Some wasps can turn cockroaches into zombies
The jewel wasp isn’t just known for its kicker stinger – it can also turn prey cockroaches into its very own personal zombie. Yikes. It injects a mind-bending venom directly into the cockroach’s brain, forcing it into submission, before laying its eggs inside the bug’s body. When the wasp’s offspring hatch, they feast on the remains of the insect’s body. You can’t help but feel sorry for the poor little beasts.
The number of bugs on Earth may surprise you
There are an estimated ten quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000!) insects on Earth. That whopping number of bugs accounts for 80% of all known animal life on the entire planet. To put that gigantic number into perspective, that works out as roughly 1.4 billion insects per person. There are roughly 925,000 identified insect species out there, but who knows what scientists are yet to discover…
A killer caterpillar exists
The Lonomia obliqua – also known as the assassin caterpillar – is the most venomous caterpillar in the world. And yes, that venom applies to humans, too. With just a few stings from this deadly bug, your brain and organs will begin to shut down, while you bleed from the inside. Responsible for roughly three deaths a year, they’re most commonly found in Southern Brazil.
A six-inch beetle can cut your flesh
The appropriately named titan beetle is so strong that it can actually pierce human flesh. With their mighty pincers they’ve been recorded to snap pencils clean in half, meaning this is one bug you’re going to want to steer well clear of. The largest specimen ever found of these big brutes is a huge 6.6 inches in length – longer than the average chef’s knife.
Bed bugs have an anesthetic in their bite
Ever wondered why you don’t wake up when bed bugs are biting you? It’s because they have an anesthetic in their saliva, which eases the pain as they feast on your blood. Not only that, but the components in their saliva promote an increase in blood flow, meaning that they are able to draw more blood out of you. Gross.
Mosquitoes are the world’s deadliest animal
With an estimated 110 trillion mosquitoes on the planet, it’s an alarming thought to think that they’re the deadliest creature on Earth. The creepy critter is thought to kill 750,000 to 1 million humans every year, as it carries deadly diseases like malaria and Zika virus. To make matters even worse, for each person on Earth, there are 16,000 mosquitoes. These scary figures might be enough to make you reconsider sleeping with the window open on hot summer nights.
Giant hornets can make holes in your skin
The Asian giant hornet – aptly dubbed the murder hornet – is the biggest wasp on the planet. They can fly at a startlng 25mph, and pack a deadly sting. Its venomous weapon can destroy cell membranes, leaving a small hole of dissolved skin. In Japan, they’re reported to kill around 50 people per year, the fatalities being those allergic to the beast. While these murder hornets don’t seek out to attack humans specifically, you’re still going to want to avoid its killer stinger.
Caterpillars have more muscles than humans
Despite their compact size, caterpillars actually have more muscles than humans. Each of these critters has 4,000 muscles in its body, each with at least one neuron that supplies them with nerves. To put this into perspective, human beings have around 650 muscles, meaning that caterpillars have around six times more muscles than we do.
Praying mantises eat their mates
Female mantises cannibalize their male counterpart during and after mating. The female often attempts to bite off and eat the male’s entire head, crunching it into a mid-way snack. Typically, male mantises mate only once in their lifetime – usually due to the female’s cannibalistic tendencies. If this bug couldn’t get any creepier, the praying mantis is also the only insect in the world that can turn its head by 180 degrees.
Cockroaches stay alive, even if beheaded
Cockroaches are supposedly the most likely creature to survive a nuclear war. It may not come as a surprise, then, to learn that cockroaches can live without their head – even for entire weeks at a time. The only reason losing its head eventually kills the sturdy beast is because it won’t be able to eat or drink, causing it to eventually die of dehydration. Next time you whack one of these bugs, it might be best to double-check that it’s actually dead.