favor. When I see one, I always think, "go eat some cockroaches, my friend".

A biologist has a blog, I believe, just like this tumblr and that's where I first learned of the tongue louse. That blog may have even been posted here on MeFi, I can't recall. While the tongue louse isn't directly threatening to we people, what it is and does is so repulsive and horrifying that it almost doesn't matter. That simply should not exist.

Also, I notice that they've included a yawning hippo. Interestingly, hippos are among the most dangerous-to-humans animals in the world. They are easily startled, freak out when that happens and run to deeper water, and tend to rest in the water almost invisibly which makes it very easy for boaters to accidentally...startle them. They will bite, but I think most deaths are due to trampling when an unlucky person finds themselves between the freaked hippo and its safe place.

For those interested in this sort of subject, I've heard that Carl Zimmer's book, Parasite Rex is quite good and quite terrifying. I've heard from people studying parasitology that learning about parasites is a good way to learn to completely fear the natural world, especially with regard to mind control. Tinfoil hats won't help.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:52 AM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I awoke one night with an intense throbbing in the middle finger of my left hand — I had to take painkillers just to sleep that night and the next. The finger hurt quite sharply for the next six months and ached for the eighteen months after that whenever I was tired. I had no idea what was causing the pain until I pulled off the bedding to wash it. There between the fitted sheet and the underblanket was a dead centipede.

Hey, who wants to come and stay at my place?
posted by Wolof at 4:17 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not until you wash your sheets more often than every year and a half.
posted by Splunge at 6:08 AM on December 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


While we're telling horrific insect stories... I woke up at dawn one morning to an intense tickling sensation at my ear. In the groggy haze of returning to consciousness, I was just able to swat at it a little, thinking that my curly hair was tickling me like it often does. Instead I awoke with a start as the tickling sensation went into my ear. I sat up in terror, hoping that this was only a weird dream.

And then it felt like there was an earthquake in my head. I involuntarily twitched and shuddered at this deafening, violent sensation. Then it stopped. Then it happened again. Then it stopped. Every time it happened, I could feel whatever it was going deeper and deeper inside my ear. I had no idea that the ear canal was so long.

So I get a ride to the walk-in clinic and five doctors and three nurses look into my ear, tell me they can see an insect, and then either completely fail to remove it or refuse to even try. I feel wholly disgusted and violated, and can't stop wondering what in seven hells has wandered into my skull. They give me a valium and send me right away to a specialist at the university.

The specialist has a complicated device made for exactly this sort of situation, although he says that it typically only gets used when kids lose tiny objects in their ears. Interns fill the room for this event and stare expectantly. The specialist has me lay on my side and extracts the creature right away, making those clinic doctors look like chumps. They carry it away before I can even see it, but I can tell from the looks on people's faces that it must have been stunningly large. In fact, he says that he has no idea how a flying beetle of that size even fit into my ear canal, and that it went all the way to my eardrum and was scratching at it. He washes out my ear "in case it laid eggs."

One of my boss's favorite sayings is, "let me put a bug in your ear."
posted by heatvision at 6:11 AM on December 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


They will bite, but I think most deaths are due to trampling when an unlucky person finds themselves between the freaked hippo and its safe place.

Hippos are extremely territorially aggressive (males) and protective of their offspring (females), and will kill on purpose for these reasons. And many of the deaths are from bites (hippos can and do bite CROCODILES). While there are certainly deaths from trampling, and some of these may even be incidental, hippos are also known to be extremely aggressive with their teeth, which are very sharp (and self-sharpening!).
posted by biscotti at 6:45 AM on December 17, 2011


Not until you wash your sheets more often than every year and a half.

Six months plus another eighteen makes two years at this end of the world, but it's probably just a methane plume or something.
posted by Wolof at 6:47 AM on December 17, 2011


You're right, my bad. This changes everything.
posted by Splunge at 6:51 AM on December 17, 2011


It's like some people don't want filthy sheets, centipede bites, and herpes. What exactly is your idea of a lovely holiday?
posted by Wolof at 7:01 AM on December 17, 2011


Heatvision: fuck. YOU. If I was a mod I would nuke your account and even mentions of you from existence and come to your house and smash your computer and pull your Internet out of the wall. As it is I'll just send you the bill for the sleeping pills im going to need every night in order to sleep again EVER
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:16 AM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of my neighbor's kids had a bug crawl in and nest in their ear. I learned that about 10 years ago and just recently stopped shuddering. So thanks, heatvision, I had convinced myself that was just the most freakish thing possible - but now I know that it's practically an epidemic. I think I am going to start wearing earplugs every night.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2011


Nature wants to eat you.

