Bizarre Bugs

Duncan Schiller, MVC writer

There are many bugs on this planet that look bizarre. In fact, many works of science fiction take inspiration from these strange insects. From spikes to shooting acid, built-in defenses can be wacky and weird. 

Speaking of acid, the bombardier beetle has the perfect example of a spicy defense. When attacked, it mixes together a chemical concoction that it shoots out of its butt, and the liquid reaches temperatures of up to 200 degrees. The gas formed by this is usually fatal to the attacking insect, meaning that the bug will not be making that mistake twice.

Another gaseous defense mechanism that many likely know of, but do not think about, is the house ant. When attacked, it releases a smell that aims to deter the attacker. When killed, the smell is also released. It can confuse the predator into running away, leaving the hive alone.

A spiky little species of scavengers is the skin beetle. They eat rotting meat, leather, feathers and skin. Some of them have naturally grown spears on their body, used for defending against predators. These bugs are mostly just household pests, and, like moths, will also eat things left in the closet for too long if they are left to their own devices.

A more tame defense mechanism belongs to the peacock butterfly. Unlike these other abilities, this one is not very much suited for combat. Rather, the peacock butterfly has patterns on its wings that look a lot like eyes. These patterns help the peacock butterfly look much larger and more intimidating than it really is, allowing it to scare off predators before they even attack.

Of course, there are hundreds of different evolutionary oddballs like these out in the world, but some of them are still undiscovered. It is estimated that there are thousands of insect species populating this world that scientists have not documented yet. So, with new discoveries every day, these strange creatures continue to surprise.