Flora & Fauna

Insects You Hope to Never Encounter

Is there anything scarier than thinking about the millions upon millions of different insect species currently roaming the earth? True, most of them won’t bother you if you leave them alone, but there’s a good number of bugs out there on a mission to make our lives a living hell. Terrifying insects lurk in the shadows, waiting for the prime opportunity to strike. If you weren’t already afraid of the world around you, check out this list of scary insects and deadly bugs that you better pray you never encounter. 

  • Tarantula Hawk

    Don’t let the name fool you, this wicked creature is neither spider nor majestic bird. Rather, the tarantula hawk is a type of wasp with a sting you don’t want anything to do with. The pain is fleeting, only lasting about three minutes, but if a tarantula hawk stings you, prepare for the worst three minutes of your life. It’s so incredibly painful that the actual scientific advice for dealing with the sting is just to lie down and start screaming. The human body is so inept at dealing with the tarantula hawk’s sting that it’s going to stop functioning. If an insect is capable of reducing even the strongest individuals into blubbering messes, it’s clear that we aren’t the dominant species on this planet. 

  • Bat Bug

    As cool as it would be for Batman to have a miniature bug sidekick, the bat bug is actually an African-based insect that you want to avoid at all costs. The thing about the bat bug is that it has a horrible notion about how it reproduces. When it finds a female it wants to mate with, it takes its super sharp member and penetrates the female multiple times in the abdomen. Instead of going the normal route, the bat bug injects its fluids directly into her bloodstream. So it’s no wonder why these nasty creatures should be avoided, just in case one mistakes you for a female bat bug. 

  • Tongue-Eating Fish Parasite

    Tongue-Eating Fish Parasite
    Photo: Marco Vinci / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    This parasite finds its way into a fish’s mouth and proceeds to eat its tongue. If the fish doesn’t die of blood loss or infection, it allows the parasite to embed itself in the fish’s mouth and take the place of the poor creature’s tongue! The two live like this for awhile, with the parasite sapping energy and life force from its host, all while doing its best tongue impersonation. Eventually the fish will die and the parasite will either die, too, or shoot off to haunt all of our nightmares. 

  • Asian Giant Hornet

    One of the deadliest insects in the world, the Asian giant hornet carries a venom that obliterates red blood cells and causes kidney failure and death. Particularly nasty-looking, they aren’t called giant hornets for nothing. These hornets extend close to an inch and a half in length, making them one of the biggest on earth, and to top it off, they like to travel in swarms. Just a few years ago, China was hit with a giant hornet crisis as swarms made their way through the country, leaving 42 people dead and even more injured. They’re not to be trifled with, so if a hornet is buzzing toward you, it’s best to run away screaming and never look back.