Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Awful, Awful Insects
January 18, 2008 5:08 PM   Subscribe

The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World. In order to get this out of my head, I must share it with you.
posted by monju_bosatsu (125 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
All of them write for Cracked.com.
posted by Artw at 5:10 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


There, let's make its even with The Candiru Fish with one documented case of swimming inside an human penis by swimming upstream in his pee flow.
posted by elpapacito at 5:17 PM on January 18, 2008


OPS, NSFW and fucking scary for males !
posted by elpapacito at 5:18 PM on January 18, 2008


I wonder if others have the same fascination with insects as I do. I am terrified of bugs, but at the same time I LOVE to watch documentaries about them. It's a love hate thing.
posted by lonemantis at 5:20 PM on January 18, 2008


Well, at least they're not clowns.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:22 PM on January 18, 2008


Ah yes, *that's* why I live in a sea of concrete/city. I had forgotten for a moment there.
posted by kalimac at 5:22 PM on January 18, 2008 [10 favorites]


Japanese honey bees have developed a fascinating defense against the Japanese Giant Hornet (one of the five insects described) ... they smother the invading hornets in a cocoon of living honey bees and cook the hornets to death with their massed bodies.
posted by Auden at 5:23 PM on January 18, 2008 [14 favorites]


I just passed that along to some friends in email, with a note telling them that in order to get it out of their heads they'll have to pass it along to other people as well.

I'm expecting it to be the most successful chain letter in human history.
posted by tkolar at 5:25 PM on January 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is why I don't leave the Midwest.
posted by desjardins at 5:26 PM on January 18, 2008


this guy's writing cracks me up. Informative, scary and funny. Nice post!
posted by Auden at 5:28 PM on January 18, 2008


NO MORE CRACKED.
posted by klangklangston at 5:30 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm never sleeping again.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 5:31 PM on January 18, 2008


Anyone who says there is no such thing as monsters is just playing semantics.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:31 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Holy crap. I'm literally stuck on number 5. I keep reading and rereading it as if somehow doing so will make it freak me out less.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:33 PM on January 18, 2008


I wonder, could you cross a Japanese Giant Hornet with an African Giant Hornet, so that it could live in the jungle?
posted by Flashman at 5:35 PM on January 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


I saw something on discovery channel about a bot fly in some woman's brain. It was interesting.

I wonder if others have the same fascination with insects as I do. I am terrified of bugs, but at the same time I LOVE to watch documentaries about them. It's a love hate thing.

I'm just like this.
posted by Octoparrot at 5:37 PM on January 18, 2008


None of this would bother me in the least, except for the fact a Japanese giant hornet is RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!!!!!!
posted by JaySunSee at 5:37 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Horrifying? Eh. The bot fly is truly horrific, but there are more deeply disturbing insects than the ones listed there. The Jerusalem cricket (niño de la tierra) is just fucking creepy, for instance. Skin-crawling get-me-out-of-here uncanny valley creepy.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:39 PM on January 18, 2008


Well, that was horrifying, thank you very much. I am never leaving NYC again.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:40 PM on January 18, 2008


it reads like that goddamned Holden Caufield write the copy for this.
posted by mattoxic at 5:41 PM on January 18, 2008


My posting history will show that I have nothing but respect and admiration for insects of all kinds. But the bot fly goes too goddamned far. Genocide would be a good start.

And get the goddamned potato bugs while we're at it.
posted by lekvar at 5:47 PM on January 18, 2008


My house is surrounded by weta. Right now.