And, unless you choose cremation, it usually succeeds...
posted by Skeptic at 10:11 AM on December 17, 2011


OH MY GOD YOU GUYS ARE ALL DICKS WITH YOUR BUG EAR STORIES AND YOUR SHOULDER HOUSAPEDES AND YOUR BED COOTIES

i am now sitting on the floor in the middle of the living room with my ipad AND A KNIFE and i will never sleep again never
posted by elizardbits at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh is it ear bug story time

I'm fifteen years old, and my "bedroom" at the time is a converted toolshed behind the house, which I latch on the inside when I'm home and padlock on the outside when I'm not.

One day I wake up in my bed to a faint tickling sensation inside my right ear. Thinking maybe it's a loose hair or something, I scratch at it a little, then dig my pinky finger in a little bit. When I do this, the tickling feeling crawls a little deeper into the ear canal.

Suddenly realizing there is something alive in my god damn ear, I stand up and point my ear downward and shake my head, then I start whacking the other side of my head with the heel of my hand. I try jumping up and down, stomping hard on the landing, trying to dislodge it. The thing stays entrenched, then crawls a little deeper again, and I freeze. It's time to get help.

I unlatch the door and try to push it open but it doesn't move. I push harder and it doesn't move. I kick it and it doesn't move. What has happened is, my dad thought I was staying at my mom's house that night, had seen my "room" unlocked, assumed I'd forgotten to padlock it, and so had thoughtfully padlocked it on the outside before going to work.

It's at this point the thing crawling in my ear reaches my eardrum. All the sounds of the thing's movement have been amplified since it's inside my god damn ear, but this is nothing compared to the thing interacting with the ear drum itself. It's impossible for me to tell what exactly is happening in there, but I can feel it move and when some part of it brushes against the drum it is extremely loud, a sound like crumpling paper or a dog scratching against a wooden door.

This is more or less the moment I decide that my dignity isn't really as important as I once believed it to be. I start banging against the inside of the door again, cupping my hands around my mouth and shouting at it, shouting if anybody can hear me please let me out, I need to get out of here right now. This agitates the thing in my ear and the crunching, scraping sounds against my eardrum get worse. In my mind's eye I see maggots with horrible mandibles, potato bugs, spiky insects with mouths inside mouths, its barbed body physically intractable from my ear canal, finding itself with no means of escape except chewing through my thin eardrum and burrowing deep into my head.

It occurs to me that I could start ramming a pencil or something in my ear, stabbing the fucking thing to death, anything to stop the horrible sound of it against my eardrum, but the idea of sending it into a raging frenzy makes me even more terrified. I'm still shouting and banging on the door when I realize there's somebody on the other side saying my name. "Jesse? Jesse?! What's wrong, what's happening?" It's a friend of my dad's who had swung by to drop something off, and had heard the banging coming from the converted toolshed behind the house.

"I'm locked in," I shout at her through the thick door, "I'm locked in here and there's a fucking bug burrowing into my fucking brain right now."

I give her the combination and she unlocks the door and I leap out into her arms. "Look in there, can you see it?" I say. She looks, but can't see anything. "What is it, what's the bug?" she asks. I don't know, it was in there when I woke up. She agrees to drive me to the emergency room.

We pull up to the emergency entrance at the hospital and I say, wait, hold on one second. The horrible sound had stopped just as we were pulling up. There's some maneuvering in there, in my ear, and a tickle across the top of the canal and then the side.

"What, what is it?" she says. "Hold on," I say again, and ever so slowly the tickling travels out of the ear canal and onto my earlobe. With great trepidation I reach my finger up to my lobe, and onto my finger crawls the tiniest little black ant, barely a millimeter in length.

It is normally quite against my nature to murder any creature unnecessarily, but I admit it was with great gusto in that moment that I reasserted my echelon in the animal kingdom.
posted by churl at 10:54 AM on December 17, 2011 [16 favorites]


you are a bad person who does bad things and should feel bad for your badness.
posted by elizardbits at 10:58 AM on December 17, 2011


including bees, which I know to be mostly harmless.

Sounds like someone never got stung on the eyelid.
posted by Hoopo at 11:08 AM on December 17, 2011


I have two bug stories to share with you all. I will warn you now: they are both NSFL, they both involve cockroaches, and both take place in a warehouse me and some friends were squatting. Story #2 is a lot worse than Story #1. Feel free to scroll right on past.

