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  • The world’s freakiest insects and creepy crawlies

    Here for your reading pleasure is the top ten definitive list of the world’s most freaky and nasty looking creepy crawly bugs and critters.

    We’ll kick things off with this monster, it’s a Titan beetle.

    The Titan is one of the world’s largest beetles and is found in the South American rainforests, it grows up to 15cm (6 in) long. The insect’s ferocious looking mandibles are said to be strong enough to snap through pencils, quite what they’re used for is a mystery, as the adult beetles don’t actually eat. All the adults do is fly around looking for a mate.

    The larvae are extremely difficult to find, but bore holes in trees suggest that the juvenile Titan is a two-inch-thick, foot-long maggot. Yummy.

    Fortunately for most of us this terrifying looking critter is only found on New Zealand, tough break Kiwis.

    The ugly bugger is a giant weta, a kind of huge cricket or grasshopper. The giant wetas are supposed to have come about due to New Zealand’s lack of land mammals, until humans arrived there. A phenomenon known as island gigantism meant that some ugly invertebrates filled the space in the food chain by the lack of land mammals, so the wetas evolved into 50g crickets over 10cm long filling a similar role to what mice do in the rest of the world.

    Giant wetas are vegetarian, but they can still give you a nasty bite if they don’t like the look of you.

    This nasty looking sod is a huntsman spider, the ugly devils are fairly common in Australia where they’re actually considered beneficial, because they eat a wide variety of the other horrid creepy crawlies they get there.

    Although they’re said to be ‘mostly harmless’ and non-deadly, these great big arachnids can grow to an alarming size (up to 12 inches across) and the females are known to be aggressive when defending eggs or hatchlings.

    If the buggers do bite it causes intense pain and localised swelling, but most people recover after a couple of days.

    You’ll be hard pressed to find a more hideous looking beastie than this rotter. The Amazonian giant centipede, as you can guess from it’s name, is another of South America’s more nightmarish inhabitants.

    These carnivorous critters grow a foot-long and will easily devour lizards, birds, or mice. They have developed large claws which curve around their heads like pincers and deliver a venom which is toxic to humans and causes severe pain along with a fever. Fortunately the ‘bite’ is not fatal. Unless you got bit by a few hundred of them, just consider that.

    This is truly the stuff of nightmares. When it comes to nasty bugs and insects size is an important factor, and this is another giant invertebrate.

    The Asian giant hornet, known locally in Japan as the ‘yak-killer’ hornet, is the world’s biggest wasp. The 50mm long horrors have a 75mm wingspan, and more importantly, a 6mm long sting.

    The sting delivers a particularly potent venom and is described as feeling like a ‘hot nail’ being driven into you. The hornet uses it’s large mandibles to kill it’s prey, and so it saves it’s stinger for occasions when it just wants to be a complete bastard.

    The giant hornet venom is reasonably potent and combined with the huge stinger, which delivers a large amount of the toxin, the stings can be fatal even in people who don’t have an allergic reaction.

    The nasty little sod can bite with it’s huge jaws the same time as stinging you, and the venom itself contains an odour which attracts other giant hornets so they can attack you too. The annual death toll from giant hornet stings in Japan exceeds the death toll from all other wild animals combined.

    Although one of the most hideous on our list the Golden orb weaver spider is relatively harmless.

    The ugly critters can grow to have a leg span of around 12cm, and their strong jaws are enough to leave a scar if they bite you, but the scary looking creatures tend to keep away from humans and their venom is only really enough to cause a little redness and blistering.

    remarkably though these spiders have actually been known to catch and devour prey as large as birds with their webs.

    Good gravy! Lets hope that those old wives tales about earwigs crawling in your ears really are untrue!

    This vile brute is a Saint Helena giant earwig, thankfully only found on the island of Saint Helena and usually underground. In fact there hasn’t even been a live one seen since 1967, but dead ones still turn up so we know they’re still out there somewhere.

    Earwigs get a bit of a bad press with these stories of them crawling in your ears and laying eggs in your brain, and those nasty looking pincer things on their backsides, but in reality they’re quite harmless.

    Although at 8.5cm long I wouldn’t want to test those giant earwig bum-pincers.

    This alien looking monster is a giant isopod, basically a massive woodlouse.

    These horrifying beasts are about a foot-long and live at the bottom of the ocean scavenging for food. They live off dead carcasses which sink to the seabed, but the greedy sods will also take live prey if they’re quick enough.

    The emperor scorpion is one of the largest scorpions on the planet, adults grow to a length of 20cm with large claws and a 2cm sting in their tale.

    Although they look quite intimidating the emperor scorpion is a popular pet, and it’s sting is only as potent as a bees. But that doesn’t make them any more attractive to me.

    Last on our list is the infamous camel spider.

    Not actually spiders at all, camel spiders are a separate class of arachnid, they have no venom like most other spiders or stings like scorpions. But their jaws are exceptionally strong and they can deliver a painful bite.

    Camel spiders gained notoriety when soldiers in Iraq sent home photographs of the ugly bleeders along with stories about them.

    At 15cm long camel spiders are not exactly on the small side, but their dimensions have been exaggerated by people coming across them in the desert. Other urban legends about camel spiders claim the critters can run so fast they keep up with cars, and that they can kill camels.
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