They look like this.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:56 PM on January 18, 2008


Yikes, brain-eating maggots, acid-spewing hornets, inch-long ants -- nature rocks!
posted by jamstigator at 5:58 PM on January 18, 2008


I hate you.
posted by MythMaker at 6:01 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Okay, so I knew about bot flies, and they make me not want to go to jungles. They are one of the things that's often discussed in my seminars when the topic turns to perils of ecology fieldwork. Bugs under the skin, eww, gross, how horrible. But jesus fucking christ how did it get IN HER BRAIN?
posted by agentofselection at 6:01 PM on January 18, 2008


Oh, the article states that humans have our very own bot flies, but my understanding is tht the bot fly that attacks humans is actually a generalist, which will also happily hit monkies. Also, one occasionally used treatment for bot flies is to put something (something meaty) over the entry wound. When the air supply is cut off, the fly burrows up into the trap material, which can then be removed. Some of the victims I've spoken to have had success with this method, others just try and squish them, or more commonly, go in after them with tweezers and razor blades. A few let them go the full cycle, and bear their scars with pride.
posted by agentofselection at 6:08 PM on January 18, 2008


agentofselection -

"there have been reported cases of Dermatobia hominis causing fatal cerebral myiasis in young children, due to the larva entering the skull through an open cranial fontanelle (the soft membranous gaps between the incompletely formed cranial bones of a fetus or an infant), and migrating into brain tissue, thereby creating a passage between the skin and the brain resulting in meningitis and death".

odds are it was a photo of a child's botfly-nibbled brain.
posted by Auden at 6:12 PM on January 18, 2008


agentofselection speaks true---
Peter Tork and Davy Jones were killed by bot flies.
posted by Dizzy at 6:14 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I'm currently talking to a travel agent planning a trip to South America at the end of the year. Of those five bugs, four live there.

Great.
posted by twirlypen at 6:15 PM on January 18, 2008


Now I'm itching uncontrollably.
posted by Devils Slide at 6:17 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Those would be Monkees. And Auden: Thanks. I am much more comfortable knowing that my robust, fully-developed and sutured cranium will protect my precious brain from flesh-burrowing insect larvae.
posted by agentofselection at 6:20 PM on January 18, 2008


Also, one occasionally used treatment for bot flies is to put something (something meaty) over the entry wound.

Peter Tork and Davy Jones were killed by bot flies.

Michael Nesmith escaped by smothering his wounds with Elephant Parts.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:22 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
posted by teferi at 6:23 PM on January 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


We get it. People don't like cracked so much.

BUT THOSE EFFING BUGS!
posted by ORthey at 6:25 PM on January 18, 2008


Ants and wasps, eh, whatever, but christ that bot fly creeps me the fuck out.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:31 PM on January 18, 2008


I, for one, welcome... The Orkin Man.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:34 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Michael Nesmith escaped by smothering his wounds with Elephant Parts.

Strange, I thought it was Liquid Paper...
posted by pupdog at 6:35 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Strange, I thought it was Liquid Paper...

After the bots were killed, sure. Liquid Paper makes a great field suture, tattoo remover, and emolient.*

*Probably not true. Don't try this at home. Stay in school. And I do mean in school. As in inside. There are all kinds of creepy things waiting to kill you when you get out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:41 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


What, no camel spider? Not poisonous, or nasty, or anything, but... damn!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 6:48 PM on January 18, 2008


There, let's make its even with The Candiru Fish with one documented case of swimming inside an human penis by swimming upstream in his pee flow.

If you mean someone peeing into the water (as opposed to someone peeing while in the water), this is false. It says so right in your link.
posted by dobbs at 6:57 PM on January 18, 2008


it's times like this that i'm glad i don't do crystal meth.
posted by empath at 7:05 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Jerusalem cricket (niño de la tierra) is just fucking creepy,

El Sobrante, CA, August 1974. Lifted up a piece of plywood in the dirt, saw the most scariest thing I've seen in the wild, to this day. I'd gotten stung by a wasp in the palm a couple of years previously, but just seeing that mofo was ~way~ worse . . .
posted by panamax at 7:06 PM on January 18, 2008


okay. i might be drunk. (two fekkin teas to warm up me mitts at 11 below.) and i might be killing time at the local irish pub by reading this shit(e). but i thought reading this was a perfectly enjoyable way to kill an little time before i've gotta pick up the 13 year old at the middle school dance. the Seven Scariest Teachers was pretty fun from a substitute teacher's point of view as well, since the detachment of a sub means never being that sort of YouTube-worthy teacher-insane. excellent.

