We’re adamant about scouring the deepest parts of space looking for signs of alien life when, really, all we have to do is look at our own ecosystem. Scattered throughout the world are these incredible creepy-crawly wonders that look so far out there that they could pass for aliens.
Whether oversized or visually complex, these are top10 strange insects you won’t believe exist here on our familiar home planet.
Top 10 Most Extreme Insects You won’t Believe Exist
10. Titan Beetle
Eren Yeager may have met his match with this winged, neotropical longhorn behemoth. The titan beetle, or Titanus giganteus, is believed to be the largest of the Coleoptera order with specimens allegedly measuring about 7 inches or roughly 18 centimetres in length.
While maybe not as strange insects in appearance as, say, the massive Hercules beetle. The Titan Beetle is a shocker to those not expecting to be living in the same world as a flying bug bigger than the smallest birds.
If its giant, skin-piercing pincers and impressive wingspans aren’t off-putting enough, wait for till you glimpse the alien-looking, oversized larvae, which is large enough to fit in the palm of an adult human hand.
9. Puss Moth Caterpillar
We mostly know caterpillars as being docile, fuzzy little critters that blossom into beautiful, breathtaking butterflies.
If you’re blinded by this childhood version, let us introduce you to the puss moth caterpillar, known as the Italian asp, woolly slug, and, thanks to the internet’s infinitely clever brain trust, Donald Trump’s hairpiece.
While this other-worldly creature may look harmless and fluffy, it actually packs quite a venomous punch. This silky-haired caterpillar is known for being one of the most extreme insects caterpillars in North America, with stings being described as being as painful as a broken bone.
8. Hercules Beetle
Sure, the Titan Beetle may trump the Hercules beetle in size – albeit at a very small margin- but this rhinoceros beetle is definitely the stranger looking addition of the Coleoptera. Including the giant horn protrusion, Hercules can measure out to an average of 6.5 inches or 17 centimetres.
As you’d probably expect, the horns aren’t just to look fancy. The lengthy growth is implemented like a pincered to flip over opposing males when trying to mate. Grasping its foe between the longer and shorter horns, the beetle works to flip their rival onto their backs.
The bulky Arthropoda is believed to be able to lift 100 times its own weight, though some sources cite an incredible 800 times.
7. Assassin Bugs
The insect family of Reduviidae is comprised of a strange type of bug that has earned the moniker of “assassin” in the creepy-crawl community. Encompassing a variety of strange insects, Assassin Bugs looks harmless at first glance, but their feeding habits are unbelievably grotesque.
Once their prey has been subdued, Assassin Bugs puncture their intended meal and inject it with a paralyzing toxin. While you’d think the toxin would simply be a means of stopping their meal’s movements for an easy snack, it actually serves a second purpose.
It dissolves the infected from the inside-out, allowing Assassin Bugs to literally drink their prey. Delicious.
6. Devil’s Flower Mantis
With a name like Idolomantis Diabolica, you know you should expect quite an exotic species of scary insects. These species of bug are known for being one of the largest mantids at around 5 inches or roughly 13 centimetres.
And due to one very unique physical trait, is best known as the devil’s Flower Mantis. In order to capture its prey, the Devil’s Flower Mantis mimics a flower and remains perfectly still.
Once its meal is in range, the mantis strikes. All of this is pretty normal predatory behaviour. But it’s the look of the Devil Flower mantis that is sure to shock and amaze.
The critter’s near-flawless rendition of live, vibrant flowers and more brittle leaves makes it an intriguing addition to our world of bugs.
5. Brahmin Moth
Caterpillar Keeping with incredibly weird-looking caterpillars, we want to move on to this nightmare-inducing xenomorph. Appendages jut out of this creature’s head, thorax, and abdomen, giving it an intimidating look that really masks its more docile nature.
You may think you’d need to avoid this spiny freak in the wild, but it’s actually as harmless as, well, most other caterpillars. It’s believed that the extended protuberances are actually a tool for camouflaging into smaller branches and twigs.
Rather than a means of intimidation, though we have to think that it works in both instances.
Your’s first instinct may be to ask the gods why such an abomination would exist on our planet, but let us quell some of your fears.
Yeah, it’s a terrifying-looking winged-scorpion with the ugly face of a fly, but outside of haunting our dreams as a nightmare creature, the Scorpionfly poses no threat to humans.
In fact, that appendage that looks like the stinger of a scorpion is not what you’re probably thinking – it’s slightly worse. The bulbous tail is seen in males of the Panorpidae family and is a reproductive organ.
At the tip of the tail are sharper extensions that latch onto the female during the mating process. Oh, Mother Nature. What horrors will you think of next?
3. Giant Weta
The Giant Weta is the next horror that Mother Nature has decided to throw our way. That’s why we have listed at number 3 in our list of most extreme insects.
Its name is said to translate from the Maori word weta punga to “God of Ugly Things,” which, regardless of whether it’s true or not, is incredibly accurate. Weighing in at around 2.5 ounces, the Giant Weta is about as heavy as insects get in the world.
If one happens to fall on you, it’s totally acceptable to scream like a girl and run away. Should you run into one of these monstrosities, simply offer it a carrot. Apparently, they love carrots.
2. Twisted-Wing Parasite
As if the insect world wasn’t weird enough, let us introduce you to the Strepsiptera or Twisted-Wing Parasite.
This tiny creature averages out at about 0.2 inches or 5 millimetres in length but has been observed to get up to 1.2 inches or 30 millimetres.
As the term “parasite” will lead you to believe, the Strepsiptera is the freeloader of the insect world, finding hosts in cockroaches, wasps, bees, silverfish, ants, and crickets, amongst other insects.
Unlike other insect parasites, the Twisted-Wing does not control its host but rather lives out its life cycle burrowed inside of its host of choice. The process starts with the parasitic larvae attaching themselves to the larva of their host.
Male parasites will eventually leave the host in search of a female parasite to mate with while the female parasite will remain attached.
1. Brazilian Treehopper
One of the most extreme insects on our list. While there’s a chance we may have exaggerated just a tad on how strange and weird insects some of the insectoids in this Archive were, our reaction to this alien oddity is definitely justified.
Outfitted with an antenna-like protrusion, we believe the Brazilian treehopper to become a sort of recon-bug of an extraterrestrial race and its unusual headgear is its only means of communicating back home.
Other far more qualified individuals claim that the appendage is really just an ornamental feature that may or may not be used as a means of dissuading predators.
The Brazilian treehopper, though menacing looking, is known for its solitariness. Frankly, that sounds like alien insect behaviour to us.