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10 Of The World’s Largest Insects

Reid Kerr-Keller

Bugs: Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. As the biologist Dave Goulson once pointed out, “Ugly or beautiful, it is the little creatures that make the world go round. We should celebrate and appreciated them in all their wonderful diversity.”

Fair enough. Insects make up a crucial aspect of Earth’s food web. But did evolution need to make them so… buggy? No creature has the right to more than 6 legs, right? It’s downright overkill. Biologists like Mr. Goulson up there might be able to appreciate their… ahem… unique beauty, but that doesn’t exactly make them appealing. No one looks at millepedes and thinks, “boy, that’s so cute!” Besides, if Australia has taught us anything, it’s that a whole lot of bugs are trying to kill you. Venomous bites, poisonous stings, diseases and viruses galore… That’s a nope from me.

On the other hand, though, Goulson makes a truly fascinating point. When we stop to consider it, insects are a genuinely marvelous thing. Individually, they rarely make a dent in the universe—most aren’t big enough to make a dent in a leaf—but as a whole they pave the way for life on Earth. For example, the collective weight of all the ants on the planet is almost 1/5 that of all humans. They’re the definition of strength in numbers.

And then there are these behemoths, who don’t need a trillion of their icky buddies in order to seriously mess up your day. Giant bugs who seem to defy the very laws of nature. Enjoy.



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