i was just talking to someone at the bar (the literal "bar", meaning up at the place where you order a drink) about the egotism of teacher-dom. and i laughed out loud in the corner booth for both. (isn't Cracked.com a junior high sorta humor? still funny. mighta been the fekkin tea.)
posted by RedEmma at 7:06 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I used to wonder how Japan's film industry came up with Godzilla and Mothra and the like, but then i discovered they have hornets that can melt your eyes with their poison spray. For Real. Now I have to inspect my box of Pocky very, VERY well before I'll open it...
posted by pupdog at 7:07 PM on January 18, 2008


I think the bot fly might just be THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD.
posted by dazed_one at 7:23 PM on January 18, 2008


"I am never leaving NYC again."

Don't worry, the bees are coming to you eventually.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:28 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Nature is fucking hardcore."
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:33 PM on January 18, 2008


This is why I don't leave the Midwest.

Maybe you missed the part of the article where it claims that Africanized bees are expected to reach Montana around 2010.

Bzzzzzzzz
posted by spiderwire at 7:34 PM on January 18, 2008


And yet I've killed many many more bugs in my life than they have ever killed of me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:41 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's not all about the looks or the antisocial behaviour.

I encountered house centipedes for the first time when I moved into my first home. I'm not normally freaked out by bugs. (I spent a fair amount of time in Indonesia, and handled some really big ones). And when I found the first one, I said "Cool!" and bent down to have a good look at it.

And then it moved. And everything I knew about the size-to-speed relationship of insects was suddenly, horribly, wrong. I swear to god it was running about 30 miles an hour. And my poor brain just couldn't come to terms with this new world order. With a full dose of adrenaline in me I chased it down and separated it into component molecules.

I lived in uneasy, skittish peace with them for a few more months, until I decided immersion therapy was the thing. I trapped one, set it in a jar on my desk and read up on them on the web. I love the little guys now, especially now that I know they're on my side -- they are absolutely lethal to any other bugs.

Amazonian giant centipedes, however, are living evil and must all be destroyed.
posted by CaseyB at 7:48 PM on January 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'm never putting my feet on the floor again.
posted by Cyrano at 7:49 PM on January 18, 2008


Read "Leiningen versus the Ants" or watch Chuck Heston in "The Naked Jungle." Army ants rule!
posted by Marky at 8:00 PM on January 18, 2008


Questions:

Why is the first picture of a hornet who sprays flesh-melting poison...and it's sitting on someone's hand? Who was stupid enough to pose for that picture? I feel lied to.

Second, these "bullet ant sleeves"? Do these "indigenous people" handle the ants SO well that they don't get bitten themselves while sewing an insect, for goodness sake, to a leaf?

Third, do Africanized bees die after stinging someone? If so, isn't a whole hive swarming an intruder essentially asking to get a major Darwin Award? So what am I missing?

And no, I didn't watch the bot fly movie, thanks for asking.
posted by artifarce at 8:05 PM on January 18, 2008


HOLY FUCK STOP NO NO PLEASE NO

I'm going to live the rest of my life in a sanitized concrete cube with walls ten feet thick AND NO WAY FOR THESE FUCKING POISON SPITTING FLESH BURROWING THINGS TO GET IN AND PLEASE SOMEONE MAKE IT STOP
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:09 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did someone say centipede?
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:12 PM on January 18, 2008


When I was a wee lad of about 12, I noticed an open wound on my dog's shoulder. I was concerned, so I bent down and looked at the wound. It was round and slightly inflamed, and the hair had fallen out all around it. I pulled over a handy maglite and looked in the hole, to see what on earth had happened to my poor dog.

It was at that moment that a head popped out, looked around, and said hello. I disproved several laws of physics by crossing the room at well over c.