Cockroach Story #1:
This building we lived in, a five-story warehouse, was never really meant as a residential space, but it was both spacious and secure. The downside was, there were a lot of cockroaches. Dealing with roaches is just part of daily life in Baltimore, but this place was like Las Vegas for roaches or something. So even though I thought I was pretty used to them, it wasn't unusual for me to be eating lunch, playing Atari, writing or whatever else and suddenly leap with a gasp as some big, oily cockroach skittered noisily by. And these fuckers were unafraid of people. They'd scurry right across a magazine I was reading. And every single time, I'd jump.

This was endlessly hilarious to my room-mate Colin, who'd point out that roaches are really no different from beetles or something. Which is bullshit, because cmon. Beetles are mysterious and weird and are featured in ancient Egyptian jewelry. What culture has cockroach scarabs? None. I rest my case.

Anyway, one Saturday morning, me and two other room-mates are sitting at the table eating breakfast, when Colin comes groggily strolling out from his room to the kitchen. He goes to the sink, opens the cupboard to reach for a glass, and as I turn to him to ask him to get me one, I watch as something quickly flutters up from the sink and lands on his chest. Colin releases a blood-curdling shriek, drops the glass, and leaps backwards. I see a large, deep brown, greasy cockroach sitting right there on his bare chest. After pogoing in the kitchen and screaming for a few seconds more, he swats the thing off his chest at last, and it darts away, leaving him panting, pale and shaken where he stands.

"What's the matter, Colin?" I said to him. "You scared of them things? But they're just like beetles."

Cockroach Story #2:
I'm sitting on the toilet one evening when I hear what sounds like rushing water behind the bathroom wall, to my right. Like most of the other walls in this "apartment", it was constructed by one of my room-mates with basic 2x4 framing and drywall. So I know there's no pipes in there. Only the rushing water sound gets gradually louder and louder. As if at any second, a tidal wave is going to come bursting through, Kool-Aid style.

Only what happened was, between two sheets of drywall where there was a space of maybe a 1/4 of an inch, dozens upon dozens of cockroaches began spilling out, onto the bathroom floor.

Now, I've told this story to a few people and at this point they usually look at me incredulously, but I assure you: there were dozens upon dozens of them. Not five or six that my panicking mind saw as an army. I mean they spilled out, in a pile, which quickly spread across the bathroom floor, as more began to fall from the crack in the wall.

I did the only natural thing, and bunny-hopped with my pants and underwear around my ankles to the bathroom door, leaping into the living room and slamming the door behind me. My other three room-mates, who were sitting on the couch playing Atari, turned to me.

In my stuttering terror, I managed to explain what was happening in the bathroom. Jeremy looked alarmed, and then angry, and then decisive. He sprang up, ran to his bedroom, and emerged with a can of gasoline. I don't know why he had a can of gasoline in his room.

As he strode to the bathroom door, I tried to explain that this was maybe not the best plan for roach removal, but he pushed me aside and opened the door.

For a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of them: probably 50 or 60 cockroaches, different sizes and colors, wandering around the bathroom floor. But in the next instant, fwish - they zipped under the sink, the toilet, the bathtub and the towel chest. They were gone from sight.

I moved out the following month.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:33 AM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks, internet. As if I wasn't terrified enough of house centipedes already.

Rationally I know they're beneficial like spiders (and I like spiders), but they are just too creepy. So I don't try to kill them, but I mostly just run away from them.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:35 AM on December 17, 2011


Thanks for that story, churl. Flagged as fantastic.
posted by idiopath at 1:17 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh is it ear bug story time

NO IT IS NOT IT IS NEVER THIS TIME NO NO NO NO NO

Seriously though, nature be freaky.
posted by AdamCSnider at 1:27 PM on December 17, 2011


"For a brief moment, I caught a glimpse of them: probably 50 or 60 cockroaches, different sizes and colors, wandering around the bathroom floor. But in the next instant, fwish - they zipped under the sink, the toilet, the bathtub and the towel chest. They were gone from sight."

When my ex-wife and I first married, we ended up living in the same damn cockroach-infested neighborhood which my mom had told me we'd lived in when I was a baby. This (where my ex and I lived) was a converted detached garage, one-room with a loft for sleeping. The cockroaches were like nothing I'd experienced before. Here in Albuquerque, we have the big, black roaches which you normally only see one at a time. Not in this place.

