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Friday, January 18, 2008

The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World

Read the full story: cracked.com

There are about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects on earth at any given moment. Seriously, that's a real number. For every one of us, there are 1.5 billion bugs.

But some of them are so horrifying, just one is too many. Here are five you want to avoid at all costs.

- Japanese Giant Hornet (vespa mandarinia japonica)



From: Japan, obviously.

Why you must fear it:
It's the size of your thumb and it can spray flesh-melting poison. We really wish we were making that up for, you know, dramatic effect because goddamn, what a terrible thing a three-inch acid-shooting hornet would be, you know? Oh, hey, did we mention it shoots it into your eyes? Or that the poison also has a pheromone cocktail in it that'll call every hornet in the hive to come over and sting you until you are no longer alive?

Think you can outrun it? It can fly 50 miles in a day. It'd be nice to say something reassuring at this point, like "Don't worry, they only live on top of really tall mountains where nobody wants to live," but no, they live all over the goddamned place, including outside Tokyo.

Forty people die like that every year, each of them horribly.

-Bullet Ant (Paraponera clavata)



From: Rainforests from Nicaragua to Paraguay

Why you must fear it:
It's a full inch long, it lives in trees and thus can and will fall on you to scare you away from its hive--the one you didn't know was there, because it's in a fucking tree. Before it does this, it shrieks at you. This ant, you see, can shriek.

It's called a Bullet Ant because its 'unusually severe' sting feels like getting shot. On the Schmidt Sting Index, Bullet Ants rate as the number one most try-not-to-shit-out-your-spine painful in the entirety of the Kingdom Arthropoda.

Also--and we do feel the need to stress this--they fucking shriek at you before they attack.

-Africanized Honey Bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)



From: South and Central America, the American Southwest

Why you must fear it:
You know how you can spot one of these? You can't. There is no physical way to determine the difference between an Africanized bee and a common European bee. None whatsoever.

You can, however, easily tell the difference based on their behavior. Regular bees will give you about nine seconds of being too close to the hive before deciding you're a threat and then attacking you. So it's pretty easy to just walk past them without any screams. And if you do get them after you, they'll consider you to be 'chased off' after about 300 feet.

Africanized bees do not roll this way. They give you half a second of being too close before they decide it is time to completely fuck your shit up and empty the entire hive--tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of angry, angry bees. When you run, flailing and crying and soiling yourself while screaming "JESUS CHRIST I'M COVERED IN BEES," they will chase you for over half a mile.

-Army or Soldier Ant (Eciton burchellii)



From: The Amazon Basin. There's other subfamilies living in Asia and Africa, but these are the most notorious.

Why you must fear it:
By now, you will not be surprised to hear that these ants are, in fact, fucking huge, with the soldiers reaching a half inch in length. You will also not be surprised to learn that they have massive, powerful, machete-like jaws half the length of the soldiers themselves. They're notorious for dismantling any living thing in their path, regardless of size. They're also completely blind, which for some reason makes the whole thing worse.

-Bot Fly (family oestridae, genus and species varies)



From: Most species found in Central and South America, some species found all over the world

Why you must fear it:
Oh boy. Ohhhhh boy. Okay, Bot flies.

There are dozens of varieties of Bot Fly, they're each highly adapted to target a specific animal, they have delightfully descriptive names like Horse Stomach Bot Fly, Sheep Nose Bot Fly and, hey, guess what. One of them is called Human Bot Fly.

They each have a different and elaborate reproductive cycle, all of which end with a fat, half-inch maggot embedded in living flesh. Feeding.

Horse Stomach Bots, for example, lay their eggs in grass. Horses eat the grass. And the eggs. Which hatch in the heat of the horse's mouth. Upon which they chew through the horse's tongue and burrow, through the horse, into its belly. Where they meet up and dig honeycombs into the horse's stomach. And get fat. When they're ready to be flies, they just let go and get pooped out of the system.

The Human Bot Fly lays its eggs on a horsefly or a mosquito, something that will attempt to land on a human. This carrier finds a human and lands on him or her. The eggs rub off onto the human, whose body heat hatches the eggs. The larvae drop onto the skin and burrow right the fuck in. Where they live. Under your skin. Eating.

Read the full story: cracked.com




26 comments:

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MawDukes said...

ever heard of a "cow Killer" they are big ants, about 1 - 1-1/2 long, and they have a reddish orange spot on their back. You can't just step on these things to kill em. You gotta stomp and twist your foot for a few minutes. They have them here in Georgia. NASTY!

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