It was a botfly. It was over an inch long. And when the vet pulled it out of my dog, I swear the bastard shook a slimy little non-existent fist at me as if to say, "One day your time will come, meat!"
posted by socratic at 8:17 PM on January 18, 2008 [17 favorites]


Second, these "bullet ant sleeves"? Do these "indigenous people" handle the ants SO well that they don't get bitten themselves while sewing an insect, for goodness sake, to a leaf?

Apparently, they drug the ants first, before sewing them into the sleeves, and then the ants wake up pissed.

Which really raises more questions than it answers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:18 PM on January 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


Now I keep thinking about The Wasp Factory. And What Happened To Eric.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:24 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


The only way botflies could be worse would be if they swarmed. They don't, right?

Please tell me they don't.

On the plus side, the wolf spiders and palmetto bugs and cicadas don't seem so bad now. They're huge and scary, yeah, but not huge and scary and DISGUSTINGLY DEADLY.
posted by cmyk at 8:43 PM on January 18, 2008


Must never leave home Must never leave home Must never leave home Must never leave home Must never leave home Must never leave home Must never leave home aaagh!
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:14 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


cmyk writes...
The only way botflies could be worse would be if they swarmed. They don't, right?

Please tell me they don't.


The South American ones don't, and neither do most North American ones. There is one variety that does, but it's pretty much limited to the western Florida coast.




(sorry. Bad tkolar.)
posted by tkolar at 9:18 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't worry, the bees are coming to you eventually.

*looks outside*

it is snowing and 21 degrees outside - by tomorrow night the wind will be 25 mph, there will be 5-6 inches and the temp will get down to 3

those african bees don't have a fucking chance in michigan
posted by pyramid termite at 9:23 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I respect insects because they're so determined, so diligent; they never stop working.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:25 PM on January 18, 2008


My partner says she heard the shrieking ant is a fake. I can't research it because, well, my stomach just isn't strong enough. Anyone else up for some fact-checking?
posted by arcticwoman at 9:36 PM on January 18, 2008


Scary, fascinating. Very entertaining writing too. Thx MB.
posted by Skygazer at 9:42 PM on January 18, 2008


My partner says she heard the shrieking ant is a fake. I can't research it because, well, my stomach just isn't strong enough. Anyone else up for some fact-checking?

Okay, I'm an internet class expert on this now.

The so-called "Bullet Ant" doesn't so much shriek as stridulate (make a shrill creaking noise by rubbing together special bodily structures; "male insects such as crickets or grasshoppers stridulate").

It does correspond to defensive behavior, however. So if you stir up a nest of them, they will stridulate as they come to sting the hell out of you.
posted by tkolar at 9:48 PM on January 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Third, do Africanized bees die after stinging someone? If so, isn't a whole hive swarming an intruder essentially asking to get a major Darwin Award? So what am I missing?

Seems so. Small solace, really, since the entire reason is that, since bee stingers are barbed, they get ripped out of the bee when it stings, but then remain lodged in the victim and keep pumping venom via an independent musculature. Owww.

As to the "over-swarming" question -- honey bee colonies range in size from 20,000 to 100,000 bees (another article suggests that killer bee colonies tend toward the 5,000 - 40,000 range), but some quick research indicates that most fatal bee attacks involve only 200-1000 actual stings. In other words, not enough to decimate the colony's population, but certainly enough to mess up your day.
posted by spiderwire at 9:48 PM on January 18, 2008


Oh dear lord. To confirm what tkolar said up above, here's more on the Bullet Ant - when their nest is disturbed, defenders swarm out, release a heavy musky odor, stridulate an audible warning (Janzen & Carroll 1983), then grab and impale intruders - from the Associate Curator of Entomology at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

I also found a video on YouTube of the Brazilian boys sticking their hands in the Bullet Ant-filled gloves, but I have to go pet my cats now. My warm-blooded, furry, non-insect mammalian cats.
posted by yhbc at 9:57 PM on January 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


And yet, the resident Praying Mantis on my porch is very sweet, will crawl onto my hand and look about, and my 2-year-olds think it's funny.

