15 Insect Facts That May Creep You Out
Pain is officially defined as, “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage,” yet is experienced differently by each person and organism. Because of this it is extremely difficult to describe just how an animal experiences pain. To study how an animal experiences pain “argument-by-analogy” is applied. This means if the animal reacts in a similar way to how we would, we believe they are experiencing pain.
An example of this is if a dog was pricked with a pin and ran away, just as a human would. The strange thing with insects is that they have no capacity to feel pain at all! Nociceptors are what carry the feeling of pain to the brain. These are essential to experience pain, yet insects and crustaceans have never been found to have any! This means most of these animals are unable to feel any sort of pain!
Most people shriek and run when the multiple legs of a centipede are discovered, yet they are actually one of the more beneficial insects that can infest a home. The reason for this is because the diet of a common house centipede usually consists of a rather large assortment of other insects including roaches, houseflies, moths, silverfish, termites, and nearly ever other bug that infects a home.
In addition, they do not harm humans, eat plants, carry diseases, or damage homes, which means their entire life purpose is to pretty much rid your house of every other insect! So next time you see a centipede lurking around, give him thanks rather than the bottom of your shoe and your house just might end up a little less infested.
Worms are creepy looking creatures, and when I read about them, I can feel them crawling over my skin. Despite how gross they make me feel, they are amazing creatures. Imagine digging a hole and finding a 22 foot long worm!
Here are some more quick facts about worms:
- Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms more than 100 years ago!
- In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms. [Try not to think about how many are beneath your feet at this very moment]
- Baby worms are not born – they hatch from cocoons smaller than a grain of rice.
- Worms are roughly 1,000 times stronger than people. [Prepare yourself for the impending worm invasion]
You should really read more about worms at the source
The Himalayan jumping spider is pretty creepy looking. It has four eyes on the front of its head and its eight legs are covered in spots of white and black hair alternating in color. The spider is small and obvious to its name; it lives in the Himalayan mountains.
It has been found at altitudes of 6,700 meters above sea level. The only source of food for the Himalayan jumping spider at those extreme heights is stray insects that are blown up the mountainside by the wind. It is possible that the Himalayan jumping spider is the highest known permanent resident on Earth. They lurk in crevices among rock debris, which gives them good camouflage with the color of their hair.
The insects that they eat consume plant material and I’m sure they don’t enjoy the journey up the mountainside to meet their doom with the four eyed Himalayan jumping spider.
This rather peculiar form of zoophilia is when a person enjoys being crawled upon or nibbled by small insects! Usually it is various species of ants, but other insects such as non-poisonous spiders are also used.
The insects are usually placed on the genitals, or any area of the body that the person wishes, and the resulting tickling or stinging sensation becomes a strange form of arousal.
Even more unnerving, insects have been used throughout history to inflict psychological distress on another person!
Talk about pests. Fleas are parasitic, meaning they usually live on other creatures without killing them. In fact they need their host’s heart pumping, so that they can suck their blood. But this doesn’t mean that fleas are harmless. In fact, they have been one of the deadliest things for humans in history.
Pulex irritans is the scientific name for the Human Flea but even dog or cat fleas prefer human blood. Fleas can carry many diseases; the most serious being Yersinia pestis or plague (known in the Middle Ages as the Black Plague). They can transmit this directly or through rats and other rodents.
The ease with which fleas transmit diseases is what’s made them so deadly. During the Middle Ages when man brought rats containing the Yersinia pestis virus to Europe from Africa. This is what sparked the Black Plague, which claimed more lives than all the wars in human history.
For more, go here.
Pill bugs, or roly-polys, are small creatures that are famous for rolling up into a ball for protection. However, it is a little known fact that they are not insects, but rather isopods, a type of arthropod.
Pill bugs are located all around the world and are usually found in moist areas along with many other insects, hence the confusion. As it turns out they are actually more closely related to lobsters and shrimp than other insects, and could technically survive just fine under water! Sounds like they could be delicious with some cocktail sauce.
Do mosquitoes prefer a certain blood type? Yes! After years of research by Dr. Yoshikazu Shirai, mosquitoes have been determined to like type O blood over every other!
The research also showed that men are slightly more susceptible to get bitten but mosquitoes are mainly attracted based on blood type and temperature. Another study showed that mosquitoes liked beer drinkers over water drinkers!
After exposing the insects to the body odor of water and beer drinkers, the bugs were more entranced by the breath and skin by those who drink the popular alcoholic drink.
Caterpillars have more than twice as many muscles as humans do.
Some species of caterpillar have 4,000 muscles in their body. Compare that to the human muscular system, which is made up of only 639. It’s not unusual for insects to have more muscles than humans; grasshoppers have about 900.
Still, why do caterpillars have so many more muscles? It’s for a unique form of transportation. Caterpillars use all of their muscles to move, but not in the same way that we do. They contract their body muscles, forcing their internal organs forward. When caterpillars move forward, their guts move first, and then their bodies follow. No other animal is known to move like this.
(Sources: 1, 2)
The lines in insects’ wings are veins.
There’s actually not much to insect wings. They are really just veins connected to a very thin membrane. Every species of insect (that has wings) is different but they typically have 6-8 main veins called longitudinal veins that each have their own name and function. These veins branch out into smaller veins. The veins support the membrane of the wings to allow for flight, and they are also necessary for the animal’s circulatory and respiratory systems.
Female fireflies typically cannot fly.
Because female fireflies (lightning bugs) have shorter wings, they usually are not able to fly like their male counterparts. Therefore, they will perch themselves on a high object like a leaf or rock wait for a male to fly by. When a male comes by flashing a signal that the female recognizes, she will transmit the same signal back. The male will then land and touch his the female’s antennae with his own, ‘smelling’ her. If the female smells like an attractive partner to him, the pair will mate.
A clock has been developed that is powered solely by dead flies.
The clock is part of a growing effort to produce robots that are able to acquire energy from the environment on their own (which is kind of creepy if you really think about it!). The secret to this type of technology lies in a device called the microbial fuel cell. Each fuel cell contains bacteria that feast on dead insects. Every time the microbes are fed, electrons from the ensuing chemical reaction are harvested and converted into the electricity that powers the clock. A mere eight dead flies is enough to keep it fully powered for almost two weeks!
Check out a more in-depth discussion of the potential this technology may have in the video below:
The ant can be placed on a cut, and the ant will bite the edges. It will lock on with its mandibles sealing the wound closed like a stitch or a suture. At this time you can remove the ant from it mandibles. The mandibles can remain in place for days as the wound heals.
You can watch this video to see how it works!
It sounds like a piece of science fiction, but there is actually a government-funded project with the goal of military espionage in which the enemy is literally 'bugged.' Began in 2006, the undertaking has yielded little military application, but scientists have managed to use electrodes to start and stop flight, make the insects turn, and even initiate changes in the creature's elevation!
The main issue preventing any sort of army usage is the impracticality of powering the devices. Researchers are attempting to find a way for the hardware to be powered by the insects' own bodies, but it has been quite a challenging venture.
Read more about the Defense Department\'s ROBOT BUGS! You can also watch this crazy video of a researcher controlling a beetle with his laptop:
Ladybugs may look pretty, but they are actually aphid-killing machines! Aphids are small destructive insects that feed by sucking the vital juices out of the leaves and stems of plants.
A ladybug is a gardener\'s best friend because they love to eat these ruinous pests. One thing to remember, however - if you choose to release ladybugs into your garden to combat aphids, you should not also spray pesticides or you will kill both the good and the bad bugs. (source)