There are weird bugs all over the world, but as usual it seems Australia has drawn the short straw, because we have some of the strangest creatures walking around. We have some of the most gargantuan, ginormous, colossal bugs, and quite frankly disgusting bugs you can find on the planet. Here are 10 weird bugs in Australia you won’t believe actually exist.
10. Giant Centipede
Right off the bat, we take the creep factor and crank it up to 11. This centipede can be found all around Australia. It’s essentially what nightmares are made of. Whenever there’s a ghoulishly creepy scene in a horror movie, you’re bound to notice these crawling around like fast, wobbly pieces of terror. When Franklin Roosevelt famously said that “the only thing we need to fear is fear itself”, he obviously didn’t have one of these bad boys dangling in front of his face, or even worse – quickly making its way towards his ear. The fact that they’re nocturnal makes it even worse – imagine a 15-centimetre centipede crawling on your face while you’re sleeping. Oh, the humanity!
9. Australian Earthworms
You may think video games have prepared for a battle with giant worms, but we can almost guarantee you’ll lose your grip once you see one of these genetic monstrosities. Australian earthworms look like they’ve been grown in a lab and then dipped into a vat of radioactive goo. With an average length of 1 meter (and the ability to stretch their bodies in order to look much, much bigger), these disgusting creatures are completely harmless, yet they make the mutated worms in Chernobyl look like common fish bait. However, if you’re thinking of going fishing using one of these colossi, we’d recommend getting a meat hook. A really big one.
8. Australian Witchetty Grubs
Maggots are revolting, but at least they’re small, right? Hehe – wrong! Australian Witchetty Grubs are huge and just two or three of them can fill the palm of your hand. Because they’re so fat and (apparently) savoury, they are considered a protein-rich delicacy by many. If eating weird bugs is your thing, by all means go for it. Otherwise, if you’re looking for protein, we recommend eating a nice lean chicken fillet or drink a protein shake.
7. Bulldog Ants
Ants are a pest, but in most cases they’re more of a nuisance than an actual danger (ant control is still recommended if you’re struggling with them, though). Not bulldog ants, though. They’re little evil monsters with huge mandibles coming straight from hell in order to torment us during the hot summer days. Bulldog ants are extremely aggressive and wouldn’t hesitate to attack, even unprovoked. And because ants are so good at cooperation, if you get bitten by one, you can expect bites from some of its other homies that are currently in the neighbourhood. So, yeah – we suggest staying away.
6. Burrowing Cockroach
Cockroaches are among the nastiest pests on the planets (we should know – cockroach extermination is one of our most commonly used services). With their chitin shells and impertinent attitude, they score pretty high in annoyance level. And when you want to crank up the terrifying-meter, all you have to do is add size. The result is an anxiety-inducing piece of horror that perfectly fits in the palm of your hand. Enjoy!
5. Common Garden Orb Weaver
Spiders can be pretty scary in their own right. And Australia has some of the most dangerous spider species in the world. This is not the reason why the common garden orb weaver enters this list. However, the fact that it weaves orbs and sometimes carries its prey with it so it can snack on it when it gets hungry is something that truly separates it from other spiders. Add that to the fact it’s pretty common (hence the name), and you can get why this little bugger has the ability to completely ruin your morning stroll in the garden.
4. Goliath Stick Insect
With a name like this, you can easily imagine what kind of creature we’re talking about. Everyone’s seen a praying mantis. Well, the Goliath is a lot bigger, and has the same excellent natural camouflage, making it difficult to distinguish when it hides in green plants. The fact that it has limbs the size of branches makes it really weird and a true contender for the “nature, are you for real?” award.
3. Hercules Moth
Moths are one of the most annoying pests when it comes to your wardrobe. Finding out your favourite shirt has been half-eaten is enough to ruin anyone’s day. It’s also annoying having moths fly around the lamp during the hot summer evening. However, this is nothing compared to having a moth with a 27-centimetre wingspan fly into your face. That can lead you to post-traumatic stress disorder. We just imagined a perfect scene for a horror movie – a room full of these and a person with no means of escape. Sometimes we’re too cruel.
2. Loboscelidia Wasp
Wasps are like the bouncers of the insect world. They have a much better intimidation factor than bees (unless you’re allergic). Their sound, their looks, their aggressive behaviour – everything about them speaks “stay away”. What’s scarier than a wasp? A wasp with horns. The Loboscelidia wasp looks like it’s escape some hellish nest and has barely been studied, so we know very little about this weird diabolical creature.
1. Extatosoma tiaratum
If we were to show you a picture of this stick insect without any further explanation, you’d probably think it was photoshopped. The sheer look of this Australian walking stick screams “I don’t exist”. We could barely believe this creature was real. It looks like something a kid might do in arts and crafts class. Nature truly is amazing.