So there's good in the bug world as well as bad.
posted by davejay at 10:00 PM on January 18, 2008


Also: that jerusalem cricket is cute, and I heart house centipedes for their roach-egg-eating skilz.

maybe I just hang around bugs too much

I still hate roaches, though
posted by davejay at 10:02 PM on January 18, 2008


I once knew a teacher who was absolutely convinced that the Africanized bees were a Communist plot to kill us all. She seemed perfectly normal otherwise, but spent her free time writing letters to the editor to warn us all. Mention bees in her presence and you'd get an earful about Warwick Kerr had ties to the Commies. Yes, even in front of her class.

Everyone called her the Queen Bee and she was quite proud of the title. So, you've been warned.
posted by Soliloquy at 10:03 PM on January 18, 2008


How To Be A Good Host. Previously, I mean, I had so much fun posting it the first time around.
posted by humannaire at 10:07 PM on January 18, 2008


The writing is really funny, but he leans so heavily on the word "fuck" that after a while it's just numbing.

I remember my writing teacher telling us that using language like that for effect was fine, but to always check whether you were passing up a chance to use a more descriptive word. This would be good to hand out during her lectures.
posted by hermitosis at 10:09 PM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


*KILL THEM ALL!*

This is enough to make me want to buy an SUV and start cutting down rainforests. Why are we trying to save nature if this is how its gonna treat us?

::shudder:: giant acid-spitting hornets.... Boy, I'm sure glad I'm reading this just before bed.
posted by JDHarper at 10:10 PM on January 18, 2008


And to think, just as I was searching the net trying to find all three issues of this...

(Seriously, though, NO MORE CRACKED)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:27 PM on January 18, 2008


WHAT? NO HELLGRAMMITE?
posted by pilibeen at 10:40 PM on January 18, 2008


Just think of all the swell Hollywood monster movies that could come from this.
posted by bwg at 10:45 PM on January 18, 2008


Don't you know about the mantises? (previously -- and don't miss this link about our friend the giant hornet. 40 honeybees a minute.)
posted by fidelity at 10:51 PM on January 18, 2008


Seriously - nothing comes close to freaking me out like the Huntsman Spider.

Four legs behind a wall clock.

Wall clock removed, Huntsman Spider revealed.
posted by tzikeh at 10:54 PM on January 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ladybugs never make the list, sigh.
posted by Iron Rat at 11:16 PM on January 18, 2008


I don't like the way this one is looking at me.
posted by killy willy at 11:33 PM on January 18, 2008


I'm not a tough man of the woods, but most of these bugs don't strike me as scary in that they look easily identifiable. Which means you can stay out of their way. Don't stir up a ruckus or nothing. I've stared down a large colony of honey bees as the son of a hobbyist beekeeper. Their stings are just as deadly as Africanized bees, but they ain't as aggressive. Not that there's much difference if you're less than centimeters away from a massive ball of buzzing stingyness.

Bot flies, however, can go fuck themselves. I mean, who's thinking, "hey, that might be a bot fly. It will burrow in to my flesh." At least hornets and bees are loud and yellow and intimidating. At least those bullet ants give you a warning sound. At least the army ants are a huge carpet of living beings. But the bot fly? You don't even see the actual insect! It's stealth egg deviltry. Ugh.

In any case, my greatest bug fear probably is the mosquito. Mundane bug + Central Texas ubiquity + West Nile Virus vector scares was enough to make me wary during rainy times. But I understood the unlikelihood of that happening, so it didn't bother me too much.

My girlfriend just reminded me that I'm not in central Texas anymore. She's afraid of any tiny little spider that encroaches upon her paved over Californian world. I don't know about you city dwellers sometimes.
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:42 PM on January 18, 2008


Oh gods, I'm going to be twitchy for days...
posted by dejah420 at 1:04 AM on January 19, 2008


Robber Flies, with their immobile heads, inject a paralyzing fluid into their prey that they snatch from life in mid-air.