Our cat would hunt them at night and we'd awake in the morning to find she'd accumulated ten or so roaches around her water dish. Not all of them actually dead, mind you—sometimes they'd reanimate when we'd attempt to dispose of them. I'd find them in my shoes, in my pants, when I would put them on.

You'd think the loft would be safe, but it wasn't. Just less infested. They were still bad enough that I eventually acquired the automatic habit of swiping my hand across my bare chest, grabbing the cockroach that was making its way across my torso, and hurling it out of the bed. Without fully awakening. I did this about once a night, or so.

However, your story reminded me that one night when we came home, while driving up the alley that was effectively our driveway, as I turned to park the car the headlights swept across some dark, squirming mass of something near the neighbor's fence, about a foot in height. I walked over to investigate.

What I found was what seemed to be some bit of trash the neighbor had accidentally dropped on the way to the bin, covered in what was then, and still is today, the single largest mass of cockroaches I've ever seen in one place. Dozens upon dozens, hundreds, maybe. They covered the trash and formed this black mass, squirming as I mentioned.

I was utterly disgusted, horrified. But, at the same time, I became almost giddy with the thought of the impending cockroach apocalypse I was about to inflict. I ran into our "house" and grabbed the heavy-duty plastic bottle and spray-wand of pesticide. I envisioned that I would eliminate hundreds of these vermin at a stroke; I'm sure I was laughing maniacally.

And, of course, as I arrived and just in the instant I began to pull the spray lever, they scattered. Unbelievably, this enormous mass of cockroaches melted away in an instant. It was dark, so I couldn't see exactly where they all went, but they just disappeared. I managed to spray less than twenty, I think.

I have rarely been as disappointed in my life.

But at least here the cockroaches don't fly. When I first encountered flying cockroaches (in Houston) that was the day I knew, with certainty, there is no god.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:48 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I first encountered flying cockroaches (in Houston) that was the day I knew, with certainty, there is no god.

Damn right, those things are an abomination so foul that they prove that either God doesn't exist, or he lives under a giant piece of plywood in the sky.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:53 PM on December 17, 2011


Yeah, this is far less horrifying than bug-in-ear but one night (middle school years) I had a dream I was in class and someone shot a rubber band at my head. The rubber band started to move around on my head. Woke up, felt huge bug in my hair. Swatted huge palmetto (flying cockroach, probably 2.5-3 inches long) off my head where it promptly disappeared into the bedclothes. Did not go back to sleep.
posted by Glinn at 2:59 PM on December 17, 2011


"are you sure you want to remove this thread from your recent activity?"

YES YES YES YES CLICK YES CLICK ALL THE YES YES YES
posted by elizardbits at 3:04 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


WAIT FUCK NOW IT IS BACK
posted by elizardbits at 3:04 PM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


had a moth fly into my ear one time. in the few minutes it was in there I thought I would die from how much it tickled and all my brain could think was "omggetitoutomggetitoutomggetitooooout" as I struggled to overcome the impulse to stick my finger in there, which might have mashed the moth further in (ew).

finally it managed to fly out. all this as we sit in the desert waiting for a helicopter to come airlift my rattlesnake-bitten husband to the hospital. stressful!
posted by supermedusa at 3:06 PM on December 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


man I need a drink just after reading all the comments in this thread....blargh!
posted by supermedusa at 3:08 PM on December 17, 2011


I read that as "terrifying orgasms" and was greatly disappointed.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:38 PM on December 17, 2011


I've never woken up with an insect in my ear. But I once woke up with a cockroach crawling into my mouth.
posted by moorooka at 4:06 PM on December 17, 2011


Lots of scary creatures out there to be sure.
Big claws, powerful mandibles, fleet of foot.
But at least they are visible. Most of the time.

To my mind more frightening is the microscopic tick.

There are loads of them. The Ixodidae.

Most are merely irritating. Though they bore into your skin, preferably the soft warm
parts and cause irritation. Tweezers and antiseptic cream will sort that out.

But some carry interesting infections

Permanent brain damage?
No thanks.
I'd prefer sabre-toothed tigers any day
posted by jan murray at 5:12 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


including bees, which I know to be mostly harmless.

Sounds like someone never got stung on the eyelid.
posted by Hoopo at 2:08 PM on December 17 [+] [!]


Or while playing golf, you know, between the first and second holes.
posted by Jazz Hands at 6:31 PM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't watch this unless you want to die.
posted by orme at 6:34 PM on December 17, 2011


marisa, ivan - does this bring back memories?
posted by madamjujujive at 8:59 PM on December 18, 2011


You actually think either of us will click that link?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:01 AM on December 19, 2011


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