Moths and butterflies are some of the most amazing creatures in nature but many pass through a phase as horrifying caterpillars. These larvae might look cute and cuddly but are really freaky caterpillars that are covered in debilitating or even deadly toxins. Others are down right scary caterpillars that look like demons from another dimension or some kind of comic book mutant that sprang from the mind of Stan Lee.
Even the ones that are harmless to people are mean caterpillars and can eat entire crops or devour every leaf growing on a tree. From the Saddleback caterpillar to the Red Tailed moth caterpillar, these creatures are as fascinating as they are strange looking.
The Saddleback Caterpillar's Spines Cause Anaphylactic Shock
This horrifying monster is called the Saddleback caterpillar, and its name is unsurprisingly derived from the distinctive dark oval marking on its back that gives it the appearance of wearing a saddle. However, nobody should attempt at any point whatsoever to ride this creature - the caterpillar is covered in spines that can break off and lodge in the skin of any animal, including humans, that come in contact with them. Not only are the spines irritating, they can cause a whole host of medical problems including digestive issues, migraines, and anaphylactic shock.
Swarms Of Tent Caterpillars Can Destroy Ecosystems
The Tent caterpillar will eventually turn into a moth, but not before it can do serious damage in the world. As larvae, they can swarm and take all of the leaves off of trees as they satisfying their insatiable appetites. The problem is worsened because a single adult can lay as many as 400 eggs. In order to protect their unhatched progeny, the moths create large silky nests which also look quite unattractive in the trees they choose to nest in.
The Browntail Moth Caterpillar Can Cause Allergic Reactions Without Even Touching You
If you are in Maine and have a horrifying rash on your neck, it might be the fault of the Browntail moth caterpillar. These fuzzy looking larvae are covered in tiny bristles that cause a gross allergic reaction when they crawl over people. Worse still, the fuzz hangs in the air after the creatures molt and turn into moths. It blows all over and if a gust of wind brings the spines in contact with a person, it causes itchy, uncomfortable skin irritation.
The Puss Caterpillar Is Even Grosser Than Its Name Implies
While they may look fuzzy and cute, the Puss caterpillar is not to be cuddled, it is to be feared. It is one of the most poisonous caterpillars around and can be found from Texas all the way across the Southeast to Florida and then up the East Coast to New Jersey. What makes them even more fearsome is that they don't have to bite to cause horrifying pain – merely touching the adorable monsters is enough to cause a reaction. Scientists compare the pain to a bee sting at first, but the pain can even be felt in the bones of unsuspecting victims who have reported cases of the critters falling on them from trees and leaving them wallowing in misery.