The Snow Flea's mode of locomotion, strange and odd, with a spiny tail mechanism with hooks and a protracted tube from the abdomen to enable moisture absorption.

The female Praying Mantis devours the male while they are mating. The male sometimes continues copulating even after the female has bitten off his head and part of his upper torso.

Every night wasps bite into the stem of a plant, lock their mandibles into position, stretch out at right angles to the stem and, with legs dangling, they fall asleep.

If one places a minute amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death.


(from "Army Ant," Tom Waits)
posted by JHarris at 1:34 AM on January 19, 2008


It's midnight. No, shit, its two o'clock. And I have to go pee. And it's dark. And there are Bugs In My Brain now.

Thanks. Thanks a lot.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:01 AM on January 19, 2008


:|
posted by blacklite at 2:03 AM on January 19, 2008


They're not in your brain. They're in your bathroom.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:05 AM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why did I click on all those links? I clicked on the one in the post, then the centipede ones, and the spider ones, and UUUUURRRGGGGGHHH. Each one made me feel more wretched than the last.

But I couldn't stop.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:20 AM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've thought I've seen/felt a bug on me FIVE TIMES since I started reading this FPP.
posted by Locative at 2:52 AM on January 19, 2008


SIX TIMES!
posted by Locative at 2:52 AM on January 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know what I like about England? And London in particular? No freaky bugs. Nothing. Nada. The odd house spider, sure. Nothing else. Not even a mosquito.

I think I need a shower now, but I'm afraid some of those bugs are going to crawl up my drain.
posted by generichuman at 3:28 AM on January 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know, from the safety of YouTube, don't you think it's just fascinating to see that huge centipede happy chewing away on his little mousey? It's almost cute, if you temporarily block out its THOUSAND CLAWS OF DEATH.
posted by Harry at 3:39 AM on January 19, 2008


Behold the hornets systematically seize them with huge, wicked jaws and literally fucking cut them apart, one by one by one by fucking one. In three hours, there are piles of limbs and heads and just fucking bits of things that could possibly have been alive at one point, and the hornets have stormed the hive and flown away with all the bee's children. Who will then be eaten.

Seriously...30 hornets vs. 30,000 bees...that's 1000 to 1. That was a tough video to watch, because I really love honeybees.

Oh, and as for my personal nightmare bug....may I present the Devil's Coach Horse? For some reason, all of the picture links on Google go to the UK, but I saw mine in California while lifting a brick. I'm not that squeamish...but it made me yell. I guess they eat slugs (which doesn't necessarily make them my friend) but otherwise are harmless.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:01 AM on January 19, 2008


You know, from the safety of YouTube, don't you think it's just fascinating to see that huge centipede happy chewing away on his little mousey?

No, it can get the hell out of my universe... none of the others freak me out in the slightest, not even the brain burrowing botts but that... THING... is just horrible.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:51 AM on January 19, 2008


Reason #45 to enjoy living in Britain: very little of the wildlife tries to kill you. Except for Robert Kilroy-Silk.

(Reasons 1-44 are mostly tea or tea-related. The list of reasons to dislike living in Britain goes on for seventeen pages. In point five font. But, mustn't grumble.)

Also, can someone please explain why the African bee respects state boundaries? Seriously, they get to Utah and go, 'f*** this'? Do Mormons sting even worse?
posted by aihal at 5:15 AM on January 19, 2008


Also, can someone please explain why the African bee respects state boundaries? Seriously, they get to Utah and go, 'f*** this'? Do Mormons sting even worse?

The Mormons don't respect their matriachal polygamous marital structure.
posted by spiderwire at 6:01 AM on January 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


There, let's make its even with The Candiru Fish with one documented case of swimming inside an human penis by swimming upstream in his pee flow.

OPS, NSFW and fucking scary for males !


I just like to clarify that the candiru is not just scary for males. It is an equal opportunity orifice fish that likes cozy, warm spaces.
posted by umbú at 6:28 AM on January 19, 2008


The bullet ant is scary, but what was scarier, I bet, was the man who had the idea for the bullet ant ritual.

The botfly in the brain is going to haunt me, though -- especially since I read that botfly brain infestation tends to happen to those without fully fused cranial bones, i.e. babies.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:31 AM on January 19, 2008


Great leaping Christ, i_am_joe's_spleen. I didn't think the weta looked so bad, until I saw that the one was 20 cm long. I'm utterly freaked out, and the NZ Ministry of Tourism will want to have some words with you. Horrifying.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 6:39 AM on January 19, 2008


FUCK THAT THING
posted by sourwookie at 7:43 AM on January 19, 2008



And yet, the resident Praying Mantis on my porch is very sweet, will crawl onto my hand and look about, and my 2-year-olds think it's funny.

So there's good in the bug world as well as bad.


I thought they were cute too, until I saw pictures of one eating a hummingbird.
posted by mikesch at 7:48 AM on January 19, 2008


Huntsman spiders look pretty gross, but they're harmless. I saw quite a few when I was down under, and none of the natives seemed unduly fussed when we came across one. It was the white tails they were worried about (this was south of Melbourne).
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:00 AM on January 19, 2008


This giant centipede is pretty nasty too. It eats a mouse in the video.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:09 AM on January 19, 2008


I lived in Adelaide in 5th grade because my pop was going back to school and he came home one day and told us this story about a Huntsman spider. A lady in his class had stopped at a red light when a Huntsman climbed onto her windshield from under the hood. She screamed and flicked on the wipers. This threw the spider into the open window of the adjacent car, whose driver screamed and ran the red light. Also, I squished a huge one high on the wall with a broom and it's guts got on me. That one year in Australia is the source of more animal memories (bugs, sharks, 'roos, snakes, penguins, lizards) than the rest of elementary school in CO and PA. All in the wild too.
posted by MNDZ at 8:34 AM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]



Great leaping Christ, i_am_joe's_spleen. I didn't think the weta looked so bad, until I saw that the one was 20 cm long. I'm utterly freaked out, and the NZ Ministry of Tourism will want to have some words with you. Horrifying.


Hey now, don't knock the weta; they're prehistoric and, most importantly, their larvae don't burrow under your skin, biding their time, waiting to eat their way out.

The worst thing that's going to happen to you from a weta is a mess on your sock and a sickening crunch after you put your shoe on.
posted by dazed_one at 9:12 AM on January 19, 2008


Science fiction writer Octavia Butler was planning a trip to the jungle, did research on the environment and was of course horrified by the bot fly, to the point where she wrote a story to try and work out her fears. It's the title piece from the short story collection Blood Child and other stories, which contains several other good stories and several illuminating essays on being a writer.

As to the story, Bloodchild, I'll only mention these bits: it was based on her own fears of the bot fly, in the story humans interact with a sentient alien species and the tale is sometimes called her "pregnant man" story. Think about that for a minute and then read the story.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:09 AM on January 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


I have to go pet my cats now. My warm-blooded, furry, non-insect mammalian cats.

Seriously. Here everybody, watch the cat, you'll feel better.
posted by naoko at 11:20 AM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher - Excellent story.
posted by Artw at 12:12 PM on January 19, 2008


Here's video of initiation with bullet ants. Talk about rituals!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:07 PM on January 19, 2008


naoko: cat wants cake. everyting iree now ja.

*whew*

i was about to freak out there. stheriouthly.
posted by CitizenD at 1:20 PM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's it. I'm never reading metafilter again!
posted by ramix at 2:11 PM on January 19, 2008


*cry*
posted by Phire at 2:24 PM on January 19, 2008


Every night wasps bite into the stem of a plant, lock their mandibles into position, stretch out at right angles to the stem and, with legs dangling, they fall asleep.

this is so cool i can hardly stand it.
posted by RedEmma at 3:44 PM on January 19, 2008


Yeah, I didn't even consider disabling NoScript.

When the scientists present extinction studies, they should mention if they're talking about "cute stuff you want to live", "run-of-the-mill stuff you need to live" and "creepy stuff you hope the world can do without and you're glad is done for".
posted by ersatz at 3:51 PM on January 19, 2008


On the kid's science show Beakman's World they once had an episode about insects. In one shot, 'Liza' talks about giant hissing cockroaches, while a giant one is crawling around her hands!

At the end of the show, they had an outtake. She is calmly talking about the giant hissing cockroach and it is crawling around her hands. Then all of a sudden she yells out "AHHHGH!" and throws it across the room. You can hear lots of laughter from the stage crew.

There was also this show filmed in the Sahara. I don't remember much except this one scene about the camel spiders mentioned earlier. It was running round the tent at amazing speed. Then it stopped, and the camera got a low shot to get a better look at it. Then the 'spider' turned and ran straight toward the camera! You hear a loud yell and see the camera go flying (or actually, you see the camera filming a spinning shot around the tent until it thuds on the ground), and again, you hear lots of laughing from the rest of the film crew.
posted by eye of newt at 6:03 PM on January 19, 2008


Ah, this takes me back to a spring morning in Austin Texas. I was sitting on the kitchen floor, enjoying a bowl of cereal, when my roommate Steve comes in and says, "I bet I can get you up off that floor real fast."

I said something witty, like "Huh?"

At which point, Steve opens the cigarette pack in his hand and tips it out on the onto the linoleum. Six inches of toxic pinchery red centipede rapidly unfurl themselves and run directly toward me at an alarmingly high rate of speed. Instantly I flew onto the counter, most likely propelled by the explosive force of "FUCK!"

And the moral of the story is that Steve is a total dick.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:04 AM on January 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


So how many E's are there in "Eeeeewwww"? (Not enough, I suspect.)
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 3:27 AM on January 20, 2008


There are no words to describe how crawly my skin feels right now.

Also:

Well, that was horrifying, thank you very much. I am never leaving NYC again.

posted by Aversion Therapy at 1:40 AM on January 19 [+] [!]


Eponysterical.
posted by essexjan at 5:32 AM on January 20, 2008


knock knock.
who's there?
kafka.


please advise.
posted by Dizzy at 8:06 AM on January 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Video of the creation and wearing of a bullet ant glove for a traditional coming of age ritual for men in… some place. Don't know where, doesn't matter. Scary.
posted by JBennett at 2:40 PM on January 20, 2008


I wonder if others have the same fascination with insects as I do. I am terrified of bugs, but at the same time I LOVE to watch documentaries about them. It's a love hate thing.

For me, it's sharks, instead of bugs.

But I still haven't clicked a single link in this entire thread.
posted by pineapple at 6:11 PM on January 20, 2008


But I still haven't clicked a single link in this entire thread.

I am so going to start botfly-rickrolling people.

SURPRISE BRAINSECKS
posted by spiderwire at 7:45 PM on January 20, 2008


Do you know what that sound is, highness? Those are the shrieking ants! If you don't believe me, just wait. They always grow louder when they're about to feed on human flesh!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2008


At the end of the show, they had an outtake. She is calmly talking about the giant hissing cockroach and it is crawling around her hands. Then all of a sudden she yells out "AHHHGH!" and throws it across the room.

They don't bite. Maybe it peed on her. (I say this as someone who used to make innocent children hold hissing cockroaches for a living)
posted by artifarce at 3:14 PM on February 2, 2008


(and the children didn't have the living, I did. In case you were confused)
posted by artifarce at 8:36 PM on February 2, 2008


« Older MATSYS...  |  Reviving an ancient practice, ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments